NOTARY or notary public, is an agent for the state who witnesses notarial writing and signatures. Notaries are appointed by the office of the Secretary of State and must take an oath and sign a written acknowledgement called a jurat under seal. To be an Atlanta notary public, one must be an honest, moral, and responsible member of our society.
OUR SERVICES The most common service a notary public renders is notarizing a document by taking an acknowledgement. An acknowledgement is a person’s sworn statement that he or she signed a paper by his or her own free will. To do this, a notary must verify the signer’s identity, apply his or her seal to the document, and then sign it. We use either notary INK STAMPS or embossing seals.
Notarization is required for some legal documents, such as real estate deeds, certain affidavits, and others that are not binding without notarization. Notarization is done to deter fraud. Having a notary serve as an impartial third-party witness ensures that the signers of a document are who they claim to be and that they signed the document under their own free will.
GETTING YOUR DOCUMENTS NOTARIZED:
First, please contact us to set up an appointment. You can arrange to come into our office, or request our Mobile Notary service. Georgia law requires that signer appear before the notary at the time of the acknowledgement, in order to swear that he or she freely signed for the purposes stated in the document under his or her own will.
At the time of acknowledgement, please have with you an ID for IDENTITY VERIFICATION. Acceptable documents must be current and contain a photo, physical description, and signature. A few examples include:
- Driver’s licenses
- State ID cards
- Military IDs
If a signer does not have a photo ID, then he or she will need two people present who will swear to his or her identity in order to be certified. The oaths of the certifying witnesses is satisfactory evidence for certification.
We also ask that you do not sign the document prior to our meeting, or that it be resigned if already signed. Some services, such as jurats, require the document actually be signed in the notary’s presence (a jurat requires the wording “subscribed and sworn to” on the document just above where the Notary Public signs his or her name). People who cannot sign their name due to illiteracy or disability can use a mark as a signature as long as a notary and two other impartial witnesses are present.
Undated documents can be notarized. If the document has a space for a date, it should either be filled in or marked through. If the document does not have a space for a date, the signer may date it next to his or her signature or mark. Georgia law very clearly states that “back dating,” or writing a date prior to the date the document is actually signed, is illegal.
Notaries in Georgia cannot certify a copy of a passport or driver’s license.
We cannot provide notarization via fax, because the signer is always required to appear personally before the notary.
We also must decline to pre/post date document that needs to be notarized. The document date is the effective date of the document and is of no concern to the notary. The notarization date is the actual date the signer appears before the notary and must be accurately reflected on the document.
A notary public cannot draft legal documents or give legal advice unless he or she is also an attorney as well.
Georgia notaries have the right to refuse service when they suspect fraud or are uncertain of a signer’s identity, willingness, or competence. However, notaries should never refuse service on the basis of race, religion, nationality, lifestyle, or because the signer is not a client.