What is a Notary?
A Notary is a person of integrity, appointed by the Secretary of State to verify the identity of document signers. A Notary also performs copy certifications and administers oaths and affirmations.
What is a Notary Signing Agent?
A notary signing agent is a notary public that notarizes mortgage documents for borrowers who purchase or refinance their current mortgage. Notary signing agents are impartial witnesses who identify the signer(s), verify that all documents are signed and dated, notarize the documents and return the executed loan package to the lender.
What is Notarization?
Notarization is a certificate filled out by the Notary, certifying certain facts about the signer and document. The Notary does not verify the accuracy or validity of the document.
Proper ID (What to Bring)
Proper identification is required for any notarial service that requires verification of the signature. Virginia recognizes the following types of identification as valid:
- Virginia Driver License or ID Card
- A United States passport
- Driver license or ID card by another state
- Mexican or Canadian driver license issued by an authorized agency
- US Military identification card (must include a signature)
- Foreign passport, if stamped by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Green Card, Permanent residence/Alien Card (only for documents related to USCIS–e.g., Affidavit of Support)
- Virginia State, County, or City ID card (with photo, serial no., signature, and issue or expiration date)
All IDs must be either current or issued within the last 5 years. The above-mentioned IDs are the only Virginia-approved ID cards.
If you are unable to provide one of these ID cards, you may be identified on the oath or affirmation of credible identifying witnesses who have their own approved ID card. Credible Identifying witnesses must have personal knowledge of your identity, believe it is not reasonable for you to obtain the approved ID, and be honest, aware, and impartial.
Which notary act is right for me?
Sometimes the notarial wording is not found on the document you need notarized; such as handwritten or private documents. When this happens, the signer should ask the receiving agency–what type of notarization they need. The signer may also seek advice from an attorney or choose the act themselves. (For signatures, choices include an “Acknowledgement”, which proves you signed the document or a “Jurat” the signer swears/affirms what they signed is true.)
What are the Official Acts of a Virginia Notary Public?
The code of Virginia specifies five basic notarial acts:
- Taking Acknowledgments
- Administering Oaths
- Certifying affidavits
- Certifying depositions
- Certifying “true copies” of documents*
* Virginia notaries are not authorized to certify copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates. Only the Division of Vital Records/Statistics may certify these documents. If you need a certified copy of this type of document, you must request it from the state in which the individual was born. As a fraud prevention measure, many states require that the request form is notarized – a Virginia notary can notarize your signature on this form. Virginia notaries are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies
Why would you need a mobile notary?
PRIVACY: Your documents are sensitive and require an environment of confidentiality. Retail stores and banks that offer notarization do not tend to have that environment available.
EXPERTISE: You have documents that may need a notary with specific experience or certification, such as loan signings or international documents.
ATMOSPHERE: “Counter help” generally works at an expeditious pace, due to other customers waiting for services–so there may be a feeling of being rushed. If you need additional support to get the notarization performed (such as credible witnesses or signature by mark) they may not offer that opportunity.
NON-BUSINESS HOURS: Most stores and banks are closed by 5:30 pm during the week, and have limited hours on weekends and holidays. Mobile notaries keep extended hours of service and can assist your evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays.
INABILITY TO TRAVEL: Perhaps you don’t have transportation, or are in the hospital and cannot travel to get a notarization–you need a commissioned notary to come to you, where you need the service provided.
If any of this sounds like your situation, then call Virginia Mobile Notary Services (VAMNS) and we will handle the rest.
PLEDGE OF ETHICAL PRACTICE
We are not attorneys and therefore, by law, we cannot explain or interpret the contents of any document for you, instruct you on how to complete a document, or direct you on the advisability of signing a particular document. By doing so, we would be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and could face legal penalties that include the possibility of incarceration. Any important questions about your document should be addressed to the issuing/receiving agency or an attorney.