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A notary public is someone who has the authority to attest to the authenticity of a person’s signature on a document. Notary services are used in a variety of situations, including powers of attorney, rental documents and lost title certifications. In addition to the training and certification needed to become a notary public, an individual might also utilize certain notary public supplies such as a stamp, an embosser, a register and assorted forms.
Each jurisdiction has its own requirements for notary public training and certification. Generally, the training consists of a short course in which an individual learns what is required to perform his or her duties as a notary public. After the course is completed, a certification exam is administered. Upon successful completion of the exam, a notary public certification is issued, and the individual becomes a commissioned notary public.
When someone receives notary public certification, he or she is then able to order his or her notary public supplies. One item necessary when performing notary public duties is the notary stamp. This stamp usually has the notary’s name, the location in which he or she is commissioned, the notary's commission expiration date and his or her commission number. Each time a notary public notarizes a document, this stamp must be used.
Another item among the essential notary public supplies is the seal, sometimes referred to as the embosser. The notary’s seal is used to further authenticate the notary’s signature on the document. It provides a raised image on the paper that usually contains the name of the notary, his or her location of commission and the words “Notary Public."
The notary public’s register is perhaps one of the most important of all of the notary public supplies. By law, a notary public is required to keep track of all notary transactions. A notary public’s register provides a neat and efficient way to do so. In most locations, a person is required to print his or her name, address and what the document being notarized is, then sign his or her name.
Various forms also might be needed by a notary public. These forms might consist of general affidavits, acknowledgments and receipts for services. Forms might be purchased in bundle form or printed from a computer.
Many merchants sell notary public supplies, both in traditional shops and online. These supplies might be purchased individually or in kits. Requirements for a notary public vary by location, so it is best for an individual to ensure that the merchant that they are using supplies legally accurate items.
@Soulfox -- that is all true, but the coming trend is to make it more difficult to become a notary and force them to keep better records. There is also mandatory training and testing in some areas. If you live in a state where stricter requirements are not in place, they may soon be.
And that brings up an important point. Notary requirements vary wildly from state to state. There are some places online (you can find them easily with a quick search) that keep up with those requirements and help people step through the notary certification process.
In some states, only three things are needed to become a notary. A surety bond, a certification from the state and a stamp. A lot of states don't even require notaries to keep a log of all the documents he or she has notarized. Others don't require an embosser because they require a seal that can be photocopied.
The requirements in a lot of areas are very lax. If anyone wonders why notary fraud is on the rise, it is because the requirements in many ares are so relaxed than anyone can become a notary and start witnessing signatures like crazy.
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