What is a Notary Public, & what do they do?
A Notary Public is an official appointed by the Secretary of State for the purposes of preventing fraud by verifying the identity of the document signer, and confirming that they willingly signed the document without coercion. Notaries are publicly commissioned as “ministerial” officials, meaning that they are expected to follow written rules without the exercise of significant personal discretion, as would otherwise be the case with a “judicial” official.
Some notarizations require the Notary to put the signer under an oath, & declare under penalty of perjury that the information contained in a document is true and correct. Property deeds, wills and powers of attorney are examples of documents that commonly require a Notary.