or notary public

Public officer who certifies and attests to the authenticity of writings (e.g., deeds) and takes affidavits, depositions, and protests of negotiable instruments. The notary is commissioned by the state and may act only within the territory authorized by state statutes. Most states set maximum fees for notarial services and require that a notarial seal or stamp be impressed on documents authenticated by a notary public. In the civil-law countries of western Europe and in Latin American and French areas of North America, the role of the notary is more significant, being roughly equivalent to that of a lawyer who specializes in real estate, sales, mortgages, and the settlement of estates but who may not appear in court.

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Notary may refer to:

  • Notary public, a public official who notarizes legal documents and who can also administer and take oaths and affirmations, among other tasks
  • Civil law notary, a legal professional working in civil law (in the Netherlands appointed by the Crown)
  • Scrivener, a person who can read and write, performing secretarial and administrative duties
  • Scrivener (also) one of a group of notaries practicing in central London since 1373
  • Signing agent, also known as a Loan Signing Agent, a Notary Public who specializes in notarizing mortgage/real estate documents
  • Solicitor, a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, a few of whom practice as Notaries Public in addition to their main occupation

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