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Resources > Glossary > Notarization

Glossary of Notary Public, Mortgage, Signing Agent, and Loan Signing Terms.

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Phonetics: no·ta·ri·za·tion    \'nō-tə-ri-zā-shən\

Function: verb

A notarization involves a notary public and at least one signer who must be present before the notary public. The signer must be identified to be eligible to be notarized. Signers generally are identified through identification documents such as a driver's license, state ID card, passport, or some other government issued photo-ID card with a physical description and signature. Many states allow a signer to be identified by credible identifying witnesses who know the signer and in some states must know the notary. A few states still allow a person to be notarized based on personal knowledge, meaning that the notary knows them. Personal knowledge these days is a very fuzzy term because there is no clear definition of how well you should know someone to claim that you have personal knowledge of them.

The signer must sign a document and have that signature notarized. For acknowledged signatures, the signature can happen before the signer sees the notary. All notary acts other than a Proof of execution require the signer to appear before the notary public.

Most states require the signer to sign the notary's journal, and the notary must indicate the date, time, type of document being notarized, type of notarization, and the name, address of the signer, and type of identification the signer had. Sometimes thumbprints are required too which prove the identity of the signer should anyone suspect the signer of forging a signature.

The last step of the notarization is for the notary to fill out the certificate wording, affix their notarial seal to the certificate form or certificate section of the document, and sign where necessary. Not all states require the notary to carry an official stamp, seal, or embosser.

There are various types of notarizations including: Acknowledgements, Affirmations, Copy Certifications, Deposition Certification, Jurats, Oaths, Protests (Marine Protests), and some states even have a procedure where a notary can audit a lock box opening.

Please visit our blog posts on notarization as well to learn more

To learn more please visit the link entitled, "Notarized" -- below.

Infinitive: to notarize

Present Tense: notarized

Past Tense: notarizes

Present Continuous: notarizing

Past Perfect: notarized

Definition 1:
The process of having a notary act performed.

Definition 2:
The act of having a signature notarized.

Thesaurus / Related Terms
Identification of Signer
Notarial Act