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PO Box #3861 Scranton, PA 18505



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Common Questions

What is a notary public?

A notary public is an appointed official who acts as an impartial witness by meeting with people, properly identifying them, and witnessing their actions and intentions. Notarization prevents fraud among legal documents and contracts; can convert a private document to a public instrument; and can render a document admissible in court as evidence.

what can a notary do?

For over 200 years, notaries public have been officially recognized by the Commonwealth, with the power to administer oaths and affirmations; take acknowledgments; take verifications on oath or affirmation; witness or attest signatures; and certify or attest copies of records or deposition transcripts.

are you an attorney?

No. Electric City Notary is not an attorney licensed to practice law in this Commonwealth. Electric City Notary is not allowed to draft legal records, give advice on legal matters, including immigration, or charge a fee for those activities.

how much can a notary charge?

Notarial fees are set by the Department of State for each official notarial act. A notary is not permitted to charge more than the fees set by the Dept. of State for each official act. However, a notary can charge clerical and administrative fees for services they have provided in addition to the notarization of a document, such as copying documents, postage, travel fees, phone calls, or completing forms. These clerical fees are not set by statute, but must be reasonable. Customers should notified of any clerical fees prior to the notarization of a document, and an itemized receipt should be provided.

what types of documents cannot be certified?

State and federal laws prohibit notaries from certifying copies of birth and death certificates and some other vital and official records. Only the PA Department of State, Bureau of Health, Division of Vital Records, may issue certified copies of certain official documents.

can you perform a marriage ceremony?

No, a notary public in Pennsylvania cannot perform marriage ceremonies. Notaries are not authorized to solemnize marriages or officiate wedding ceremonies. Their role is limited to witnessing and notarizing documents, administering oaths, and performing other official acts within their legal scope of practice. For a marriage ceremony, you would need to engage a registered officiant, such as a religious clergy member or a judge.

can you issue a license plate or registration?

At this time, Electric City Notary is not a PennDOT-authorized motor vehicle agency. While we can execute any motor vehicle form that requires notarization, we are unable to transfer registration plates or issue temporary registration cards or plates.

should i wait to sign my document?

An Acknowledgment – declaring that you signed a record, intended to sign the record, and knew what you were doing at the time of signing – can be signed in advance. By having it notarized, the notary is confirming the identify of the customer and verifying the signature. When completing a Verification on Oath or Affirmation or when Witnessing or Attesting a Signature, the notary must witness the customer sign. If you are unsure, the best choice is to wait until your notary arrives and reviews your documents.

what is remote online notarization (RON)?

Act 97 of 2020, effective October 29, 2020, made remote online notarization a permanent part of Pennsylvania law. With remote online notarization (RON), the legal requirement that the signer personally and physically appear before the notary is met by the use of audio-visual electronic communication technology. A statement is made in or a signature is executed on a record remotely over the internet, with a document that is in electronic form.

what is the difference between an oath and an affirmation?

An oath is a public declaration to keep a promise or perform a duty faithfully, usually invoking a higher power (“so help me God”). An affirmation is a declaration equivalent to an oath, but pledging on one’s personal honor rather than referencing a higher being. Both are legally binding promises to tell the truth and subject the oath-taker to penalties for perjury. An oath or affirmation may be verbal or in writing.

does notarizing my will make it legal and enforceable?

A notary can take the maker’s acknowledgement of his/her signature, as well as the witnesses’ verifications on oath or affirmation. The legality of a will is determined by the probate court, not by the presence or absence of a notarization.

can you notarize a document written in a language other than english?

Yes, a notary public in Pennsylvania can notarize documents in another language. However, the certificate of notarial act (notary wording) must be written and completed using the English language. If necessary, a qualified interpreter may be used to ensure accurate understanding and execution of the notarial act. The interpreter must be physically present with the signer and notary at the time of the notarization.