Q: What is a notary public?

Ans: A notary public notarizes any document in which an originator needs to ensure the integrity of the signer. A notary public verifies the identity of the signer, and that they are signing knowingly and willingly. This process helps deter the fraudulent execution of documents.

Q: How does a notary verify the identity of the signer?

Ans: A notary will ask a signer for a document such as a driver’s license or government-issued identification card that includes a photograph, signature and some information describing the person.

Q: Can a Notary Public prepare or assist in the preparation of any documents?

Ans: No, a notary public can only witness the signing of the documents, not assist or prepare any documents. To assist or prepare documents would be an unlawful practice of law. This keeps the notary’s position as an impartial witness to the signing.

Q: What is an Apostille?

Ans: An Apostille certifies: the authenticity of the signature of the public official who signed the document, the capacity in which that public official acted, and when appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears, e.g. a notary public seal.