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What is an Acknowledgment?

   An Acknowledgment is a certificate completed by the notary according to Civil Code section 1189, wherein: (a). The signer personally appeared before the notary on the date and in the county

   indicated and acknowledged executing the document being Acknowledged, (b). The notary signed

   and affixed his/her seal on the Acknowledgment, and (e). The notary properly

   identified the signer. The wording of the Acknowledgment must read (effective January 1, 2015): 

         State of California

             County of ______

         On_____before me (Name and title of officer executing the Acknowledgment), personally appeared _____________

         who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the 

             within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies),

             and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the

             person(s) acted, executed the instrument. 

             I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is 

         true and correct. 

            WITNESS my hand and official seal.

What is a Jurat?

   A Jurat is a certificate completed by the notary according to Government Code Section 8202,

   wherein: (a). The signer personally appeared before the notary on the date and in the county

   indicated, (b). The signer signed the document in front of the notary, (c). The notary

   administered the oath or affirmation, (d). The notary signed and affixed his/her

   seal on the Jurat, and(e). The notary properly identified the signer. The wording of the

   jurat must read (effective January 1, 2015):

          State of California

          County of ______

          Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on this____ day of ____, 20__. by ___________, proved to  to me

               on the basis of satisfactory  evidence to be the person(s) who appeared before me.

 A notary public of other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the  document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document

What is a California Apostille?

   A California Apostille is a certificate issued by the Office of the Secretary of State of the State

  of California, authenticating the signature of the California official who signed the document and

  the capacity in which that official acted. Authentication is limited to the signatures of Notary

  Publics, County Clerks or Recorders, Court Administrators of the Superior Court, Officers

 whose authority is not limited to any particular county, Executive Clerks of the Superior Court,

  Executive Officers of the Superior Court, Judges of the Superior Court and State Officials. This

  certification is for foreign countries that belong to the Hague Convention.   

What is a U.S. Department of State Authentication?

  This is a certification issued by the U.S. Department of State, authenticating the signature of

  the federal official who signed the document and the capacity in which that official acted, or the

  signature of the signer of a state apostille.


What is “Satisfactory Evidence?”

   Satisfactory Evidence means the verification of a persons ID according to (a). Paper documents

   according to Civil Code Section 1185(b)(3)&(4), or (b). The oath of a single credible witness

  (Civil Code section 1185(b)(1)), or (c). The oath of two credible witnesses (Civil Code 1185(b)(2)),

  and the absence of any information evidence or circumstances which would lead a reasonable

   human being to believe or suspect that the individual is not the individual he or she

   claims to be.


What is a “Subscribing Witness?”

   A Subscribing Witness is a person who who appears on behalf of another person, the principal,

  to prove the principal signed the document. There are many requirements attached to this

  type of witness. One major requirement is the identity of the Subscribing Witness must be

  established by the oath of a credible witness whom the notary personally knows and who

  personally knows the subscribing witness. This type of witness not be used for a Quitclaim

  Deed, Grant Deed (other than a trustee’s deed or deed of reconveyance), Mortgage, Deed of Trust

   or Security Agreement.


What is a “Credible Witness”

   A Credible Witness is a person (whose identity has been established by the Notary according to

   Satisfactory Evidence) who personally knows and establishes the identity of another person via

   oath. (The Notary has to personally know the Credible Witness if he/she is validating the

   identity of a person with only one Credible Witness. ) 


I can’t travel. What options do I have?

   Contact a Mobile Notary to come to your location.      

May I sign my documents in advance before the notary arrives?

   You may sign your documents in advance if they only require an Acknowledgment. The notary will

   ask you to acknowledge that the signature on the docs are indeed yours. However, all docs

    requiring a Jurat or thumb print must be signed in front of the Notary.

How can someone who is illiterate or unable to write get a document notarized?

   If a person is illiterate or unable to write but is able to make a mark, the State of California

   allows such notarizations via “Signature By Mark.”  

Can I get a document notarized if I have lost my ID or am unable to immediately obtain it?

   You are still able to have your documents notarized if you do not have the proper identification

   on your person and the Notary has either (a). Two credible witnesses who swear (or affirm)

   to the requirements of Civil Code section 1185(b)(1) (A)(i)-(v), or (b). One credible witness

   who swears (or affirms) to Civil Code section 1185(b)(1)(A)(i)-(v) and whom the Notary 

   personally knows.                                      

How may I get a Certified Copy of a Power of Attorney?

   You may obtain a Certified Copy of a Power of Attorney by presenting the original Power of

   Attorney to a California Notary Public for certification.  

   notarization ID in California.

Can any driver’s license be used as ID for notarization?

   Only driver’s licenses from the U.S., Canada and Mexico are valid for establishing


Can I get an Acknowledgment for a doc that is not currently in my possession?

   Acknowledgments may only be executed for documents you (or Subscribing Witness)


Can I get a document notarized over the phone?

   You or your Subscribing Witness must personally appear before the Notary to have a

  document notarized.


Which documents require a thumb print?

   Documents for which a mandatory thumb print must be obtained are: Deed, Quitclaim Deed,

   Deed or Trust affecting Real Property, Power of Attorney and Affidavits. 


Do I still need to provide ID if the notary knows me personally?

   Your identity must be verified by satisfactory evidence, whether or not you are personally

    known by the Notary.


Why does the notary sometimes staple a Jurat or Acknowledgment form to my document?

   Your notary will staple your Acknowledgment or Jurat form to the back of your document

   being notarized if the notarization statement of your document does not comply with

   approved California Notary wording. 

May my notary assist or advise me on completing a document?

   Notaries are not lawyers and are prohibited from giving any legal advice. 


May I use my expired U.S. driver’s license as ID?

   You may use your expired U.S. driver’s license to establish your identification provided it

   has not been  5 or more years since it was issued.                                    


May I assist another person sign a document for notarization?

   Signers may not be assisted by anyone during the signing process. The signer must be

  able to sign or make their mark independently.                                                             


If I am sedated and/or incoherent, may I still get a doc notarized?

   The Notary must make a judgment call in determining if you are aware and capable of

   making a decision to sign and that you are not under the control of any substance or duress

   that would cause you to sign something that you normally would possibly not sign. Usually,

   all extenuating circumstance during a signing are indicated in the Notary’s journal.