A Notary Public is a neutral and impartial witness to the execution of many of todays' legal documents. A Notary Public verifies the identity of a signer of a document and attest to their signatures. Following a certain procedure defined by law they help deter fraud and prevent coercion.Read more here.
Requirements to become a Notary Public
- Must be eighteen (18) years of age.
- Applicant must be a resident or employed within this Commowealth.
- Applicant must be of good moral character and familiar with the duties of a notary public.
- Applicant must complete a pre-approved three (3) hour educational course within the six month period immediately preceding the application.
- Applicant must not have been convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a felony within the five years prior to application.
- Notary must be bonded for 4 years at $10,000.
- Notary must record that bond and their signature at your local County Recorders Ofice.
PA Approved Educators
Pennsylvania's Department of State, Notary Division is the governing body for all Pennsylvania Notaries Public and educators. They alone process and approve all applications for Notaries in Pennsylvania. They enforce all laws governing notaries and maintain the educational requirements according to state law. Any entity wishing to become an approved provider must submit their courses for approval to the Pennsylvania Department of State Notary Division. These courses must contain the pertinent information required by the State Department and the notary law. Therefore all approved providers and their courses contain the same information regardless of presenter, organization or provider. Our courses have been approved by the State Department Notary Division to provide the mandatory education for new and renewing applicants. This course includes instruction in understanding the law, functions and general knowledge of being a Notary Public.
Basic Facts about Notarization and Notaries
- Signers of a document to be notarized must be present with current and valid ID at the time of notarization.
- Notarization of a document DOES NOT make it a legal document.
- All documents must have the proper notarial wording.
- A Notary Public can not help in the drafting of a document or suggest wording.
- Affidavit-The wording of the document will read "Sworn and Subscribed before me" or to that effect. This states the signer is attesting to the truthfulness of the facts in the document by their signature. The notary is attesting that they witnessed their signature and were properly identified.
- Acknowledgement-The wording will be "On this date before me appeared" etc.. This wording states that they personally appeared before the notary and identified themselves according to PA law. The notary is then vouching for your personal appearance and identity.
- Certification-This act is to certify copies of documents. I.E. school degrees, certificates of education, vocational licensure etc. To achieve this properly the ORIGINAL document must be presented to the Notary Public. They will then make the copy and attest to it being a true and correct copy of the original document.
A Notary Public can not provide forms, give legal advice, draw any documents or perform a marriage ceremony. If you are in need of legal advice, legal defense or a legal document drafted, please contact an attorney of your choice.
The new law will gradually take effect throughtout this year. We will keep you informed of the changes.
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