Important documents to be notarized.
Not sure whether you should sign a document with a notary public present? Learn which types of documents typically need to be notarized, and the easiest way to complete the process.
Why does a document need to be notarized?
Notarization is an essential part of signing contracts and many other official documents, in order to help prevent fraud.
Notaries are local officials appointed by the state to serve as impartial witnesses. When a document needs to be notarized, it means you must have a notary public present to verify your identity and to witness the actual signature. The notary also verifies that you are signing willingly and that you are aware of the contents of the document or transaction.
They will then “notarize” the signed contract or other document by adding their signature and stamping it with their official seal.
What documents need to be notarized?
Not every document that needs to be signed needs to be notarized — only certain types of paperwork require a notary’s seal. While laws vary from state to state, they typically include real estate transactions, certain legal documents, many financial documents, and some forms related to healthcare. Documents that require notarization usually indicate that clearly, providing space for the notary’s signature and seal.
Some of the most common types of documents needing to be notarized are:
- Articles of incorporation
- Real estate contracts and property deeds
- Legal affidavits
- Loan documents
- Powers of attorney
- Passport applications
Notarize documents online.
In most cases, a notary public must be physically present to verify identity, witness the signing, and stamp the document. However, you may be able to notarize your document using an online notary. Consult your legal counsel to confirm.
With an online notarization, a notary public will witness the signing remotely via video chat. If they’re satisfied with the validity of the signature process, they can notarize your digital document remotely.
If appropriate for your specific contract, online signatures and notarization are the easiest way to approve contracts and other important documents without ever needing to leave the comfort of your home.
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