What is a Notary and When Do I Need One?


A notary public is a person appointed by a state government, whose primary role is to serve the public as an impartial witness when important documents are signed.   Notaries help deter fraud and verify the authenticity of important documents.  The notary also makes sure that the signers are entering into agreements knowingly and willingly. When you see a notary’s seal on a document, it means a notary public verified that the transaction is authentic and properly executed.

But when do you need a notary?   Any time you have a document that could potentially need to be upheld in court, it is a good idea to have it notarized.  Some of the most common documents that should be notarized are the following:

Sworn Statement

Quitclaim Deed

Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title

Power of Attorney

Bill of Sale

Rental/Lease Agreements

Parental Consent for Travel

Medical release forms


Advanced directives


Custody and guardianship agreements

Articles of incorporation

Vendor contracts

Commercial leases

Employment contracts

Loan agreements

These are just a few of the documents a notary can sign.  If you need a document witnessed by a notary, make sure to bring a valid form of photo ID (driver’s license, State issued ID, Passport, etc.) and the unsigned documents.  In most cases, the notary will need to witness your signature.  Unsure whether you need a notary?  Call or email our office.