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What Is a Notary Republic?

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A notary republic, also called a notary public or notary, is an individual officially licensed by a governmental body to perform certain actions in legal matters. The term notary republic is derived from a common misreading of the job’s original title, notary public. Although specific requirements, responsibilities, and authorized powers of notaries vary between states, the fundamental aspects remain the same.

Authorized Duties

Notaries are authorized to perform a variety of official duties. These may include administering oaths and affirmations, witnessing the signing of documents, taking and certifying affidavits, depositions, and acknowledgments of documents, issuing subpoenas, witnessing the opening of safe deposit boxes and certifying lists of their contents, issuing protests of notes and bills, and conducting marriage and civil union services. States generally permit notaries to charge fees for their work.

Use of Seals

Certain states require notaries to use a form of seal, such as an ink stamp or embossing seal, to certify their work.


Certain restrictions apply to the powers of notaries. States generally prohibit notaries from notarizing their own signatures and certain states prohibit them from notarizing those of family members as well. In most cases, states generally prohibit notaries from notarizing the signatures of individuals not present.