• Waldorf, Maryland | Fully COVID-19 Vaccinated
  • (301) 751-0899
  • 7.00 AM-9.00PM EST

Understanding the Role of Notaries and Avoiding Negligence

What to look for in a norary public

When you need documents notarized, you must find the right notary. Once you’ve hired that notary, how do you know they are not being negligent in service?

Notaries act as impartial witnesses, verifying the authenticity of critical documents, from property deeds to power of attorney. However, not all notaries operate with integrity. Recognizing what negligent notary practices look like is crucial for customers before they work with a notary public.

Here are some things you need to know:

1.  A notary must always validate the identity of the person signing the document(s). This process should be thorough, including verifying government-issued IDs and additional verification methods when necessary.

2. Notaries should have a basic understanding of the document(s) they are notarizing. They must make sure that each party understands the document(s).

3. Notaries must observe that the signing process is legitimate and voluntary.

3. Notaries must follow the state’s laws in which they are licensed to operate. They must understand state-specific notarization requirements and maintain compliance.

4. Notaries must maintain a notary journal that records all notarial acts, which is crucial for accountability and tracking.

5. A notary must remain impartial and not have any personal interest in the transaction. Conflicts of interest can lead to negligent notarization.

6. When notarizing documents online, notaries must use secure technology platforms that comply with state laws to ensure the integrity of the notarization process.

Here’s what you should do when working with a notary public:

  • Verify the notary’s credentials and be familiar with their state’s notarization laws.
  • Be sure the notary is following proper identity verification and record-keeping procedures.
  • Be aware of your rights and the notary’s duties to avoid any form of negligence.

Though you will find most notaries perform their duties with integrity, you should be aware that negligence can happen. By understanding the responsibilities of a notary and what to look out for, you can be comfortable in knowing your documents are being notarized correctly.

Previous Post