notary public

(law-U.S.) A person commissioned by a state for a stipulated period (with the privilege of renewal) to administer certain oaths and to attest and certify documents, thus authorizing him or her to take affidavits and depositions. A notary is also authorized to “protect” negotiable instruments for nonpayment or nonacceptance.
The role of a notary public varies from country to country. In some countries they take on many of the responsibilities which in the U.S. an attorney would assume, while in other countries they do not exist at all.

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