How to Become a Notary
Are you looking for an interesting career where you can work as much or as little as you want? Often, working as a Notary is managed as a side job you can work at your own hours. In most countries, it is not something you would do full-time, but there are exceptions. For example, in some countries, it is quite involved to be qualified as a Notary Public and the education is a bit advanced within the legal field whereas in the United States each state has its own criteria but the education is usually as simple as an online course, after which you take a state test.
A Brief Look at the Duties of a Notary
As for the duties of a Notary, they are fairly standard wherever you work but are always based on the laws of the land. In any of the common law countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, the primary function of a Notary is to witness signatures, and most often for the sale and purchase of real estate. For example, if you are looking to buy or sell a home abroad and need notarized signatures, you could conduct a quick search for a Notary online. You can often find Notaries on comparison sites where you would be able to choose from a list of Notaries that have the services you require, many of which can be availed online as well. To get an idea of how to find a Notary service, choose here from a top10 comparison site.
In some countries, Notaries have studied several areas of the law and can offer a bit of advice within the scope of what they’ve studied, but in the United States, they are simply that, a Notary who can do nothing more than stamp their seal as an official witness.
What Do Notaries Do?
Notaries can do a lot of different things. As well as acting as witnesses for legal documents, they can also prepare the paperwork for overseas weddings and consent forms so minors can travel abroad. In addition, they often assist in the administration of estates following the death of someone who lives overseas.
Let’s look now at how to become a Notary.
How to Become a Notary in the United States
In the United States, it is very easy to become a Notary Public, but the duties are also so much less intensive compared to other countries. There, a Notary simply notarizes (witnesses) signatures, for the most part, stamping a specific date to the signatures of all involved. This is required to authenticate/prove that the transaction was legal, and it was witnessed by one or more people, one of whom is the Notary.
Each state also defines what exactly a Notary can do and the requirements for becoming a Notary who can legally perform services within that state is also defined by the state. Some states require a bit of coursework, which can be taken in land-based facilities, and Notary classes that can be taken online. Some states have little to no educational requirements, but you will find that in all states an applicant must pass a background check, pay the pertinent fees, and then get sworn in by the state’s named official. For those states that require a brief but essential bit of academics, those classes can usually be taken online.
The path to becoming a notary varies in other countries, so let’s take a look at the UK as an example.
How to Become a Notary in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, all solicitors by nature of their profession are Notaries. In fact, there are very few Notaries that are not solicitors, and the educational requirements are quite extensive. Their training is both academic and professional. However, you can become a Notary without having first been a lawyer.
In the UK, the duties of a Notary would include:
- The administration of oaths.
- Taking statutory declarations and/or affidavits.
- Taking acknowledgments of a range of conveyances and/or deeds.
- Providing foreign drafts notices.
- Drawing up legal documents and powers of attorney.
That is just a few of the things a Notary can do in the UK and interestingly, the duties of a Notary are listed in what a solicitor would do but also what a solicitor would do quite specifically when acting as a Notary.
As you can see, the path to becoming a non-lawyer Notary is quite involved and something to be sought after if you are looking for a career with a future aside from or as part of a career in the legal arena.
Whether you choose to become a Notary as a side job or want to be able to offer notarization services for your employer, it’s an interesting ‘career’ to choose and one that will keep you busy.