A Notary Public is a person certified by the state government as an “official of integrity”, who can verify the proper execution of important legal documents by private citizens. They are commonly utilized in real estate transactions, power of attorney documents, articles of incorporation, or the sale of a vehicle to act as a witness or verify identity.
At Charles Boyk Law, all of our attorneys and many of our office staff are notaries, and they use those qualifications almost every day, notarizing signatures on contracts and Power of Attorney documents or verifying documents during the discovery process.
When client cases progress, documents are often sent over by an insurance company or opposing counsel that requires a notarized signature, which is essentially just a normal signature that is signed in the presence of a licensed notary—so why are they special?
Notaries, and notarized signatures, exist to provide an extra layer of security that the person signing the document is actually the person whose signature is needed. Generally, notarized signatures are needed for sworn statements, answers to legal discovery, releases, and other similar legal documents. These types of documents are important enough that both sides want to ensure that the signature is proper and from the correct person.
To become a notary in Ohio, a person must complete a multi-step process: 1) ensure that they meet the requirements set forth by the State of Ohio, 2) pass a background check, 3) take a three-hour Notary education course, and 4) pass the Notary exam. Once these steps are completed and the appropriate paperwork is sent to the Secretary of State, the Notary can purchase an embossed stamp and begin notarizing documents. A normal notary commission lasts five years before it has to be renewed. The renewal process also entails taking a refresher class and passing another background check.
Attorneys, however, already undergo a rigorous licensing process to become licensed lawyers, are automatically registered as notaries and their commission never expires.
Here at Charles Boyk Law, many of our staff members, as well as all of our attorneys, are notaries and can assist with any notary services that our clients may need. Generally, this means that our clients will not have to go elsewhere to get important legal documents notarized—reviewing the documents with your legal team and having them notarized all happens in our office. We offer this service free of charge. We can help you as well, no matter whether you need a document notarized for your case with our firm or for any other purpose, Charles Boyk Law is here to fulfill your notarization needs. Contact our office for more information.