Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility
I The Notary shall, as a government officer and public servant, serve all of the public in an honest, fair and unbiased manner. II The Notary shall act as an impartial witness and not profit or gain from any document or transaction requiring a notarial act, apart from the fee allowed by statute. III The Notary shall require the presence of each signer and oath-taker in order to carefully screen each for identity and willingness, and to observe that each appears aware of the significance of the transaction requiring a notarial act. IV The Notary shall not execute a false or incomplete certificate, nor be involved with any document or transaction that is false, deceptive or fraudulent. V The Notary shall give precedence to the rules of law over the dictates or expectations of any person or entity. VI The Notary shall act as a ministerial officer and not provide unauthorized advice or services.
VII The Notary shall affix a seal on every notarized document and not allow this universally recognized symbol of office to be used by another or in an endorsement or promotion. VIII The Notary shall record every notarial act in a bound journal or other secure recording device and safeguard it as an important public record. IX The Notary shall respect the privacy of each signer and not divulge or use personal or proprietary information disclosed during execution of a notarial act for other than an official purpose. X The Notary shall seek instruction on notarization, and keep current on the laws, practices and requirements of the notarial office.
WHAT IS A NOTARY PUBLIC?
NOTARY PUBLIC – STATE OF NEW YORK Notch Consulting 4A Oak Lane Rennsselaer, NY 12144 NotchConsulting@verizon.net 518-366-4990
Member, National Notary Association 4A Oak Lane Rennsselaer, NY 12144 NotchConsulting@verizon.net 518-366-4990
A responsible person appointed by the state government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths.
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hat is a Notary Public?
accuracy or legality of documents they notarize. Notaries certify the identity of signers. The signers are responsible for the content of the documents.
hy are documents notarized?
To deter fraud. An impartial witness (the Notary) ensures that the signers of documents are who they say they are and not impostors. The Notary makes sure that signers have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly.
ay a Notary give legal advice or draft legal documents?
Notario Publico. In Latin America, a Notario Publico is a high-ranking official like a judge, or an attorney. Unlike a Notario Publico, a U.S. Notary is forbidden from preparing legal documents or giving advice on immigration or other matters, unless he or she is also an attorney.
Absolutely not. A Notary is forbidden from preparing legal documents for others or acting as a legal advisor unless he or she is also an attorney. Violators can be fined or jailed for the unauthorized practice of law.
ay any document be notarized?
For a document to be notarized, it must contain: 1) text committing the signer in some way, 2) an original signature (not a photocopy) of the document signer, 3) a notarial “certificate” which may appear on the document itself or on an attachment. The Notary fills in the certificate, signs it, then applies his or her seal to complete the notarization.
ay a Notary notarize or prepare immigration papers?
s notarization required by law?
For many documents, yes. Certain affidavits, real estate deeds and other documents may not be legally binding unless they are properly notarized.
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ow does a Notary identify a signer?
Only a few immigration forms need to be notarized, such as the Affidavit of Support (I-134), but U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations state that no one may prepare or file another person’s immigration papers unless he or she is an attorney or a U.S. Justice Departmentapproved “accredited representative.” Non-attorneys can provide clerical, secretarial or translating assistance with INS forms, as long as no advice is given. However, courts have held that even the selection of which forms to complete can constitute the practice of law, since the filing of INS forms creates legal consequences having a substantial impact on the applicant.
Any wrongdoing or illegal activity should be reported to the police or appropriate state Notaryregulating office (in New York State, the Department of State) Or you may write the National Notary Association’s NOTARY- CONSUMER WATCH, a program to assist consumers in reporting improper practices by unscrupulous or uninformed Notaries. NOTARY-CONSUMER WATCH does not investigate crimes nor give legal advice; it is a public service program directing consumers victimized by a Notary’s actions to the appropriate agency.
here do I report illegal or improper acts by a Notary?
The National Notary Association
This brochure was developed as a public service by the National Notary Association, a nonprofit educational organization. Since 1957, the NNA has served the nation’s Notaries — today numbering nearly 4.3 million — as the authority for information on Notary laws, customs and practices. The Association is widely known for its role as the preeminent publisher of information for and about Notaries, as well as for the services and support it provides its member Notaries. For information about the National Notary Association and membership, please call or write the NNA.
NATIONAL NOTARY ASSOCIATION
Generally, the Notary will ask to see a current identification document that has a photograph, physical description and a signature. A driver’s license, military ID or passport will usually be acceptable.
ay a Notary refuse to serve people?
ow much does a notarization cost?
In New York State, fees are set at a maximum of $2 per signature notarization. Notaries may collect fees for travel expenses where appropriate.
Only if the Notary is uncertain of a signer’s identity, willingness or general competence, or has a good reason to suspect fraud. Notaries should not refuse to serve anyone because of race, religion, nationality, lifestyle, or because the person is not a client or customer. Discrimination on any basis is not a suitable policy for a public official.
oes notarization mean that a document is “true” or “legal”?
No. Notaries are not responsible for the
ow does a U.S. Notary differ from a
A U.S. Notary is not the same as a Latin
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© 1997 National Notary Association