A notary, or notary public, is an authorized public official responsible for performing legal formalities like certifying documents, verifying the execution of deeds or contracts, and witnessing signatures on important papers. Their primary role is to prevent fraud by confirming identities and ensuring willing participation in agreements or transactions, achieved through notarization, which includes their seal and signature on the document. Notaries may also administer oaths and take affidavits, depending on local regulations. Requirements to become a notary vary by location but often involve age, residency, and exam qualifications, with some jurisdictions requiring insurance bonds for added protection.


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