The Lincoln County Public Library offers free Notary Public services to benefit our patrons. Walk-ins are welcome, but it is recommended that patrons call first to ensure the presence of a Notary, as Notaries are not always available.

Regulated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a notary public is a public servant appointed by the state government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths.

Documents are notarized to deter fraud and ensure they are correctly executed. The Notary identifies signers to screen out imposters and ensure they have knowingly and willingly entered into agreements.

NOTE: A notary public in the United States may not have the same duties and responsibilities as those in other countries.

  • A notary public is not authorized to practice law.
  • A notary public may not give legal advice or prepare legal documents.
  • A notary public may not charge a fee for the preparation of immigration documents or represent someone in immigration matters.

A valid photo identification is required of any person seeking Notary services.

Notaries should examine these features of an I.D. when verifying identification:

  • A photo of the bearer
  • Accurate physical description of the bearer
  • Signature of the bearer

NOTE: Per Johnna Ballinger, the Notary Program Coordinator / Office of the Secretary of State (12/9/09): “The notary statute does not define acceptable forms of ID. The handbook contains guidelines, but the notary can show some discretion and accept a photo ID that does not have a physical description if satisfies that notary. That holds for an ID that is expired. It has served its purpose if you are satisfied that it identifies the person correctly.”

Notaries cannot pre-date or post-date any action, prepare legal documents, give legal advice on legal matters, or Notarize documents in which they have a personal interest.

The Library will not provide witnesses, and witnesses may not be solicited from patrons using the library. A witness must (previously) personally know the person needing the service of the Notary. This individual must also provide valid photo identification.

Notaries would not provide service if the person, the document, or any circumstances requested of the Notary service raise any issue of authenticity, ambiguity, doubt, or uncertainty for the Library.

Notary service is not guaranteed. Notary services are a courtesy provided by the Library and are not the Notary’s primary duty; therefore, the Notary may ask the person(s) to wait while the Notary attends to patrons or other Library matters. Notary service is not available 15 minutes before the time of the Library closing.

Should a problem appear/occur, the Notary may, at his/her sole discretion, decline to provide service.

The Kentucky notary public is empowered to administer most types of oath. These fall into two categories: (1) oaths of office and (2) oaths of testimony.

  •  State law sets forth the form of the oath of office for most public officials. Some oaths of office must be administered by a specific official other than a notary. We do not normally administer these oaths.
  • The oath of testimony is used to swear a person to the truthfulness of her/his statement (written or oral). The oath is familiar: “Do you solemnly swear to tell (or write) the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” or “Do you swear or affirm to tell (or write) the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” Depositions, affidavits, hearings and government documents are common occasions for the use of the oath of testimony. You can use this or similar wording when doing jurat notarization (these are common).

I-9 forms: If you are asked to notarize an I-9 form (Employment Verification and Eligibility), politely decline. In short, completion of this form is not a notarial act. For additional information about notaries and the I-9 form, see the American Society of Notaries page on this topic:

Copy certification/attestation by document custodian: We can authenticate a signature under oath (a jurat) on an affidavit regarding a copy.  We cannot certify copies. We cannot know if a certification of copy affidavit will be accepted by the relying party. If there is any question about the advisability or effects of the affidavit, the photocopy custodian should consult an attorney or another party relying on the transaction.

Notary journal retention: Any notary journals in the library’s possession will be retained for ten years from the date of the latest entry in the journal.

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