Notary Public – State of Florida
We gladly offer FREE notarizations for all of our clients in relation to a current real estate transaction
For all other notarizations the fee charged per document is $5.00
What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a state public officer appointed and commissioned by the Governor whose function is to: administer oaths, take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments, attest to or certify photocopies of certain documents, and perform other duties specified by law.
Notaries Public in Florida have the authority to take acknowledgments, administer oaths, solemnize marriage, certify the contents of a safe-deposit box, certify the Vehicle Identification Number of a motor vehicle, and certify copies of non-recordable documents.
- Acknowledgments are usually taken in correlation with a real estate transaction, but are often used in cases where a mere "identity verification" is needed to ensure that the document is being executed by an authorized party.
- Oaths are administered orally in depositions and court hearings in which a party is being sworn in over the telephone instead of being personally present before a judge. In this respect, notaries administer oaths in the same way as a judge. Many court reporters are also notaries, as this allows one person to both swear the party in for a deposition and to transcribe the deposition. Oaths are also administered in the form of affidavits and other sworn statements on paper.
- Marriages may be legally solemnized by a notary public between parties who present the notary with a valid marriage license. The law has no requirements for the form of a marriage ceremony; therefore many notaries perform both civil and religious marriage ceremonies.
- The contents of a safe-deposit box are certified by a notary public in cases where the owner has died or otherwise abandoned the safe-deposit box. In this case, the notary must be present while a bank official and other witness open the box. The notary then certifies the contents of the box and makes a certificate thereof for presentation to the court or to the personal representative of the Decedent's estate.
- Notaries are authorized by Florida law to verify the Vehicle Identification Number of a motor vehicle and certify this fact to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles when that vehicle has not previously been registered with the state.
- Notaries have the authority to make certified photocopies in cases where certified copies of a document cannot be obtained from another public official. Therefore, notaries cannot certify birth certificates, copies of court judgments, or public records maintained in government offices. They can, however, certify copies of passports, driver licenses, and any other document which is not eligible for public recordation.
Does notarization mean that a document is "true" or "legal"?
No. Notaries are not responsible for the accuracy or legality of documents they notarize. Notaries certify the identity of signers. The signers are responsible for the content of the documents.
Does the person whose signature is being notarized must be present at the time of notarization?
Yes. The most basic requirement for performing a notarization is that the person who is taking an oath or making an acknowledgement (the one whose signature is being notarized) MUST be physically present at the time of the notarization. There is no exception to the presence requirement!
What are common acceptable forms of identifications?
- A Florida identification card or driver’s license issued by the public agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses.
- A passport issued by the Department of State of the United States
- A passport issued by a foreign government if the document is stamped by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service
- A driver’s license or an identification card issued by a public agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses in a state other than Florida, a territory of the United States, or Canada or Mexico
- An identification card issued by any branch of the armed forces of the United States.
- An identification card issued by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service