The need to trust complete strangers is an inescapable reality of 21st-Century life. The ability to trust the authenticity of a real estate deed or a service contract is vital to enable people to make deals and transact business with confidence. Indeed, trust is essential for the very function of our mobile, global, digital, and anonymous society. Yet, this trust can’t be given with blind faith.
That’s where notarization comes in. An effective way to encourage trust between two transacting parties is to have an impartial third party verify the reliability of the agreements and promises made in a binding document. This third party is known as a Notary Public. The person is a gatekeeper against fraud in real estate and other business transactions.
Society has counted on the current notarization process for hundreds of years. Nothing else enables confidence and engenders trust in official capacities more effectively than a notary stamp. However, with the onset of modern technology, notarization is often unfairly criticized. Still, it remains an indispensable process in today’s business world.
Here’s why getting documents notarized is so important, as well as how Veritable Data Solutions can help thwart fraudulent notarization attempts.
Check the Signer’s Identity to Prevent Fraud
Unscrupulous individuals often go to great lengths to get what they want. That’s why many documents—including deeds, powers of attorney, affidavits, and more—are required by law to obtain a notarization before they become legally binding.
The single most important duty of a notary is to ensure that the signers of important documents are who they say they are. In a world of cheats and scammers looking to take advantage of the next person who comes along, having a trustworthy, unbiased third party to verify identities adds an extra layer of protection to crucial transactions.
As cases of identity theft, forgery, fraud, and imposture grow in our mobile society, appearing in person before a Notary Public remains one of the most useful tools for authenticating the identity and intention of the signer. To make sure the signer is the right person, a notary will usually ask to see a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or other government-issued identification featuring a photo and signature.
Ensure the Willingness & Competence of the Signer
Since notarizations are required for things like real estate transactions, transfer of ownership, and establishment of prenuptial agreements, there are certainly opportunities for coercion and incompetent signings. That’s why notaries screen signers for their willingness to sign and make sure they are aware of the document’s contents.
Notaries are encouraged to speak with the signer in private to help ensure no intimidation is taking place and that the signer understands the consequences of making the document legally binding. This step is important for ensuring the legitimacy of the notarial act. It also protects vulnerable populations, including elderly individuals who may be more easily coerced into signing away their properties or estates.
Assure the Authenticity of a Transaction
Homes are bought and sold, contracts are respected, estate plans are established, adoptions are finalized, and medical wishes are honored—all based on the authenticating signature and seal of a Notary Public.
There are nearly 5 million notaries in the United States, each of whom plays a critical role in validating documents. As guarantors of authenticity, notaries also lend credibility to the intentions, obligations, and performances stated in written documents.
People trust that a notarization verifies the authenticity of a document because every Notary Public takes an oath to remain impartial. This means they must never perform notarial acts in which they have a personal interest. Being impartial also means that notaries must never refuse to serve a person based on their race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or status as a non-customer. They should only refuse to notarize a document if the signer’s identity, willingness, or general competence is in question.
How Veritable Data Solutions Helps Defeat Fraud
Despite all the safeguards in place to authenticate documents with notarizations, the process itself is not immune to fraud. After all, improperly trained notaries can aid in scams, usually unwittingly, by missing an important step in the screening process. Corrupt notaries may also choose to notarize transactions where they receive personal gain. Con artists can even forge official-looking stamps to make fraudulent documents appear genuine. These problems have led to notarizations being criticized for creating a false sense of security.
The Veritable Notary App from Veritable Data Solutions is here to change all that. This smartphone app improves the usefulness and dependability of professional notary stamps in three ways:
- Eliminate forged documents: The Veritable Notary App ensures document signatures and notary seals are authentic.
- Verify signers’ identities in real time: The ID verification process is nearly 100% accurate, alerting notaries when a government-issued ID has been faked.
- Blockchain technology stores data: With an encrypted digital trail and the ability to access reports of specific notarizations when necessary, future identity theft and false lawsuits become a thing of the past.
Notarized documents are the foundation of trust in modern business transactions, and the Veritable Notary App helps notarizations achieve the peak of reliability. With iOS and Android compatibility, every Notary Public can utilize this simple, intuitive tool to perform their official duties as skillfully and competently as possible.