It is not uncommon for people who need official certification of their documents to assume that “attestation” and “notarization” are the same thing. If you need to submit official documents to an organization and you are trying hard to understand the real differences between notarization and attestation, you should read this post through to the end. It will help you to understand what each one is and what purpose it serves.
What is Notarization?
Notarization, which is also referred to as a notarial act, is the process of providing an official proof that the owner of the document has attested that the document is authentic and can be trusted. It is a three part process that includes vetting the document, certifying it, and keeping a record of the notarial act. The main purpose of notarization is to detect and reduce fraud, and the process can only be carried out by a Notary Public.
The requirements for becoming a notary public differ from one state to another. But it almost always involves submitting an application, paying the required fees, taking the Notary Public oath, and then being sworn in by the Secretary of State. In a few states, you will be required to take a test and pass if you want to become a Notary Public.
What is Attestation?
An attestation is a formal declaration by a witness that an act was performed in his or her presence in accordance with legal guidelines. In other words, as far as certifying a document is concerned, it is an act of validating that a signature was signed in your presence. Generally, attestation can be performed by any witness or person who is above 18 and who does not own the document that is been certified.
Differences Between Notarization and Attestation
There are certain key differences between notarization and attestation. First, a notarization can only be performed by a public notary while an attestation may be done by anyone who can serve as a witness. Also, when a notarial act is in process, the Notary Public will need to put his or her stamp or seal on the document. But someone who is acting as a witness, attesting to the content or signature on a document does not have to put their seal or stamp on the document.
You also need to note that not all states require their public notaries to seal or stamp notarized documents. If a state needs it and the notary public does not apply it, the notarization will be invalid. For this reason, all public notaries need to comply with their state’s protocol in detail and make sure they notarize documents properly. In some cases, a Notary Public may decide to act as a witness and attest a document. When this happens, he or she must not notarize their signature.
Finally, bear in mind that notarization does not authenticate the document but the signature of the person who owns the document. Notary Publics are allowed to notarize the signatures of witnesses who can attest to the authenticity of a document. They can also serve as witnesses when they are not going to perform any notarial act on the document.
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