Signature Guarantee vs. Notary Public

Is there a difference between a signature guarantee and a notary?

The question commonly comes up, what is the difference between a medallion signature guarantee and a notary?  There are two main differences: the person who conducts each is different, and the "guarantee" is different.

Signature Guarantees and Notarizations Require Different Agents

Most agents who perform signature guarantees are also notaries public.  The reverse is not necessarily true.  It requires a higher credential to perform a medallion signature guarantee than it does to notarize a document.  As such, it is much easier to find a notary.  Many office workers, bankers, government employees, education administrators, and others are notaries public.  However, usually only certain bankers or brokers can perform a signature guarantee.  The main reason behind this is that a medallion signature guarantee is usually only used for securities transactions.

The Guarantee

When a notary public notarizes a document, he or she verifies that the signor appeared to be the person he claimed to be and that he signed the document  if his own free will and not under distress.  The notary does not guarantee that the signature is valid.

With a signature guarantee, however, the agent (who is usually also a notary public) verifies the identity of the signor and also guarantees that the signature is valid.

Learn more about medallion signature guarantee here.