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A notary, also known as a notary public, is a licensed public official who performs various legal formalities, often in the form of certifying documents, authenticating the execution of deeds or contracts, or witnessing signatures on important documents.

Their main function is to prevent fraud by confirming that people are who they say they are and that they willingly entered into an agreement or transaction. This confirmation is provided through the notary's seal and signature on the document, a process known as notarization. Notaries public have the authority to administer oaths, take affidavits, and carry out other tasks, depending on the jurisdiction.

The requirements for becoming a notary public vary by country and even by regions within countries. Typically, however, candidates must meet certain age and residency requirements and pass an examination. Some jurisdictions may also require notaries to hold an insurance bond to protect the public from mistakes they may make during their tenure.

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