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Notary Service Guidelines

Hours:

Notary service is available during Main Library’s regular hours. It is recommended that you call ahead of time to ensure a Notary is available and also to confirm that we are able to notarize the type of documents that you plan to bring with you. Arrive at least an hour prior to the time of the Library’s closing so that we have adequate time to process the paperwork. Notary service is one of many services provided by the Library and not the Notary’s only duty; you may be asked to wait while the Notary attends to other library matters. 

Limits:

The Library limits the number and length of documents able to be notarized at one time to 3 documents of no more than 10 pages each. 

Documents:

The Library notarizes a variety of documents free of charge. However, some requests require specialized knowledge or expertise beyond our capabilities. Examples of documents that the Library will not notarize include:

  • Any Real Estate Transactions and Quit Claim Deeds
  • Corporate documents
  • Documents with more than ten (10) pages
  • Last Will and Testaments
  • Living wills
  • Living trusts
  • Codicils or depositions
  • Power of Attorney
  • Documents which require an electronic signature
  • Foreign Passport or Visa Applications

Appearance and Identification:

Ohio law requires that the person(s) signing the document(s) to be notarized appear in person and present proper identification. Valid forms of identification are:

  • Current Driver’s License
  • State-Issued ID
  • US Passport
  • US Military ID, or
  • US Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”).

If you are under 18 and do not have a driver’s license/state ID, please bring:

  • a certified copy of your birth certificate, or
  • a current school ID (with photo)

Note: International Identification Cards and / or International Driver’s Licenses cannot be accepted.

Each notary maintains a journal wherein each transaction is noted.  A customer must print and sign their name in this journal.  The notary also enters information regarding documentation used for identification. 

Witness:

You must be accompanied by any witnesses that are needed to complete the document.  Witnesses cannot be provided by the Library, nor can they be solicited from Library patrons.  The witness must personally know the person whose document is being notarized and must be in possession of a valid photo identification.

Preparation of the document to be notarized:

  • The name on the notarized document must match the name on the ID exactly.
  • Complete all information above the signature line completely leaving no blanks. Blank spaces not used in a document should have a line drawn through them so that no one can add to the terms of the document after it was signed.
  • Documents to be notarized must contain a Notary Public jurat or acknowledgment certificate. If the document(s) does not include this, the Notary will have to attach a certificate to the document before it can be notarized.
  • All document signers must be present at the time of signing and must sign in the presence of the notary.
  • Some documents require that the signer take an oath. The notary will administer the oath.

Communication:

Ohio law requires that the notary and the customer seeking notarization be able to communicate directly with each other and with witnesses.  The Library is not permitted to make use of a translator to communicate with a notary service customer. At this time our Notary staff speak English only.  For speakers of other languages, we suggest you contact:

University of Akron
Registrar's Office
Phone: (330) 972-8300
Location: Simmons Hall

International Institute
Phone: (330) 376-5106
20 Olive St #201
 Akron, OH 44310

Documents not written in English

Documents not written in English can have signatures notarized if all other requirements are met and if the signer can communicate clearly in English, and without a translator, that they know what they are signing and that they are signing of their own free will.  The signer will have to determine and tell the notary if an oath is required.  If foreign documents do not have the notary certificate in English, the notary will have to attach another certificate.

I-9 Forms

I 9 forms cannot be notarized. However, a notary can serve as an authorized agent and witness that you have shown the proper documents.

Certification:

In the State of Ohio, notaries cannot certify documents. We cannot certify copies of:

  • Passports
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage licenses
  • Death certificates
  • Divorce certificates
  • Naturalization certificates

If you were born anywhere in Ohio, go to the Dept. of Vital Statistics at the Kent City Health Department, 201 E Erie St 2nd Floor, Kent, OH 44240, or to Summit County Public Health, 1867 W Market Street, Akron OH 44313 and obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate.

If you were born outside of Ohio, go to https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/index.htm or https://www.vitalchek.com/birth-certificates and order a copy of your birth certificate be sent to you.

The notary’s role is limited to authenticating the signature presented.  Patrons should be aware that notarizing a document does not constitute a legal review of the document’s contents.   A Notary Public is not a licensed attorney.  Notaries cannot provide legal advice or counseling regarding documents.  In accordance with Ohio notarial law, the Library’s notaries will not provide service if the customer, document, or circumstances of the request for notary service raise any issue of authenticity, ambiguity, doubt, or uncertainly for the Library.  In this event, the notary may, at his or her sole discretion, decline to provide notary service.