Notary Public  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotAs long as industries like banking and real estate are strong, they'll need notaries to handle important documents.

dotNotaries ensure that both parties enter into a contract willingly, and that both parties are who they say they are. If they can't verify the identity of both parties, they won't notarize the document. Some important documents that are typically notarized are wills, real estate deeds and affidavits.

"In three states [Florida, Maine and South Carolina], notaries may solemnize marriages. Many states allow them to certify copies of certain documents, excluding vital records such as marriage, birth and death certificates. Louisiana notaries are civil law notaries with attorney-like powers to draft documents," explains Carol Eisman, public affairs coordinator for the Association of Notaries Public.

dotNotaries can be employed by banks, private companies, title offices -- anywhere important legal documents are signed. Those employed by a company usually have other duties as well, and are often paralegals, secretaries or managers. Self-employed notaries can offer on-the-spot services.

"For those seeking to be traveling notaries, the ability to travel freely and move without restriction is vital. Most of the world is still not very wheelchair-friendly or accommodating to those with limited mobility," advises Thomas Murotake, a self-employed notary.

At a Glance

Witness wills, real estate deeds and affidavits

  • You could work for banks, private companies or title offices
  • Dispute resolution has made this a competitive market
  • Educational requirements vary from state to state