A notary identifies the signer by examining identification that complies with state law. Government-issued identification with a photograph, such as an unexpired driver’s license, passport, or state ID card are commonly presented. If the notary is not confident that you are who you say you are, he or she can refuse to notarize your document.
The document to be notarized must have a notarial certificate that the notary completes to evidence the notarization. The certificate bears language that instructs the notary as to what type of act or notarization to perform (acknowledgement or jurat).
A notary is prohibited from drafting legal documents or acting as a legal advisor unless they’re also an attorney. Violators can be prosecuted for the unauthorized practice of law.