Know Before You Go

January 9th, 2013

January 9, 2013

It’s 7 a.m. You’ve just rolled out of bed—bleary-eyed and hair askew. You’re being attacked by a pack of screaming, demanding creatures that strangely resemble your normally angelic children.

Ignoring their demands for cookies and ice-cream, you are enveloped by a rising sense of panic that you will, undoubtedly, be late for work, when, suddenly, you remember something.

Gasp! Your spouse is leaving tomorrow for a trip to Nicaragua and he’s taking the kids. The two of you were planning to visit a notary public to have a consent-to-travel letter notarized, but—oops—you forgot!

Whatever will you do?

Is it too late? Will your husband’s trip have to be cancelled?

Not if you are prepared.

Your kids will be fed a warm, nourishing bowl of porridge, and they will love it; you will arrive at work with five minutes to spare; and you will get your consent-to-travel document properly signed and notarized in time for your spouse’s trip.

So take a deep breath and follow the instructions below.

Tips for Visiting a Notary Public

When visiting a notary public or commissioner of oaths, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that the notary or commissioner is able to serve you fully and effectively.

Whether you require a notarized document or a commissioned statutory declaration, here are some things you should know:

1. Carefully examine the document you wish to have notarized or commissioned, and follow the instructions.

2. Does your document require a witness as well as a notary public? If so, arrange to have someone come with you to serve as a witness. (Sometimes you may even need two)

3. Who needs to sign the document? If your signature is required, be sure you attend in person at the notary’s office, (no – your assistant can’t do this one for you). If more than one person needs to sign your document, everyone must appear before the notary. The notary or commissioner can only witness the signatures of people who are actually there.

4. Do not sign your document in advance. The notary or commissioner will need to witness your signature in person.

5. Everyone signing the document (including your witnesses, if applicable) must bring proper identification. One piece of non-expired, government-issued photo ID will be required, such as a driver’s license or passport. A secondary piece of ID is also great to have, like your birth certificate.

6. Please note that notaries public and commissioners of oaths do not provide legal advice. If you require legal advice, please seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer or paralegal.

By keeping these tips in mind, your experience with a notary public or commissioner of oaths will be a pleasant one, and you will help us to serve you better.

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