What is a Notary Public?
The Commonwealth of Virginia Notary Public Handbook defines a notary as a public officer “who acts as an official, unbiased witness to the identity and signature of the person who comes before the notary for a specific purpose. The person may be taking an oath, giving oral or written testimony, or signing or acknowledging his or her signature on a legal document. In each case, the notary attests that certain formalities [as required by law] are observed.”
What are the Official Acts of a Virginia Notary Public?
The code of Virginia specifies five basic notarial acts:
1) Taking Acknowledgments
2) Administering Oaths
3) Certifying affidavits
4) Certifying depositions
5) Certifying “true copies” of documents*
* Virginia notaries are not authorized to certify copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates. Only the Division of Vital Records/Statistics may perform such a certification. If you need a certified copy of this type of document, you must request it from the state in which the individual was born. As a fraud prevention measure, many states require that the request form be notarized – a Virginia notary can notarize your signature on this form. Virginia notaries are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies.
What kind of identification is needed to have my document notarized?
As per Virginia law, all signers must personally appear before the notary and present government issued photo identification. The name on the identification must match the name printed on the document. Acceptable identification documents are as follows:
State issued driver’s license
State issued identification card
United States military card
United States passport
Certificate of United States citizenship
Certificate of naturalization
Alien registration card with photograph
Unexpired foreign passport
A notary may refuse to notarize a signature if he or she is uncertain of an individual’s identity, or if the notary is uncomfortable with the validity of the identification documents.
What is a notary signing agent?
A notary signing agent is a notary public that notarizes mortgage documents for borrowers who purchase or refinance their current mortgage. Notary signing agents are impartial witnesses who identify the signer, verify that all documents are signed and dated, notarize the documents, and return the executed loan package to the lender.
What does a mobile notary do?
A mobile notary is one who travels to your home or business to provide notary services.
When you contact me with a notary request, I will meet you at your home or office or at a mutually decided place to save you the hassle of traveling to a notary public’s office. Whether it is a single page or a full set of loan documents, I will be at your doorstep — seven days a week, including holidays — to meet your notary needs. I will also travel to hospitals, retirement community centers and police departments.
Whether it is raining or the sun is shining, you can rely on me for quality and convenient notary services. Further, I assure this with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. I value all my customers and strive to provide friendly and economical notary services in the Washington DC Area.
Please contact Motary Mobile Notary Servicewhen your signature(s) on your document(s) are ready to be notarized and you have a valid form of identification ready that matches the name on the document. You can view acceptable identifications on our FAQ page. I look forward to working with you!
*Note: Nominal travel fees may apply in some cases. Travel fees will also be charged in case you are not present at the appointment without advance notice or if you do not have the appropriate forms of identification or documents ready at the time of the appointment.
DO NOT SIGN document until you are in the presence of the notary.
Acknowledgment Certificate is OK to have been signed years ago.
COMPLETELY FILL IN ALL BLANK SPACES IN DOCUMENT BEFORE NOTARY ARRIVES
BUT DO NOT SIGN! Cannot Notarize incomplete documents!
- If you have questions about how to complete the document, contact the person who drafted or requested the document. A Notary Public is unable to provide legal advice or assistance in the drafting and/or completion of documents.
- Every signer must physically appear, be coherent and present acceptable ID at the time of notarization. IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS- SEE BELOW
- Original documents must be presented for all Copy Certification.
Vital records (birth, death and marriage) cannot be notarized.
- Know which Notary Certificate you need. Notary cannot give advice on which one to use.
What are valid forms of identification?
All identification cards must be ORIGINAL, current or issued within the last 5 years, contain a photo, physical description, signature, and serial number. The following forms of identification are acceptable:
- Driver’s License
- U.S. Military ID card
- State Identification Card
- U.S. Passport
- Foreign Passports Stamped by U.S. Customs
- Canada Driver’s License
- Mexico Driver’s License
- Inmate ID card
What if I don't have proper identification?
If none of the above-mentioned Identification is available, or the name on your ID is different or shorter than what is on the document then you can use:
TWO CREDIBLE WITNESSES – that can swear to the signer’s identity. They must have proper ID, is age 18 or older, know the signer by the name on the document, is not named in the document nor have a financial interest in the transaction described in the document.
SIGNING BY “X” MARK – If unable to write signature and has Valid ID, than two “disinterested” witnesses need to be present and be witnesses on the document. One witness should write the person’s name next to the person’s mark and then the witness should sign his or her name as a witness. The witnesses are only verifying that they witnessed the individual make his or her mark on the document.
What is an acceptable Proof of Insurance?
Valid Binder of Insurance
Insurance Identification Card
Declaration Page of an Insurance Policy
Application for Insurance to the Virginia Assigned Risk Plan
Please Note: I cannot call your insurance company or insurance agent to verify that you have insurance. Also I cannot accept a copy of insurance that has been faxed to you personally!
What things can a notary NOT do?
A Notary can NOT do the following:
- Certifying Copies of Official Documents — State and federal laws prohibit notaries from certifying copies of birth, death, naturalization certificates and copyrighted material.
- Notarizing blank documents, documents with blank spaces and documents without notarial wording — Because blank spaces could be filled in fraudulently at another time, ask your customer to draw lines through blank spaces before you notarize the document. If there is no notarial wording on a document, you cannot place your seal or signature on that document. You cannot pre-notarize a document for your customer to fill in later.
- Notarizing by proxy — You cannot give your notarial authority to another individual to notarize documents in your absence. Because your notarial commission is not transferable, you cannot delegate someone else to sign your name, use your rubber stamp or make entries in your notarial register.
- Giving legal advice — Unless you are an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, you cannot give legal advice, including telling your customers what to say in affidavits, describing, interpreting or explaining to the customers the content or legal implications of a document or choosing which notarial form to use.
- Advertising as a NotarioPublico — Do not refer to yourself as a notario or notariopublico. In Latin countries, this typically refers to an attorney.
- Notarizing for friends, relatives and employers — As long as you, the notary, have no direct personal or monetary interest in a transaction, you can perform notarial services for family members, relatives and employers. For example, you can notarize your brother’s signature on the title of his car, as long as you are not involved in buying or selling the car.
- Notarizing your own signature or taking your own oath or affirmation — You cannot notarize your own signature or administer an oath or affirmation to yourself.
- Notarizing rubber stamped signatures — You cannot take the acknowledgment of a rubber stamped signature. All signatures must be recognizable to you as original, handwritten signatures.
- Notarizing on Sundays and holidays — You can notarize on Sundays and holidays. You cannot, however, issue protests on days when banks are closed.
- Performing marriages — In the state of Pennsylvania, notaries are not permitted to issue marriage licenses or perform marriages.
- Mediating disputes — Notaries cannot mediate personal disputes or serve complaints against neighbors. Customers who need this type of service must go to a magisterial district judge.
- Acting as a bill collector — Placing a notarial seal on a past due bill means nothing. A notary is not a collection agent.