Duties and Principles of a Notary
The purpose of notarization is sometimes misunderstood. Basically, the most important reason for notarizing anything is to protect against fraud.
The notarization is effective, valid and binding as long as the document it appears upon remains effective and valid.....often for decades. You may notarize documents in any county throughout the State of Wyoming. According to Wyoming statute, a Wyoming notary public may administer oaths or proofs of acknowledgment in a contiguous state if that state recognizes the Wyoming notary public's authority within that state to perform those acts. At the present time Montana is the only contiguous state that recognizes the Wyoming notary public's authority to perform notarial acts.
The administration of an oath or proof of acknowledgment performed in Wyoming by a notary public of a contiguous state has the same effect under Wyoming law as if that act were performed by a Wyoming notary public, if that contiguous state grants Wyoming notaries public similar authority within that state.
A notary is entitled to receive a fee of no more than five dollars ($5.00) for each oath or affirmation administered or for each signature notarized.
Notaries public have two primary duties:
- Notarize Signatures
- Place Under Oath/Affirmation
Notaries DO NOT:
- Notarize a facsimile or a faxed copy of a signature.
- Validate a document.
- Legalize a document.
- Prove a statement under oath/affirmation is true.
- When performing your notarial services, you are held to a high standard of care. Notaries are required to act with the same care and diligence that a reasonable, prudent and cautious person would exercise under the same circumstance.
A notary commission is a public office. The law prescribes the duties, powers and authority of a commission. The power to appoint notaries public is vested in the Wyoming Secretary of State. Generally, the authority of notaries is recognized worldwide.
Notaries may not refuse service to anyone who makes a reasonable and lawful request for a notarization and they must treat all persons equally. A notary's employer may not instruct the notary to perform a notarization which would violate state notary law. The notary must comply with all aspects of the notary law.
Impartiality is having no conflict of interest. A notary must be an impartial witness. A notary is "disqualified" from notarizing when the notary has a personal financial or beneficial interest in the transaction to which the document and notarized signature applies. Generally, this means you should not perform notarial duties for yourself, your family or business associates where the notary could benefit. Courts hold notary public to a high standard of independence and integrity because notaries are "officers."