What does a notarized document look like?

PandaDoc Notary knowledge center

To ensure that your important documents can be considered legally valid, you often need to have them signed and notarized. When a document has been signed and notarized by a commissioned notary public, you can be sure that the document was signed and verified within full accordance with state law. But what does a notarized document look like, and how can you be sure that a signed document will be legally binding?

In this brief guide, we take a look at everything that you need to know about document notarization and how to get a document notarized. 

What is notarization? 

Notarization is a process in which a commissioned, third-party notary public witnesses a document signing to ensure that it has been carried out within accordance with local state notarization laws. 

This process involves having the document signers meet with a notary in order to provide their signatures. Once a notary has confirmed the signer’s identities and that the document is being signed of their own free-will, they will sign the document before the notary. 

At this time, the notary will apply their own signature and seal, thereby certifying the document  and immediately rendering it legally binding.

Notarization is usually required for official documents that will need to be enforced or carried out on some level. These types of documents can include financial, real estate, and legal documents. These can include everything from power of attorney forms, to contracts, deeds, affidavits, and living wills.

The authority to notarize documents is conferred by the state that a notary practices in, providing the notary public has met the minimum requirements to do so. Regardless of which state a document is notarized in, it can be considered legally valid in all 50 states.

What does it mean to have documents notarized?

Having documents notarized ensures that a document is both authentic and has been legally verified, according to the laws of the state in which it was notarized. Many institutions rely on the notarization to ensure faith in their documents, and those in which they enter into. 

In the past, having a document notarized meant having to travel to a business that offered walk-in notarization services, or to schedule an appointment with a mobile notary. While these types of notarization services (known as “wet ink” signatures) are still accepted and can be found, they are far from convenient. 

In recent years, Remote Online Notarization (RON) has become an increasingly popular alternative for those looking to find somewhere to notarize their important documents. RON allows document signers and state commissioned notaries to meet online, via a two-way audio-visual connection online.

This cuts out the time, fees, and hassle that many have come to associate with traditional notaries. Online notarization also offers the added peace of mind that comes with knowing your documents are secure and protected against fraud, thanks to complex security algorithms that guard your information. 

What does a notarized document look like?


Depending on the type of document that you need to have notarized, notarized documents can look like anything really. For the most part, any kind of document can be notarized as long as it is signed before an actively-commissioned notary public, and in accordance with all state notarization laws.

Similarly, documents can have their signatures and notarial seals applied in different locations depending on the nature of the document. Before a session ends, you will want to ensure that all signatures and stamps/ seals have been applied so that the document will be valid. 

Notarization format examples 

To give you a better idea of what a notarized document looks like, we have included some examples below. These are common types of documents that need notarization, and include the kind of wording you would encounter on such forms.

Please note that each state has it’s own notarization formatting requirements, and you should make sure you are familiar with these requirements in your state. All notarized documents must contain the notary public’s information and commission expiration date in some way. 

Verification on oath or affirmation

State of Kansas)

County of ______)

Signed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on __________(date) by

___________[name(s) of person(s) making statement].

(Seal) ____________________

Title (and Rank)

My appointment expires: _____________

Certification of a document photocopy (certified copies)

State of Kansas)

County of ______)

I certify that is a true and correct copy of a document in the possession of ____________.

Dated:______________.

(Seal) ____________________

Title (and Rank)

My appointment expires: _____________

Witnessing or attesting a signature

State of Kansas

County of _________

Signed or attested before me on ______________________ [date] by _____________________________ [name(s) of person(s)].

[Seal]

______________________

Title (and Rank)

My appointment expires: ______________________

Acknowledgments

State of Kansas)

County of ______)

This instrument was acknowledged before me on _______(date)

by________________name(s) of person(s)].

(Seal) ____________________

Title (and Rank)

My appointment expires: _____________

Individual acting in a representative capacity

State of Kansas

County of _________

This instrument was acknowledged before me on __________________ [date] by _____________________________ [name(s) of person(s)] as _________________ [type of authority, e.g., officer, trustee, etc.] of _____________________________ [name of party on behalf of whom instrument was executed].

[Seal]

______________________

Title (and Rank)

My appointment expires: ______________________

How to notarize documents online with PandaDoc Notary

Remote Online Notarization (RON) offers a more fast and secure option for notarizing documents over traditional notarization options. PandaDoc Notary provides a reliable and easy-to-use RON platform that is already loaded with features guaranteed to help you create, edit, eSign, and notarize documents all in one place per local state law. 

The affordable, all-in-one platform saves you time, effort, and money typically lost on excessive notary fees when it comes to notarizing your documents.

Not only can the PandaDoc Notary help save you time and money when you need to notarize your documents, it will also save you the trouble of having to plan and schedule time to meet with a notary face-to-face. 

To get a better idea of how easy it is to notarize documents with PandaDoc Notary, check out this brief step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Creating and preparing your document for RON

First, you must draft and prepare or upload your document to be signed within the PandaDoc Notary platform. You will need to check to make sure it shows up in the list of documents and that it has been assigned to the notary. 

PandaDoc Notary allows you to create and notarize state-approved documents online if you don’t already have a document drafted.

Once your document is ready to go in PandaDoc Notary, you can send an advanced copy to all signers so that they can review and request any necessary changes prior to the notarization.

PandaDoc Notary makes it fast and easy for you to apply any edits to your document before or during a live notarization session inside the platform.

Step 2: Invite your signers and verify their identities

When you are ready to begin your session, you will send an invitation to connect with your signers and notary via a secure, two-way audio-visual internet connection. All signers, as well as a notary, must be present for the signing at the same time to carry out the notarization.

After logging into the session, each signer will have their identity verified using a Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) system. This security feature matches a person’s proof of identity with private information from trusted, official sources such as financial institutions and government databases.


PandaDoc Notary then performs additional in-depth analysis of the signer’s ID and documents. These extra security layers help protect you and your document from fraud. 

Step 3: Complete the signing and notarization process

Once a document has been reviewed by all parties, the signers can apply their secure eSignature to the document before the online notary.

Finally, the notary can apply the eSignature and seal, completing the notarization within minutes. 

FAQ’s

Who can notarize a document?

In the United States, notarization services must be performed by a state-commissioned notary public. Notary publics are individuals who have been authorized to legally certify document signatures by the state in which they practice. 

Their main job is to serve as an objective, third-party witness to the signing of a document and to carry out the state-requires process to complete the notarial act. Once a document is notarized, it is considered legally valid. 

Though each state has its own requirements, all notaries must meet their state’s requirements to serve as a notary. In some states, this may include additional training or testing.

How much does it cost to get a document notarized?

Notarization fees may vary depending on the notary and jurisdiction you are in, though they are often less than $20. Mobile and traveling notaries typically charge additional fees for the service. 

Notarization fees for signed documents will vary depending on the state, with many states setting maximum amounts for notarization fees.

What is the validity of notarized documents? 

As long as a document has been notarized within full accordance of local state law by an actively commissioned notary public, it is considered fully legally valid. Notary seals do not expire, unless the terms of the notarized document expire. 

How to get documents notarized online? 

When you are in need of notarization services, Remote Online Notarization (RON) offers several advantages over traditional notarization services like walk-in and remote notaries. In addition to making notarization faster and easier than ever, online notarization cuts out the delays and fees that previously slow down the notarization process.

PandaDoc Notary offers you the convenience of RON while offering a secure platform to create, eSign, and notarize documents from the convenience of your home or office.
To learn more about how PandaDoc Notary can help you begin notarizing documents from wherever you are with ease, request a free demo today.

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