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Resources > Glossary > Witness

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

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Common Terms 1   Common Terms 2


Phonetics: wit·ness    \'wit-nəs\

Function: noun

Definition 1:
A person who watches an action take place. In the notary profession there can be witnesses who watch someone sign a document. There can be credible witnesses who identify a signer.

Definition 2:
Another type of witness is a subscribing witness who can either assist someone complete a signature by X, or who can swear before a notary that another individual signed a document.

Definition 3:
An executing witness is another name for a subscribing witness who takes part in a "Proof of Execution" notarization where they swear under oath that a particular individual signed a document, and that they witnessed the signing of that said document.

Definition 4:
Some states consider being a witness to be one of their official notary acts. A notary can act as a witness or attest to signatures (which is the same thing). Delaware allows notaries to witness and attest as one of their official notary acts, and they can charge for both of these acts.

Definition 5:
Some states allow notaries to "witness" or supervise the photocopying of documents. This is to prevent or deter fraud. Some states even allow the notary to make photocopies as one of their official notary acts.

Thesaurus / Related Terms
Credible Witness
Subscribing Witness
Executing Witness
Interesting Notary Acts