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  • Writer's pictureMitch Tandeske

What does a Notary Public do?

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

A notary public is an official who is commissioned and authorized by the government to witness and certify the signing of important legal documents, such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, contracts, deeds, government forms and affidavits. The main function of a notary is to prevent fraud by verifying the identity of the signers and ensuring that they are signing the document voluntarily and without coercion.

When a notary public witnesses a signature, they must first verify the document meets the requirements to be notarized and confirm the signer’s identity. They will expect the signer to provide a valid government issued photo identification, such as a passport or driver's license, to confirm their identity. Or, if the signer does not have a government issued photo identification they may also confirm identity using a credible witness with a government issued photo ID who can attest under oath the identity of the signer. Before observing the document signing the notary will record the notarial acts and obtain a sample signature in their journal. In most cases they personally witness the signer place their signature on the document in their presence and may administer an oath or affirmation to affirm that the signer understands the document and is signing it willingly.

Once the notary has witnessed and certified the signature, they will affix their official seal or stamp to the document, along with their signature and the date of notarization. This makes the document legally binding and admissible in court if necessary.

Notaries may also perform other services, such as certifying copies of documents and administering oaths and affirmations. In Oregon and Washington notaries often scheduled to act as an authorized agent of an employer to perform USCIS Form I-9 Verification. They may also act as a non-notarial Document Witness for sensitive legal documents such as Death with Dignity Act medication applications. The specific duties of a notary public may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of document being notarized.

Where do I find a Notary in Oregon and Washington?

Notary of Portland is a professional Mobile Notary firm. We are a team of Notaries Public commissioned in Oregon and Washington that bring notarization to you. Whether you are at home, at work, in a hospital or senior living facility - we travel to you! We primarily travel throughout the Portland metro area and SW Washington however our service is available statewide in Oregon and Washington.

Notary of Portland is available 24/7. We offer easy online scheduling of same day or future appointments on our website. We are licensed, bonded, insured, well-trained and experienced. Whether it’s a single page affidavit or a stack of estate planning documents or contracts with multiple signers in different locations – we are ready and able to assist. We offer document printing, scan and email service and will courier documents before and after signing to title companies, attorney firms or any other location in our service area. And, if additional witnesses are needed, we can provide them. Visit us online at or call/text 971-599-3080.


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