Section 1, Module 1
In Progress

What is a notary public?

A Notary Public is a “public officer whose function is to attest and certify, by the notary’s hand and official seal, certain classes of documents, in order to give them credit and authenticity in foreign jurisdictions, to take acknowledgements of deeds and other conveyances, and certify them, and to perform certain official acts, chiefly in commercial matters.” 66 C.J.S. Notaries § 1.

The State of Hawaii defines a Notary Public as “an individual commissioned to perform a notarial act by the attorney general under” HRS 456-1.6

“A Notary Public’s functions include:

  • administering oaths,
  • witnessing the signing of documents,
  • attesting to the identity of the signers of the documents,
  • noting protests,
  • and taking acknowledgements of documents.” (NPM, Pg. iii)

Study Tip: Throughout this training, remember anything that is in quotes, bullets, or is numbered.

A notary public is commissioned through the Attorney General and is required by law to provide notarial services to the general public.

Although an employer may have an employee obtain a commission to perform notarial services in connection with their work, a notary public is still required by law to perform notarial services to the general public. Because of this, part of the application process to become a notary public in the state of Hawaii requires a written statement from the employer that they acknowledge the employee will be allowed to perform notary public services to the general public during their normal business hours.

Study Tip: A notary public, even one commissioned to do work for their employer, MUST be allowed to perform notarial services to the general public during normal business hours.