Notary & Dedimus Justice Services
When and where are Notary and Dedimus Justice services available?
The Town Clerk’s Office has these services available during regular business hours free of charge. Review your documents clearly prior to coming in and coordinate bringing additional witnesses with you if such is required along with the Notary/Dedimus Justice service.
What are the general powers of a Notary Public?
Some of the commonly exercised powers of a Notary Public include the administration of oaths or affirmations; certification of an affidavit or an acknowledgment of instruments related to real estate transfers; certification of copies of private documents; and solemnization of marriages. There is no single act called “notarization.” However, there are specific guidelines related to each function which Notaries Public are authorized to perform.
What are proper procedures and other general guidelines for notarial acts?
- Require personal appearance. To perform a notarization, the signer must personally and physically appear before the Notary Public per Maine Law to sign the document. A notarization cannot be done via video conferencing or similar video technology.
- Make sure the signer provides proper identification. Identification credentials must have a photograph to properly identify the signer. Credit cards or social security cards are not “good” forms of identification, as these items do not contain physical descriptions of the holder.
- Make certain the signers of the document have an understanding of what they are signing. While competency is both a complex medical and legal issue, it is incumbent upon a Notary Public to have a strong belief that the person understands the consequences of signing the document.
- Scan the document for any blanks that may exist. There is no need for the Notary Public to read or know every item contained in the document; the Notary Public must only be certain that the part of the document which is to be signed by the Notary Public is true.
- Signature of person appearing before you. On a notarial certificate that requires the person appearing before you to sign the document, the Notary Public needs to actually witness the signature being applied to the document.
- Completion of the notarial certificate. The final piece of a notarial act is the notarial certificate - a combination of elements that are required to properly complete the notarial act.