Important Differences Between U.S. Notaries And 'Notarios'
In Hispanic countries, Notarios Publicos are highly trained legal professionals akin to attorneys who provide legal advice and draft legal documents.
In the United States, however, Notaries are state-commissioned officials with narrow witnessing duties and much less discretion. Many unethical individuals exploit the confusion over these different roles to take advantage of unsuspecting immigrants.
One of the most important resources is a booklet entitled “What Is A Notary Public”, which explains in English and Spanish the lawful role of U.S. Notaries and how it differs from that of Notarios.
In June 2011, the federal government announced an unprecedented, multi-agency, nationwide initiative targeting immigration assistance scams and the unauthorized practice of law — often involving individuals falsely holding themselves out as Notarios Publicos. The NNA fully supports this initiative to combat abuses of consumers and immigrants.