A notary public is appointed by a state government as a public officer. The most important duty of a notary is to witness and verify the authenticity of a signature which helps in preventing any fraud. Along with verifying a signature, notary public service provider also makes sure that all the parties who signed the documents did so willingly and not under anyone's pressure or influence. They ensure that the documents are executed by appropriate people. Institutions to have full faith in important documents rely upon notaries.
Once the notary witnesses the signature, the notary provides their own details, such as their signature, seal, and notary commission details. These materials are required to provide as it serve as a means of verifying the transaction on which others can rely upon with full trust. When you see a document having a notary's it indicates that a trusted notary represents that the document's validity is verified and is authentic and properly executed.
However, beyond being a commissioned representative of a state government for verifying the identity of person signing the documents, notaries also perform the following duties:
Administering OathsAn oath is a pledge on a person's honour which states that whatever information he/she has provided is true. It ensures that he can be held liable for providing false information. The notary act as commissioner for oath by administering that the person taking the oath is providing true information. The law states that if a person taking the oath provides false information, he/she will be held guilty.
A Notary Public can either act as a Commissioner of Oath or can endorse documents to be used outside of the Province.
Depositions and AffidavitsSometimes it may happen that the witness is unable to remain physically present in the courtroom for live testimony. In such a case, depositions and affidavits which are the written testimony by a witness under oath are considered legal to use in lieu of live testimony.
But to take depositions and affidavits, technical skill is required. This gave rise to the requirement of stenography equipment. This task can be performed only by specialized notaries. A notary public service provider holds accountability and will be held liable for negligence or fraud in the performance of any of the above mention duties of the office.
Jason is a law student. He currently writes topic related to divorce lawyer in Singapore and other legal issues legal advice.