The Notary’s Role dates back to the early Roman Empire as merchants and shippers ventured to foreign lands to conduct various commerce activities.

Notaries play an important role in verifying identities and validating agreements and certain actions. Notaries discourage attempted fraud and identity theft by preserving the authenticity of witnessing and documentation signing.

What is a notarial act? As defined by North Carolina statues, a notarial act is any act that a notary public of North Carolina is authorized to perform, including:

  • Taking an acknowledgement
  • Administering an oath or affirmation
  • Taking a verification upon oath or affirmation
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature

If a notary notarizes a document, may he or she act as a witness? No.

Can a notary perform a marriage ceremony? Not in North Carolina, but we have an ordained minister on staff that can perform marriage ceremonies.

What is the procedure for notarizing the signature of a person who cannot write but who signs with a mark? A mark can be considered a signature in North Carolina, and the procedure is the same for any other personal appearance associated with a notarial act. The notary would include the following language under the signer’s mark: “Mark affixed by (name of signer) in presence of undersigned notary.

How would an international document be authenticated in North Carolina? International Law may require an “apostille” to authenticate international documents; this can only be done by submitting notarizing documents to North Carolina’s Secretary of State. Once the Secretary of State authenticates the document, a certificate of authentication will be issued and it may be appended to the document. If documents are in another language besides English, a version of the document must be translated to English.

 

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