Notary FAQ

Common types of Notarization

  • Acknowledgement: Notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who personally appeared before the Notary and admitted having signed the document.

  • Jurat: Notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who personally appeared before the notary and notary watched the signing of a document and administered an oath or affirmation.

  • Copy Certification: Notary certifies that a copy of a document is a true and accurate reproduction of the original.

  • Oath or Affirmation: An affirmation is a pledge of honor, while an oath is a pledge to a higher being. Both affirmations and oaths are acts indicating truthfulness.

*Please confirm what type of notarization you need with the document provider prior to the appointment.

Acceptable Forms of Identification

  • Valid California driver’s license or nondriver’s ID

 

  • Valid U.S. passport (or passport card)

 

  • Valid inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation if the inmate is in prison or any form of inmate identification issued by a sheriff’s department if the inmate is in custody in a local detention facility

 

  • Valid driver’s license or official nondriver’s ID issued by a U.S. state

 

  • Valid Canadian or Mexican driver’s license issued by an appropriate public agency

 

  • Valid U.S. military ID

 

  • Valid foreign passport from the applicant’s country of citizenship

 

  • Valid employee ID issued by an agency or office of the state of California or a California city, county, or city and county

 

  • Valid identification card issued by a federally-recognized tribal government​

 

All of the identification documents listed above must be current or issued within the past 5 years

 

*If above identification options are not available and cannot be reasonably obtained, the signer may have two credible witnesses (with valid identification) present who know you and can attest to who you are under oath.

Common Questions & Answers

  • What is a Notary Public: A notary public is an officer appointed by state government. A notary is empowered to witness the signing of important documents, administer oaths and affirmations, and perform other acts as authorized by law. As an impartial, third-party witness, a notary identifies signers for the purpose of screening out impostors and deterring fraud. A notary also verifies that signers have knowingly and willingly entered into agreements.For this reason, signers must personally appear before a notary with proper identification at the time of notarization. While not always convenient, this requirement is for the protection of the public.

  • Can a Notary Public assist with document preparation? No. 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 lender, title company or an attorney.​

  • Can a Notary Public provide legal advice about my documents? No. 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 lender, title company or an attorney.