from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A notary public.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A lawyer of noncontentious private civil law who drafts, takes, and records legal instruments for private parties, and provides legal advice, but does not appear in court on clients' behalf.
- n. A notary public, a legal practitioner who prepares, attests to, and certifies documents, witnesses affidavits, and administers oaths.
- n. A lay notary public, who serves as an impartial witness to the signing of important documents, but who is not authorised to practise law.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One who records in shorthand what is said or done.
- n. A public officer who attests or certifies deeds and other writings, or copies of them, usually under his official seal, to make them authentic, especially in foreign countries. His duties chiefly relate to instruments used in commercial transactions, such as protests of negotiable paper, ship's papers in cases of loss, damage, etc. He is generally called a notary public.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Corrupt forms of notory.
- n. In the earlier history of writing, a person whose vocation it was to make notes or memoranda of acts of others who wished to preserve evidence of them, and to reduce to writing deeds and contracts.
- n. A public officer authorized by law to perform similar functions, and to authenticate the execution of deeds and contracts, and the accuracy of copies of documents, and to take affidavits and administer oaths.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. someone legally empowered to witness signatures and certify a document's validity and to take depositions
Finally, there is the class of persons to whom the term notary is restricted in common parlance, to wit, those who are appointed by the proper authorities to witness the documentary proceedings between private persons and to impress them with legal authenticity.
Let me give you my comments based on my experience but I think your idea of talking with a notary is a great one; they are the highest legal authorities in these matter.
VI, 16, "De primicerio et notariis"), whence they passed into all the royal chanceries, though in the course of time the term notary ceased to be used.
A notary is supposed to be a person of reputation who is a witness that verifies that something was done in their presence.
A notary seal only states that the notary is satisfied that the person requesting the notary seal has identified them self to the notaries 'satisfaction.
Where things may become difficult is when the transaction requires an in-state notary (in some states this will happen with land transactions) or a notary from the US consulate.
All a notary is doing is attesting to the fact that based on satisfactory evidence or personal knowledge, the signature on the paper was indeed made by the person whose name appears.
The notarized document goes to the Secretary of State, who says that the notary is really a notary, in a document called the Apostille.
These notaries signatures can be apostilled by the Secretary of State of the state in which the notary is licensed, if necessary. lmaxine
The Secretary of State authorizes the notary on the document and that the notary is kosher.