Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

Review of American Notary System - New Developments, Challenges and Its Coping Strategy

Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

Review of American Notary System - New Developments, Challenges and Its Coping Strategy

Article excerpt


Back in 2010, President Barrack Obama vetoed a bill - Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act (know as H. R.3808) - that requires courts and other entities to recognize licensed notaries. The notaries, from all states, create a lot of attention towards a topic rarely discussed in the public domain. Despite the fact that most individuals view the notarization process as a formality, it has significance on the states governance. State government officials in charge of overseeing the notary commission realize the gravity and significance of this function. Notaries have a variety of mies in various governments. They establish the bonafide of signatures for protecting transactions from forgery and fraud cases. The presence of a notary's signature bolsters a document's authenticity. The notary system, however, faces a variety of challenges in meeting its obligations. Issues rise in the coordination of transaction security and contract freedom, transaction security and efficiency, and the incorporation of information and communications technology (ICT) and internet into the notary system. The research paper explores the problems in high detail. It focuses on the state of the notary system, previous research, challenges, effects and means of improving the efficiency of the system, through adjustments.

Keywords: veto, entities, notary, bonafide, authenticity, notary law

I. Introduction

A notary's responsibilities are equivalent to those of a lawyer; to some extent. A notary is a legally-trained individual; he/she receives a license, from the state, to carry out a variety of legal duties. There are slight variations in a notary's responsibilities; this depends on the legal provisions of the state where he/she works. According to the Colorado Secretary of State (2012), a notary is an authenticator, verifier, and person of integrity; he/she receives appointment and commissioning to seal documents. He/she is a public servant, impartial agent for the state, and public recorder of acts. In other words, a notary can be considered an official, unbiased and disinterested witness in the signing of documents.

What then is the notarization process? This is the use of a government-approved individual in witnessing another individual's signature, and attesting to it; this occurs through the provision of a signature and seal on the signed document (Greenwood, 2013).

2. General Rules of American Notary System

2.1 Principal Functions of the American Notary

Citizens in civil law jurisdictions, worldwide, require notarial services to execute agreements. This has gone on for centuries (New Orleans Notarial Archives, 2011). Notary law allows individuals to enter into contracts. The contracts serve a variety of purposes such as; land purchase, money borrowing, collateral pledges, will preparation, marriages, partnership formation, execution of building contracts and child adoption. The law provides a reliable and clear framework for the conduction of legal businesses. It outlines a process for the individual to carry out legal transactions. Through its efficiency, it ensures protection of the sanctity of contracts and societal stability.

A notary has a variety of functions. According to the law, he has the authorization to perform six significant duties. These include: taking acknowledgments, administering affirmations and oaths, solemnizing marriages, attesting to photocopies of various documents, certification of the contents of a safe-deposit box, and verification of vehicle identification numbers (Florida Government, 2013).

2.1.1 Oaths and Acknowledgments

A notary's work does not just involve the witnessing of a signature and identity verification. During the notarization of a signature, there are two principal official actions involved; taking an acknowledgement from the document signer and administering an oath. During the acknowledgement, the individual must be physically present, and declare that he/she is signing the document voluntarily. …

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