Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a notary do?

A Notary’s duty is to screen the signers of important documents for their true identity, their willingness to sign without duress or intimidation, and their awareness of the contents of the document or transaction. Some notarizations also require the Notary to put the signer under an oath, declaring under penalty of perjury that the information contained in a document is true and correct. Property deeds, wills, and powers of attorney are examples of documents that commonly require a Notary.

Impartiality is the foundation of the Notary’s public trust. They are duty-bound not to act in situations where they have a personal interest. The public trusts that the Notary’s screening tasks have not been corrupted by self-interest and impartiality mandates that a Notary never refuse to serve a person due to race, nationality, religion, politics, sexual orientation, or status as a non-customer.

As official representatives of the state, Notaries Public certify the proper execution of many of the life-changing documents of private citizens—whether those diverse transactions convey real estate, grant powers of attorney, establish a prenuptial agreement, or perform any of the multitude of other activities that enable our civil society to function.

Why are notaries important?

Through the process of notarization, notaries deter fraud and establish that the signer knows what document they’re signing and that they’re a willing participant in the transaction.

How does a notary identify a signer?

Generally, a Notary will ask to see a current ID that has a photo, physical description, and signature. Acceptable IDs usually include a driver’s license or passport.

Can a notary certify a copy of my Passport, Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, or Marriage License?

Florida Notaries may not certify copies of vital records or public records if a copy can be made by the custodian of the public record.

Do identical twins have the same fingerprints?

No. Studies have concluded that, even though the fingerprints of identical twins may be very similar, they are not identical.

Can a person have no fingerprints?

Yes. Even though almost every person is born with fingerprints, some people with a rare disease known as adermatoglyphia do not have fingerprints from birth.

What is the advantage of electronic fingerprinting over traditional ink rolling?

LiveScan is a digital fingerprinting process that replaces traditional ink fingerprinting in states where it’s available. An applicant’s fingerprints are securely transmitted to a government agency, which performs a criminal history background check using an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

LiveScan electronically takes your fingerprints and other information, then uploads that information to the FDLE (Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement) who in turn sends them to the FBI for a fingerprint background check.

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