A notary public is allowed to notarize documents, according to the National Notary Association. Notaries are appointed by state governments. They oversee the signing of many official documents, including real estate records, prenuptial agreements and power of attorney agreements.
When documents are signed, notary publics are required to make several determinations. They must ensure the signers' identities, ascertain that people are not being forced to sign and establish that signers understand documents' contents, explains the NNA.
The requirements for becoming a notary public vary from state to state, NNA states. Typically, a notary public must be a state resident, at least 18 years old and without a criminal record. A small number of states require candidates for the position to complete formal training or pass exams.