How is a notario different from an attorney?
When deciding if you would rather go to an experienced immigration attorney or a notario publico, think about if you would rather go to a doctor for your surgery or an unlicensed, untrained neighbor who dabbles in surgery? Every week at Antonini & Cohen, we meet with people who have used notario services to file immigration paperwork. The majority of these consultations are filled with regret that a person did not seek competent counsel sooner.
What is the difference between notarios in the US vs. US immigration attorneys?Notarios in the USUS Immigration AttorneysNo trainingSeveral years of training required in order to be licensedNo license to practice law in good standingLicensed to practice law & a member of a State BarLegally prohibited from dispensing legal adviceAuthorized to give legal adviceNot responsible for errors in your case according to the terms of your contractRequired to take responsibility for caseRampant fraud and little recourseMay be disciplined by the State Bar & the Courts in the event of malpracticeNo malpractice insuranceMust carry malpractice insurance
Why the confusion?
In many countries, a notario publico is a trained professional who is licensed to prepare government paperwork and provide advice. However, in the US, people may use the term ‘notario publico,’ but there is no comparable job here.
Instead, a notario publico may at best have a state-issued notary license, which costs $37.00 here in Dekalb County, Georgia and permits the notary to act as a witness to the signatures of documents and to administer oaths.
For more information on the duties of notaries in the US, visit this informational site: http://cdn.nationalnotary.org/what_is_notary/whatNotary.pdf