Why ask to have something notarized?
February 6, 2011 6:07 AM Subscribe
What is the purpose of having something notarized? Do notaries have any legal responsibility for the authenticity of the documents they sign?
posted by brynnwood to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm curious about the rationale for requiring that a document be notarized. It seems an anachronism in the age of credit reporting, etc. Recently I had to have a auto loan refi document notarized. Naturally (and this has been true of nearly every encounter I've ever had with a notary) the notary was uncomfortable affixing her stamp, since the document referred to facts not immediately verifiable, including my car's mileage. I invited her to step outside and examine the odometer, but it raised a question. Are notaries held liable for the accuracy of what they sign/stamp? If so, how in the world is $5 or some similarly negligible amount adequate compensation? What constitutes the training to be a notary? Is this a useful/meaningful service or requirement in 2011? In my experience, either the notary is wary of signing the documents in question or blithely unconcerned with the veracity of the document involved. The procedure seems either gratuitous either way.