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Laws vary based on the state and the purpose of the signature, but, in most cases, notaries public can witness any signatures except their own. When a notary public is not available, witnesses generally must be at least 18 years of age and of competent mind.


Signatures that are witnessed hold up to closer scrutiny by the judicial system. By using witnessed signatures, parties ensure their intent is effectively communicated. Some types of documents must be notarized; that is the signatures on them must be witnessed by a notary public, reports Wikipedia.


If a notary is asked to witness a signature, the notary simply observes an individual signing a specified document, according to the American Society of Notaries. Documents that can be witnessed by a notary do not require an oath or affirmation.


The witness is an objective and uninterested third party who is completely sound of mind and trusted by the party or parties in question. The Law Dictionary relates that the "ideal" witness has known all involved long enough to provide verification that each person is who he says he is.


A witness who has known everyone involved in a transaction long enough to verify he knows that each person is who she says she is and is an uninterested and objective party can witness a legal document, notes the Law Dictionary. The witness must be of sound mind.


A person can put a signature on a PDF document by signing a piece of paper and holding it up to a laptop’s webcam. Adobe Reader will capture that signature and convert it to a digital image, making it possible to attach the signature on PDF documents in the future.


Although the exact penalty for a crime varies based on the actual offense and the state where the crime occurs, forgery is punishable by prison time, probation, fines and restitution. If the act is considered a misdemeanor, the punishment is less severe than if the forgery is deemed a felony.


A strong indication that a signature on a document may be a forgery is the lack of flow in the signature. When people sign their own names, they tend to do so quickly and smoothly.


According to Investopedia, a signature loan is a personal loan that does not require collateral to secure, typically issued by a bank or other financial institution. The loan is issued based on the customer's signature on the loan papers and his word that the loan is to be repaid. Because the loan i


According to The Law Dictionary, the p.p. signature occurs at the end of a letter and designates that someone is signing a letter on behalf of another person. The p.p. has Latin roots and stands for per procurationem.