Most frequent questions and answers

A Notary Public is a state-appointed official who administers oaths or affirmations and serves as an impartial witness when important documents are signed. A Notary must positively identify each signer, and make sure the signer has entered into the agreement knowingly and willingly.

A Notary Signing Agent is a Notary Public who is specifically trained to facilitate mortgage closings.

The identification presented to a notary public must be current, issued by a state or federal government agency, contain a photo, physical description and signature of the signer. Most common used identification is a valid state issued ID or driver’s license.

It may surprise you, but it is actually the client who must make that decision. Because a Notary Public is considered a ministerial official (service) and not a judicial official (specifically educated and trained), it would fall into the category of ‘giving advice’ for the Notary Public to tell the client which type of notarization is needed. If you do not know, seek the advice of the person/entity who requires the notarization.

Common Types of Notarizations:

  • Acknowledgement – The signer personally appeared before the Notary, was identified by the Notary and acknowledged to the Notary the document was freely signed.
  • Jurat/Affidavit – The signer personally appeared before the Notary, was identified by the Notary and signed the document in the Notary’s presence, signing freely.

No. The accuracy of the document or legality is the signer’s responsibility. A Notary Public is the impartial witness that a signer has been positively identified and signed of free will the document presented. A Notary is not the impartial witness to the document.

Signature Services by MDH is not a licensed attorney in the State of Oregon, and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.  If you need assistance in deciding whether documents are appropriate for notarization, please contact a licensed attorney to determine applicability. Furthermore, you assume all responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided and must check the accuracy of information presented in documents or forms.