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Hometary Public Information



Gary M. Gierach
Notary Public
State of Wisconsin


What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public (or Notary) is someone licensed by the state to witness signatures on various legal documents.

When having a document notarized, the person(s) listed on the document must be present. Proper photo identification is required to verify the identity of anyone whom the notary does not personally know.

Examples of proper photo identification:

The person(s) signing the document must be mentally aware and understand what they are signing. They must be legally competent and eligible to sign documents. The notary will ask the person(s) signing the document to explain the document they are presenting. If the person(s) signing the document are representing a company or organization, they will be asked if they are duly authorized to sign.  

The Notary Public will ask if they are signing of their own free will. The person(s) signing the document must be able to sign the document on their own without anyone else interfering. If there is any evidence of threat, duress or coercion, the notarization will not proceed.  The Notary Public has the right to refuse to proceed with a notarization they feel is improper.

The document must be filled out completely, correctly and truthfully. The Notary Public must see all pages of the document. There must be no blank spaces.  N. A. or the words “not applicable” should be used to fill in blank spaces.  Whiteout cannot be used at all. There can be no evidence of erasures or alterations on the document.  Anything suspicious or illegal will be reported to law enforcement.





Details of the notarization will be recorded in a notary journal.  The document signer’s name, form of identification presented, address, phone number, signature and right thumb print will be recorded.  The title of the document and number of pages are also recorded. Notary records have privacy protection under state law. To release information about a notarization to a 3rd party, expressed written permission must be given.

What can a Wisconsin Notary Public do?

Take an acknowledgement

An acknowledgment is notarizing a document that was previously signed. The Notary Public verifies that the signature matches other documents and forms of identification.

An acknowledgment is not subject to penalties of perjury.

Administer an oath - Take a verification upon oath:

An oath is a solemn pledge attesting to the truth of given statements. An oath requires swearing, (and may be understood to call upon a Supreme Being as a witness), and is subject to penalties of perjury.

Administer an affirmation - Take a verification upon affirmation:

An affirmation is a solemn pledge attesting to the truth of given statements. An affirmation does not require swearing, but is still subject to penalties of perjury.  (The words “so help me god” are not in an affirmation.)

Witness a signature - Attest a signature:

Certify a copy – Attest a copy:


What a Wisconsin Notary Public cannot do:

A Notary Public cannot draft legal documents. A Notary Public can only witness and notarize signatures and other duties listed above. Drafting legal documents is considered practicing law.

A Notary Public cannot give advice about forms to be used.

A Notary Public cannot make copies of or certify vital records. This would include birth certificates, death certificates divorce etc. This is punishable by fines and imprisonment.