31
Aug

Notary services

Like the majority of notaries public, I am not an attorney and can not give legal advice. If you are in any way unsure about the documents you want to have notarized, consult an attorney or other qualified professional.

2018 Update

In 2018 the Vermont legislature passed Act 160 (PDF). The information below describes the existing laws, which will continue in effect until July 1, 2019.

Notarizations are in person

A few other states allow their notaries public to perform notarizations while chatting with the signer using an audio-video link, like a web-cam. This is not allowed in Vermont; the signer and the notary pubic must meet in person.

Perhaps you are wondering if a person in Vermont could communicate with a Virginia notary public via web-cam, and have a notarization done. I don't know. But keep in mind that the result of that approach would be an electronic document. If the person or organization who's asking that the document be notarized is expecting a paper document with hand-signed ink signatures, your electronic document might not be accepted.

What to have ready

Identification

Usually this is an unexpired government photo ID. ID documents are not required if you are well-acquainted with the notary, or if there is a witness available who is not related to either you or the notary, and who is well-acquainted with both you and the notary. Identification is required for acknowledgements but not for oaths or solemn affirmations.

It must be clear that the name that appears in the document and the name that appears on the ID are the same person. This can be an issue if you have changed your name, as often happens when people marry.

The document

Ordinarily, all the blanks in the document should be filled in, except your signature, the date (in case of a postponement), and the blanks intended for the notary. Ideally, the document will already have the language for the notary, with blanks for the notary to fill in, known as the notarial certificate. If not, I carry blank notarial certificates that can be attached. But it is up to you to decide which notarial act is needed.

The notarial act

Vermont notaries public are authorized to take acknowledgements and administer oaths or solemn affirmations, and to make certified copies of most documents. One type of document that Vermont notaries public will not make certified copies of are vital records, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates.

Notaries public in some other states are allowed to witness signatures as a separate notarial act, but not in Vermont. Of course, a Vermont notary public could witness a signature as a regular person, but not as a notary. And of course, an notary can witness a signature as part of one of the authorized notarial act.