You may need to notarize a document to make the signatures on it lawfully authorized. In the US, while notarization does not necessarily mean that the notarized document is legally valid, it authorizes and verifies the signatures on it. Different than many other countries, notaries are individuals appointed by the state governments in the US federal system, not necessarily an authorized state official that is appointed by the state.
Authorizing a notary is up to the state governments which means, there are different requirements and processes throughout the US. In this context, in 32 states, anyone who pays a specific fee and fills out a form can become a notary, whereas, in the other 18 states, individuals go through some tests and screening. However, it is safe to claim that it is relatively easy to become a notary in the US. This is primarily because the notaries usually have little legal authority, yet the extent of their power may vary from state to state. Nevertheless, it is still essential to get some documents notarized in some cases. This is mainly because almost every process is double-checked and prone to questioning in the US. Let’s say that you have just signed a vital business agreement. Even though the signatures on the agreement document is binding, the authorization of the names on a paper can save you from fraud and ID theft. Therefore, it is smart to notarize any vital document you have for future considerations.
Just as becoming one, it is easy to find a notary. There are chances that you can find authorized notaries in banks, State/County offices, some of the law firms, some UPS/FedEx offices, travel agencies, realtor offices, insurance companies and etc. You do not have to be a client to any of these businesses to get your documents notarized; however, none of them will provide you anything without authorization.
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