Responsibilities of a Notary

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A notary is a public servant who is legally authorized to serve as a witness when legal documents, such as mortgages, licenses, affidavits and powers of attorney, are signed. If you have ever needed a notary, you understand the demand for these individuals. However, you should also understand their responsibilities.

Responsibilities of a Notary


Do you need a witness for a legal document, such as a contract or car title? You may only search “Notarize Legal Documents Pittsburgh PA” when you need to sign documents and think the process will be quick, but these professionals are responsible for more than just witnessing your signature.

Notaries are also required to ensure that all the parties are who they say they are by their verifying identities. They also need to ensure that both parties understand the purpose of the document and its contents, including the consequences of a breach of contract. They make sure that both parties are signing willingly, not being coerced.

Document Copying

In some states, original documents can be copied if the copying is done in the presence of a notary. These notaries sign and stamp the copied documents to prove they are genuine photocopies of original documents. Therefore, these professionals are required to make sure the original documents are truly originals, not copies.

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However, notaries are not allowed to certify public records, such as birth, marriage or death certificates. Only county clerks or vital statistics offices have these documents, and they must be ordered from these departments.


Notaries also witness oaths and affirmations. Typically, these actions are required for affidavits, such as those used as evidence in court cases. Typically, the oath is sworn under penalty of perjury. An affirmation must be made before the notary fills out, signs and seals the notarial certificate.

Tool Security

Notaries have specific tools they use, including their seals, stamps and journals. The security of these tools is the sole responsibility of the notary, not a company the notary works for. Notaries must secure these tools at all times.

Notaries serve as witnesses to prevent fraud. If you need a witness for a legal contract, don’t hesitate to contact a reputable notary.

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