Documents are notarized to deter fraud and to ensure proper execution. It is the responsibility of the notary public to ensure that the signers have appeared before them and have produced proper identification. The Notary Public officiates at the signing and insures that the documents are signed correctly. The notary makes sure that the signers are entering into agreements knowingly and willingly.
For a document to be notarized, it must contain the following elements:
- Text committing the signer in some way
- An original signature of the signer, not a photocopy (if a signature is required).
- A notarial “certificate”, which may appear on the document itself or on an attachment.