A common-law Notary Public serves as a public officer dealing with non-controversial legal matters involving international and foreign business, powers of attorney, deeds, estates, wills, and affidavits.

The state government appoints notaries and provides statutory powers to notarize documents, witness signatures, administer oaths, and serve many administrative functions like identifying the person signing a document.

Documents are notarized to deter fraud, assuring that the document is authentic and all parties involved in the transaction have been certified. A notary public typically record-keeps, vets, and certifies through a process known as a notarial act.