- What Is A Mobile Notary Public?
- Why Are Documents Notarized?
- Does Notarization Mean That The Information On A Document Is True Or Legal?
- What Can Be Notarized?
- What Can NOT Be Notarized?
- Can A Fax Or A Photocopy Be Notarized
- Can A Notary Make Certified Copies?
- How Can I Get A Copy Of My Birth Certificate, Driver’s License Or Passport Certified?
- Does A Document Have To Be Signed In The Notary’s Presence?
- Is Identification Required For Notarization?
- Which Forms Of Identification Are Acceptable?
- Which Forms Of Identification Are NOT Acceptable?
- What Is An Acknowledgment?
- What Is A Jurat?
- What Does ‘Single Credible Witness’ Mean?
- What Does ‘Two Credible Witnesses’ Mean?
- What If The Signer Is Disabled Or Too Frail Or Ill To Sign His/Her Name?
A: The court defines a notary public as a “public ministerial officer,” an agent for the state, and a witness of notarial writing and signatures. A Notary Public is a honest, moral and responsible member of our society. They are appointed by the office of the Secretary of State to witness by an official seal and written acknowledgement, or jurat, the signing of documents, as well as admister an oath.
Mobile Notary Publics perform the same duties that regular “store-front” notaries do, except they do so at a time and place that caters to their clients’ need. A Mobile Notary Public travels to your location and will meet you at a location that is convenient for you. It could be your home, office or other mutually agreed upon location.
A: Notarization is intended to deter fraud. The impartial witness (Notary Public) ensures that the signer of a document is who they say they are and that the person signed the document willingly.
A: No. Notarization does not prove that information or statements on a document are true, accurate or legal. The signer is responsible for the content of the documents. The Notary Public certifies the identity of the signer.
A: The following documents can be notarized:
- Loan Documents
- Real Estate Documents
- Lines of Credit
- Bank Signatures
- Powers of Attorney
- Legal Papers
- Wills & Trusts
- Oaths, Affirmations & Acknowledgements
- Court Documents
- Divorce Decree
- Adoption Papers
- Affidavit of Parental Consent to Travel
- Medical Documents
- Fraud Affidavits for Identity Theft Cases
- Lottery Winners & Recovery Services
- Attesting to Photocopies
- Certifying the Contents of Safe-deposit Boxes
- Official Verification of Persons Signing Documents
A: The following documents CAN NOT be notarized:
- Any State Official Documents – Birth Certificates, Death Records, Marriages, etc.
- Immigration Documents
- Incomplete Documents
- Faxed or Copied Signatures
A: Yes. A photocopy or fax may be notarized, but only if it bears an original signature. That is, the copy must have been signed with pen and ink. A photocopied or faxed signature may never be notarized. Care should be taken to copy faxes from thermal paper to regular paper before proceeding in having a document notarized in order to avoid rejection by public recorders.
A: In the State of California, the only document that a Notary may make Certified Copies of is a Power of Attorney. In order to do so, the Notary must see and inspect the original Power of Attorney, inspect the copies of the Power of Attorney and verify that the copy is in fact a true and exact copy.
A: Copies of vital records such as birth, fetal death, death and marriage certificates may only be made by the State Registrar, acting local registrars during their terms of office, and by the county recorder.
Notaries may perform a “Copy Certification by Document Custodian”. If you are required to have a copy of your driver’s license or passport for example certified / notarized, present the photocopy along with the original to a notary. The notary should have you fill out a certificate stating that you certify that the attached photocopy of your driver’s license is a true and exact copy. The notary then places you under oath and asks you if you swear (or affirm) that this information is true. The Notary, having witnessed the signing and given the oath or affirmation, executes a Jurat. Any document in a signer’s possession (besides a vital record) can be certified in this manner.
A: Yes and No. The form most frequently completed by the Notary Public is the acknowledgment. Documents requiring acknowledgments do not need to be signed in the Notary’s presence. However, the signer must appear before the Notary at the time of notarization to acknowledge that he or she freely signed for the purposes stated in the document. The second type of document completed by a Notary Public is the jurat. The jurat is identified by the wording “Subscribed and sworn to” immediately above the place where the Notary Public signs his/her name. A jurat must be signed in the Notary’s presence.
A: Yes. Each signer must either present a current photo ID; or have two other persons present who will swear to the signer’s identity, each of whom has a good, current photo ID.
A: Forms of acceptable paper identification include:
- An identification card or driver’s license issued by the California DMV
- A United States passport
- Other California-approved identification card, consisting of any one of the following, provided that it also contains a photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number:
- A passport issued by a foreign government, provided that it has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
- A driver’s license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue drivers’ licenses;
- An identification card issued by another state;
- A U.S. military identification card with the required photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number. (Some military identification cards do not contain all the required information.)
- An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections, if the inmate is in custody.
- An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or an agency or office of a city, county or city and county in San Diego.
The ID provided MUST be current or have been issued within the last five years.
If no such ID is available and cannot be reasonably obtained, the signer may rely on the oath of a single credible witness or two credible witnesses. In both instances, the credible witness(es) must be present and have a valid ID.
A: Unacceptable forms of Identification include:
- Matricula Consular Card
- Social Security Cards
- Temporary Driver’s Licenses
- Driver’s Licenses without photographs
A: An acknowledgment is a notarial act in which a Notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who personally appeared before the Notary and admitted having signed the document freely.
A: A notarial act in which a Notary certifies having watched the signing of a document and administered an oath or affirmation.
A: The identity of the signer can be established by the oath of a single credible witness whom the notary public personally knows. The notary public must establish the identity of the credible witness by the presentation of paper identification. Under oath, the credible witness must swear or affirm that each of the following is true: (a) The individual appearing before the notary public as the signer of the document is the person named in the document; (b) The credible witness personally knows the signer; (c) The credible witness reasonably believes that the circumstances of the signer are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for the signer to obtain another form of identification; (d) The signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signer’s identity; (e) The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed.
A: The identity of the signer can be established by the oaths of two credible witnesses whom the notary public does not personally know. The notary public first must establish the identities of the two credible witnesses by the presentation of paper identification. Under oath, the credible witness must swear or affirm that each of the following is true: (a) The individual appearing before the notary public as the signer of the document is the person named in the document; (b) The credible witness personally knows the signer; (c) The credible witness reasonably believes that the circumstances of the signer are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for the signer to obtain another form of identification; (d) The signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signer’s identity; (e) The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed.
A: In those cases where the individual signing his/her name is competent to sign, but unable to do so because of disability or frailty there is a procedure called “signature by mark”. The protocol for this requires two (2) witnesses. The signer makes a mark, frequently an “X”, which is witnessed by the 2 witnesses. There is a form that the Notary can provide that one of the witnesses fills out and both witnesses sign it. This procedure essentially converts that “X” into the signer’s legal signature for the purposes of that particular document.