A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by the state government - typically by the Secretary of State - to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts.
Notaries are publicly commissioned as "ministerial" officials, meaning that they are expected to follow written rules without the exercise of significant personal discretion, as would otherwise be the case with a "judicial" official.
What does a Notary Public do?
A Notary Public's duty is to screen the signers of important documents for their true identity, their willingness to sign without duress or intimidation, and their awareness of the contents of the document or transaction. Some notarizations also require the Notary Public to put the signer under an oath, declaring under penalty of perjury that the information contained in a document is true and correct.
Impartiality is the foundation of the Notary Pubic's trust. They are duty-bound not to act in situations where they have a personal interest. The public trusts that the Notary Public's screening tasks have not been corrupted by self-interest. And impartiality dictates that a Notary Public never refuse to serve a person due to race, nationality, religion, politics, sexual orientation, or status as a non-customer.
As a Notary Public, I am committed to certifying the proper executive of important documents of St. Louis County/City residents and businesses in a professional and confidential manner.
Check out the National Notary Association for more information.