Although most states vary, a Notary Public is generally authorized to do the following:
Take the acknowledgment or proof of any power of attorney, mortgage, deed, grant, transfer, or other instrument executed by any person and give a certificate of the proof or acknowledgment, endorsed on or attached to the instrument.
Take depositions and affidavits and administer oaths and affirmations in all matters incident to the duties of the notary public's office or to be used before any court, judge, officer, or board in his/her particular state.
Whenever requested and upon payment of the required fees, make and give a certified copy of any record in the notary public's office.
Provide and keep an official seal, upon which must be engraved the name of his/her state and the words “notarial seal,” with the surname of the notary public and at least the initials of the notary public's given name.
Authenticate with the notary public's official seal all official acts.
Whenever the notary public signs officially as a notary public, the notary public shall add to the signature the words “Notary Public for the state of ....(his/her state), residing at...(stating the name of the notary public's post office)” and shall endorse upon the instrument the date of the expiration of the notary public's commission.
A notary public is NOT authorized to notarize his/her own signature or any document in which he/she may have a direct or financial interest.