Duties of a Notary Public
Notaries are authorized by law to perform six basic duties:
- Administer oaths or affirmations.
- Take acknowledgments.
- Attest to photocopies of certain documents.
- Solemnize marriage.
- Verify vehicle identification numbers. (VINs)
- Certify the contents of a safe-deposit box.
A notary public may be asked to certify that a document is an accurate copy of an original document, or that a statement is true. The notary public must make sure that the copy is exactly the same as the original. To do this, you must provide both the original and copy in front of the notary for inspection. The following documents can be photocopied from the original (if not officially filed or recorded) and attested to by a notary, because certified copies cannot be obtained from another public official:
- Florida driver’s license
- Florida vehicle title
- Social Security card
- Medical record
- U.S. passport
- Bill of sale
- Resident alien card
One of the most often asked questions concerning attested photocopies are whether a particular document is a public record. Notaries must make a determination about this question before attesting to the trueness of any photocopy. 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
The maximum fee a notary may charge for making an attested photocopy is $10.
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