Notary publics are of very ancient origin. They first became prominent among the Romans during the 1500s. The activities of notaries have long been abided by the custom of merchants and by the courts of all countries.

Notaries were initially selected by the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury. During that time, they were proficient in foreign languages, as well as the principles and practices of law.

Today, a Notary Public is a public servant appointed by a state. This position is very important as they provide protection for business deals. Depending on the state the notary has the power to acknowledge signatures especially on court papers such as affidavits, as well as conduct oaths and affirmations.

To become a notary public in the United States the applicant must be at least 18 years of age and a permanent resident of the state in which that individual wants to be a notary. Securing a role as a Notary Public is usually easy. In most cases becoming a Notary only requires the applicant to pass a test and undergo a background check.

The rights and privileges of a Notary Public are normally limited to the basic duties of an impartial witness. To be precise, notaries are not licensed to give any form of legal advice, prepare legal documents or otherwise perform law duties and tasks.

Becoming a notary public involves three important steps.

First step, complete the Notary Public application form available for your residency state. An important point to remember is that each state has different eligibility standards for its notaries.

Second step, pay a fee to the commissioning authority.

Third step, the applicant takes an oath of office in front of a notary public. This action may be incorporated into the application or filed with a county clerk. Additional possible steps include taking an educational course, passing a test and obtaining a notary bond. These requirements vary from state to state.

Each Notary Public in America has the legal duty to know their state’s notary laws, the distinction between notary laws and notary folklore, and the standards of sensible care for every notarial act. A Notary Public failing to do their job correctly could result in serious legal problems.

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