The most frequent service a Notary Public performs is the simple one of taking someone's acknowledgment. An acknowledgment is the solemn statement of a person that he or she signed a paper of his or her own free will. The notary verifies the person's identity, presses his/her notary seal on the paper and signs it where the notary is meant to sign.
A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by Secretary Of State — to serve the public as an impartial witness (duty-bound not to act in situations where they have a personal interest) in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts.