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National Notary Day: Celebrating a Vital Public Service

When you think of a superhero, what comes to mind? Chances are it’s a valiant character in a cape, sweeping in to spare the town and save the day. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the applause.

But not all superheroes wear capes.

There are over 4.5 million notaries in the United States - public servants appointed by their state government to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the document signing process. Sounds pretty important, right? But there’s more to being a notary than a stamp or seal.

Notaries help deter fraud by verifying the identity of signers, ensure signers understand the documents they are signing, and validate that applicants are signing of their own free will. Their role in society comes with little fanfare and great responsibility.

When you look back on life’s most important moments - when you bought your dream home; that time you took the kids abroad; when you established a power of attorney for Mom and Dad - you at some point interacted with a notary. They may have seemed like another person in a process full of people, but these folks are superheroes.

And they saved the day without you even knowing it.

Now technology is bringing notaries into the digital space, opening a world of access and convenience for millions of Americans. The promise of remote notarization - 24 hours a day, seven days a week - puts the responsibility on eNotaries to be there when you need them.

No matter how a notary serves you, it was a journey to get there. Notaries commit their time and money just to be commissioned. They then take multiple certification courses, work tirelessly to stay up to date on their state laws, complete regulated background checks, and attend conferences to learn how to be even better at what they do.

They do this so we can participate in our democracy, buy a home, travel abroad, and plan for our futures.

Remember that example of buying your first home? You got to toast with a glass of champagne because long before your dream became a reality, a notary took an oath of public service. They ensured they were properly educated, credentialed, and available to serve you when your need arose. Whether it was by driving across town or being available virtually any hour, someone was there to “save” your day.

Be sure to thank your notary the next time you cross paths, whether you meet that notary in person or online. In their own way, day in and day out, notaries are making an impact that’s far bigger than themselves.

And so I’d like to say thank you to all the notaries out there - every last one of you. I hope you know your superhero efforts go far from unnoticed.

Ashley Spiess is the Director of Notary Operations at Notarize.

become an online notary

You have notarization questions, we have notarization answers. While we at Notarize pride ourselves on providing helpful resources (like this blog!) to demystify notarization, we’re not lawyers and don’t give legal advice. Pro tip: always check with your own attorneys, advisors, or document recipients if you have further questions about notarization or digitally notarized docs.

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Disruptive technology in the modern age has made its mark in almost every industry out there. Although it creates a more efficient product or service for consumers, it can leave business owners in that space with mixed feelings about what may happen in the future to their industry.

Notary services seem to be behind the curve, as it’s still a mostly offline industry where mobile notaries go from door to door to physically take care of the paperwork. That’s where Remote Online Notarization (RON) comes in - this technology would allow for notaries to be able to deliver for their clients from the comfort of their own home/office.

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