Notary Public or Public Notary? by Patricia A. Viverto

It may seem unusual to most readers, but the Notary Public has its roots in the Roman Empire. It was the early day notaries, "notarii" or "scribae" (witnessing stenographers) that the roots for our current Notary Public lie in.

Present day notaries administer oaths and affirmations, take affidavits and statutory declarations, witness and authenticate the execution of certain documents, take acknowledgments and perform certain other official acts. Notaries are public officials and have a wide influence on society from real estate transactions, private property transactions, transactions dealing with personal affairs and many other issues connected to the business world. A notary is required to record all notarial acts in a journal. Said journal is a public record and may be viewed by or copied for any member of the public upon presentation of a specific written request.

The Business Services Division of the Secretary of State's Office has a staff of 15 employees based out of the State Capitol Executive Tower in Phoenix and the State Building in Tucson. Issuing Notary Commission Certificates is one of the responsibilities of this office. Whereas issuing Notary Commissions is only one of the many services provided to public and private sector entities and individuals, it is one of the most utilized.

So why are notaries needed? In a civilized society, ensuring the proper execution of many life changing documents of private citizens is necessary because it contributes to and legitimizes an orderly flow of business, personal, and professional transactions. The Secretary of State's Office takes pride in contributing to the quality of business operations for the citizens of Arizona.

To learn more about becoming a notary, visit our website at: