A notary public is someone who can legally witness and certify the signatures on documents and administer oaths in depositions and other non-court situations. Notaries can perform marriages in Maine, South Carolina, and Florida.
Requirements to Become a Notary
Each state has its own laws regarding the requirements to become a notary, but in general, anyone who wants to become a notary must be approved by a government official or agency after completing the necessary applications and training.
Why Couples Would Use a Notary to Perform a Marriage Ceremony
Couples may choose to have a notary public perform their ceremony because they may not be religious or feel comfortable having a religious wedding ceremony. The bride and groom may have different religious backgrounds and choose a civil ceremony to prevent complications. Others choose a civil ceremony because they wish to have an unconventional wedding that would be inappropriate or not allowed in a church, or they wish to have a friend or family member perform the ceremony.
Requirements for a Civil Ceremony with a Notary Public
The requirements for a marriage ceremony performed by a notary public are the same as any other type of marriage ceremony. Couples must obtain a marriage license from the appropriate authority in their city or county, and exchange vows. The notary public then certifies the marriage and returns the license to the office that issued it.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.