For Clients

What You Should Know About the Notarization Process

What is a Notary?

A Notary Public is a person of required honesty, credibility, truthfulness and integrity appointed by the State of California to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of acts related to the signing of important documents, taking oaths and affirmations and performing other acts authorized by law (GC 8201.1 and 8205).

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What is a Notarization?

Notaries fulfill three important roles when performing notarial acts.  They serve the public, act as impartial witnesses, and deter fraud.  The Notary protects the document and the public against fraud by fulfilling proper steps to notarization:  requires personal appearance; scan the document for completeness; identify and screen the signer; record the journal entry; and complete the notarial certificate. 

What to Bring -  Proper ID

Identity is established if the Notary is presented with satisfactory evidence of the signer's identity.  California permits notaries to accept the following forms of identification, provided they are current or issued within 5 years:

A.  Identification Documents:

California also permits the following IDs, provided they include a photograph, signature, description of the person, and a serial or ID number, and provided they are current or issued within 5 years.

B.  Oath of a Single Credible Witness that is personally known to the Notary;  or 

C.  Oaths or Two Credible Witness (not known to the Notary)


Are there different kinds of Notarial Acts?


Which notarial act is right for me?

Pledge of Ethical Practice

I am not an attorney and therefore, by law, I cannot explain or interpret the contents of any document for you, instruct you on how to complete a document, or direct you on the advisability of signing a particular document.   By doing so I would be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and could face legal penalties that include the possibility of incarceration.   Any important questions about your document should be addressed to the issuing/receiving agency or an attorney.