Illinois laws lists situations when you MUST have a notary stamp on legal documents, such as wills, deeds, trusts, certain powers of attorney and documents to be presented in court in the absence of the signer.
All notaries have been visited by people wanting something notarized that in actuality needs no notary seal. It is useful to understand the purpose of notarization.
When you go to court, a judge can issue an order that needs no notary seal, but serves as a legal decision in a particular case. Many people confuse a judge’s order with a notary seal. They think that adding a notary seal to a document adds to its legal authority. Such a conclusion has an element of truth, but very little.
A notary public is licensed by the state, and bonded (insured) for the limited function of validating signatures. It is their job to require you to present a valid government issued picture identification showing your name and photograph; to watch you sign the document you want notarized, and to affix the notary’s name and notary seal to the document you want notarized. The notary’s seal creates a presumption that the name signed, and the person signing, are one in the same. The notary seal adds no other legitimacy to the document.
If you have a document saying that you are the legal owner of a 1966 Ford Falcon, and you get the document notarized; the notary seal does not mean that you own the car. The seal only means that you signed the document before a notary – the seal has no legal effect regarding the ownership of the car. It only validates your signature.


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