Established in 1965, the American Society of Notaries is the first national nonprofit association for notaries public in the United States. We offer 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-year memberships, with benefits such as toll-free technical support; information, updates, best practices advice and tips; Notary Locator Listing (zip code look up), and more... Our members also get our best discounts on quality notary education courses for California, Florida, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas. ASN also offers the “All-States” Notary Education Course and the ASN Notary Signing Agent Training Course. Members receive discounts on our full line of notary supplies, including notary ink stamps, embossing seals, state-specific notary handbooks, our All-States Notary Recordbook (Notary Journal), and much more.
What is a Notary? A notary public is a public officer or a state officer (in most states), appointed and commissioned to perform certain functions or notarial acts. A notary acts as an impartial witness in the execution of documents, helping to deter fraud and promote the integrity of document transactions.
Notary Public Law Notaries perform their duties in strict accordance with the specific laws, administrative rules, or procedures of their commissioning state. While certain basic notarial duties and principles are common to all notaries, there are important differences in notary law from state to state. All notaries should therefore carefully read their applicable state laws, administrative code and information provided by their state Notary Administratorís Office.
Basic Notarial Duties A notaryís full list of authorized duties will vary depending on his/her commissioning state laws and rules, certain basic notarial duties are common to most all notaries. While ALL states allow their notaries to perform oaths/affirmations and acknowledgments, whether or not a notary may perform any other duty varies by state. Notaries are expected to know and honor what their state laws allow them to do.
Notary Education is Key Performing the duties of a notary public can be a much more complex undertaking than many notary applicants imagine. To properly prepare themselves, all notary applicants should take either an online notary education course, or one in a live classroom environment. Notary education is actually required in a number of states, with more and more states promoting it or requiring it for their own notaries. Even veteran notaries should occasionally brush up their skills by taking a notary education course as a refresher.
The Notary Stamp, Embossing Seal and Recordbook Nearly all notaries are required by their state laws to use an official seal of office when performing notarial acts. Notary seal requirements are set forth in state notary laws and administrative rules. The notary’s seal impression provides important commission information about the notary, such as name, commission number, commission expiration date, and state of commission. The most common seal style is the notary commission ink stamp. The embossing seal is also widely used. In addition, notaries in most states are required to record each notarial act in a notary recordbook (also called a notary journal) of notarial acts. It is a best practice for all notaries to use a recordbook (journal) even if not required by state law.