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What Is a Notary and Why Does My Document Need One?

By Melissa Johnson| Published April 26, 2023

Notary Stamp

I am sure most of us have encountered the need for a Notary.  But have you ever wondered why, or what a notary does? In the world today you can never be too careful.  One protection that we have when it comes to important documents is to require a Notary to witness your signature. Notarizations are performed to protect against document fraud.

A Notary Public is someone who is appointed by the state government to serve the public as an impartial witness to the signing of important documents.  A Notary's duty is to screen signers for their true identity, their willingness to sign without pressure, and their knowledge and understanding of the document they are signing.    

What to expect when you take a document for notarization:

  • Notaries should have a log. Each time a notarization is performed the notary records how they identified the person and document that is being notarized.
  • The document signer must personally appear before the notary.
  • The notary must identify the signer with the proper forms of identification. Identification should provide a photograph, signature, and physical description of the bearer. A state ID or passport is acceptable.  
  • A person can also be personally known to the Notary, but this must be documented.

Notaries may charge a fee for their service.  But here at First Community Bank, we offer free notary services to our customers.  You can visit any of our 10 branches and a notary will be glad to assist you.

Melissa JohnsonMelissa Johnson | VP Loan Operation Manager
Melissa is a married, mom of 2 boys who loves being outdoors, camping, and fishing. She has worked in the banking world for 26 years always in lending and loves it.