The main goal of the office of Notary Public is to protect the public by preventing fraud. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that not every notary public takes their duties and contribution to society seriously. In order to uphold the integrity and honor...
The main goal of the office of Notary Public is to protect the public by preventing fraud. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that not every notary public takes their duties and contribution to society seriously. In order to uphold the integrity and honor associated with the office of Notary Public, it is important that those violating the law be disciplined accordingly.
Florida notary law specifies numerous acts that a commissioned notary public is prohibited from performing. These include, but are not limited to:
- Notarizing a document without the presence of the signer
- Notarizing a document that is in a language that the signer does not understand
- Notarizing a document without confirming the identity of the signer
- Giving legal advice (which can include – assisting in drafting of a document, telling the signer which notarial act to use, advertising in a foreign language without the proper disclaimers)
- Notarizing a document that is incomplete and contains blank spaces
- Notarizing for family members
- Notarizing your own signature
In addition, all Florida notaries are required to take an oath of office before being commissioned.
This oath states: I DO solemnly (swear) (affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the Constitutions and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the State of Florida; that I have read Chapter 117, Florida Statues, and any amendments thereto, and know the duties, responsibilities, limitations, and powers of a notary public; and that I will honestly, diligently, and faithfully discharge the duties of Notary Public, State of Florida on which I am now about to enter, (so help me God). UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I DECLARE THAT I HAVE READ THE FOREGOING APPLICATION AND OATH AND THAT THE FACTS STATES THEREIN ARE TRUE. I accept the office of Notary Public, State of Florida.
Possible notary misconduct may be reported by filing a formal complaint with the Governor's office. Any breach in a notary's authorized duties can result in substantial loss, and the appropriate disciplinary action should be just as swift.