Here are some of the things a notary public can do in Florida:
- All notary services performed only within the Florida State
- Construction Documents
- Permit Applications
- Sub-Contractor Permit Applications
- Notice of Commencements
- Administer oaths
- A notary can be one of the witnesses on a document as long as their signature does not need to be notarized since he or she cannot notarize his or her own signature.
- Wills, Living Wills, Trusts
- Notarize Mortgage Documents
- Take acknowledgments
- Attest to photocopies *(see below for which documents a notary cannot attest)
- Verify a VIN on a vehicle
- Certify the contents of a safety box
- Read the content of the document and ask if the person understood and agrees with it
- Notarize the signature in foreign documents
- And more….
Those are basic things a notary public can do. Remember that notaries notarize signatures, not documents.
What does a Notary NOT do:
Acts A Notary is Prohibited from doing:
- Cannot translate the title Notary Public into any other language
- Cannot offer legal advice, explain, write or modify terms on a document, etc.
- Cannot notarize blank or incomplete documents (You wouldn’t sign a blank check, right? Same principle!)
- Cannot notarize translations, but the signature of the translator. A person bringing a document in another language to be notarized must contact the translator to be present to take an oath and sign an affidavit stating he or she has translated accurately the document since his or her signature is the one that has to be notarized, not of the owner of the document.
- Cannot notarize the signature of someone who is not present, in person
- Cannot certify or notarize or provide copies: the following documents are examples of public records, copies of which cannot be attested to by a notary: Birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, documents filed in a court proceeding, documents recorded by the Clerk of the Court, public records maintained in government offices, student records (transcripts, etc.) kept in public education offices, federal or state income tax forms, already filed, professional licenses issued by the State of Florida, any document for which photocopying is prohibited, etc. This is not a complete list of public records. If the document is issued by a government entity, the notary should contact that entity to determine whether a certified copy is available. If one is available, then the notary public must decline to make an attested photocopy. Additionally, the notary should ask the person if the document has been filed in a court proceeding or in the official records at the courthouse (http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/notary/ref_manual11-22.pdf).
- Cannot notarize photographs or certify the authenticity of objects, memorabilia, etc.
- Cannot notarize his or her own signature or of immediate family members: spouse, son, daughter, mother, or father.