Tag Archive for Seattle

What Is A Notarized Signature and Why Do I Need One?

Notary Public located in Seattle, Washington, King County

Need a notarized signature in order to file legal documents or take the next step in a legal transaction? Why do banks, courts and other legal institutions require a notary signature?

Simply put, a notarized signature is often required to witness and certify the person signing a document is who he says he is. A notary’s primary job is to prevent fraud and to give legal institutions confidence a legal document is legitimate.

Appointed by WA State

As a notary public, the official name given to people who provide notary services, we are appointed by Washington state government via the Secretary of State, to perform notary duties. We act as an impartial witness when it comes to signing important legal documents. Part of our notary duties include screening of all signers and making sure each person signs of their own free will. Part of the job includes witnessing the signing. The other part of our job requires maintaining accurate records of all notary transactions completed.

How It Works

When you go to a notary, you’ll be asked to provide identification to verify you are who you say you are. Some types of legal documents require you to provide two forms of identification, so check in advance to find out what you need to bring. Do NOT sign your legal documents before coming to our or any other notary’s office. Once your ID and willingness to sign is verified, then you sign the documents in front of the notary. You must do so without anyone forcing you to sign. Once you sign, the notary adds their own signature, an official notary seal and commission details. You now have a notarized signature.

Qualifications for a Notary

In Washington state, one must obtain a surety bond from an insurance company in order to apply to become a notary public. You also attend a notary education class and must learn the laws and rules for becoming a notary public.

Types of Documents Requiring a Notary

The most common types of documents requiring a notarized signature include the following. By no means is this a complete list, though.

  • Wills (click here to buy an instant download of a will)
  • Living Trusts
  • Home mortgage Deed of Trust
  • Power of attorney designations (click here to buy an instant download of a power of attorney)
  • Prenuptial agreements (click here to buy an instant download of a prenuptial agreement)
  • Contracts
  • Bill of Sale
  • Transferring an automobile
  • Consent for a minor to travel abroad

Give Attorneys’ Information Bureau/Do It Yourself Legal Kits a call at (206) 622-1909 to find out what you need to get your signature notarized. Our office, located in the King County Courthouse in Seattle, is open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for notary services (please note, we’re closed from 12 to 1:00 p.m.)

Do We Offer Legal Advice? 5 Things Attorneys’ Information Bureau (AIB) Offers

We cannot offer legal advice, but our small team is ready to assist you with other services.

A common question we get when do-it-yourselfers come into our office is if we offer legal advice. Unfortunately, we do NOT offer legal advice. But here’s a partial list of what we do offer to both do-it-yourselfers and attorneys.

Help You Choose the Right Legal Form/Kit

Did you know…attorneys rely on us for legal forms and kits to fill in and submit to the court since we constantly keep all of the forms up to date per new court specifications?

You don’t have to be an attorney to use some of these forms. We also make a bunch of our legal kits available to non-lawyers, too. For non-lawyers, choosing the right kit to buy and fill in can save lots of time and money.

But you may have questions about which kit to buy. Many of our customers describe problems with tenants/renters (eviction kit), probate or civil lawsuit cases, and want to know which kit they need. Others want to know which divorce kit they need to fill out. We offer several to choose from, so tell us what the circumstances are, and we’ll recommend the right kit/forms. If you prefer to order our legal kits as an instant download, just call us at (206) 622-1909 to get an idea of which one is best for your needs, and then you can go to our website to order. Or head right to our Do It Yourself Legal Kits website by clicking here.

Lost? We Can Help!

Another common question we get is, “Where’s the clerk’s office?” We’ll gladly point the way, so stop by our window and we’ll give you directions. Our offices are located in Room C-603 of the King County Courthouse located at 516 Third Avenue in Seattle.

Retrieve Legal Documents

We have a legal researcher on staff who retrieves filed legal documents for a fee. Documents from King County as well as other counties can be retrieved, as long as the files have been uploaded online. We can then email the documents to you or messenger everything to your office. Here’s a list of the courts and other offices from which we can research and retrieve documents:

U.S. Federal Courts – District and Bankruptcy
Washington State Supreme Court
Washington State Court of Appeals
Superior Courts
District Courts
Municipal Courts
Auditor’s offices
Assessor’s offices
Vital Statistics
Law Libraries

If you’re an attorney, we recommend becoming a member, as our research fee is waived (a case access and per page copy fee still applies). Click here to find out how to become a member and to view the list of benefits.

Make Copies

If you’re an attorney who is a member of AIB’s Member Services, we offer access to photocopiers, computers and printers in our offices located in the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. You can also access our Wi-Fi and work in our office, so bring your laptop and wait out your next case in the courthouse in our comfortable office.

Notary Services

Once you fill in your legal forms, most require a notary signature. On your way to filing the documents with the Clerk, stop by our offices, and we’ll notarize them for you for a per document fee. We offer notary services Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., although we are closed from noon until 1:00 p.m. each day.

This blog post is not offered as specific advice, which may only be provided by an attorney based upon each individual situation. To find an attorney, click here to visit our attorney referral page.