WHAT IS A NOTARY PUBLIC? A Notary Public is a responsible person appointed by the Secretary of State of California to act as an impartial witness in taking acknowledgments, administering oaths and affirmations, and performing other acts authorized by state law. Before an appointment is granted, the Notary Public must pass a state-proctored exam, be fingerprinted and clear a full background check conducted by the Department of Justice and the FBI.
WHY ARE DOCUMENTS NOTARIZED? To deter fraud. Acting as an impartial witness, the Notary Public ensures that the signers of the documents are who they say they are and not imposters. The Notary makes sure the signers have entered into the agreement knowingly and willingly.
TYPES OF NOTARIZATIONS ALLOWED Acknowledgements, certifying that the signer personally appeared before the Notary, was identified by the Notary, and acknowledged signing the document.
Jurats, as found in affidavits and other sworn documents, certifying that the signer personally appeared before the notary, signed in the Notary’s presence, and took an oath or affirmation from the Notary.
Certified Copy of Power of Attorney, Notaries may certify that a copy of a power of attorney document is identical to the original.
Oaths and Affirmations, are solemn promises to God (oath) or solemn promise on one’s own personal honor (affirmation).
Did you know that a Notary may swear in the President of the United States? In fact, at 2:30 on the morning of August 3, 1923, while visiting in Vermont, Calvin Coolidge received word that he was President. By the light of a kerosene lamp, his father, who was a Notary Public, administered the oath of office as Coolidge placed his hand on the family Bible.
Proofs of Execution, certifying that a subscribing witness personally appeared and swore to the Notary that another person, the principal, signed a document.
Depositions, (taking, administration of oath and certificate).
You must know what type of notarization you require before your appointment. A Notary Public cannot advise which of the above services you need. Doing so would constitute the unauthorized practice of law. Simply call the person that requested or prepared the document and ask.
MAY ANY DOCUMENT BE NOTARIZED? For a document to be notarized, it must contain: * Text committing the signer in some way. * An original signature (not a photocopy). * A notarial “certificate” which may appear on the document itself or as an attachment. The Notary fills in the certificate, signs it, and applies his or her seal to complete the notarization.
TYPES OF DOCUMENTS NOTARIZED There are many types of documents a Notary Public may notarize as long as they are lawful. A partial list of may include Corporate, Real Estate, Divorce, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Convalescent care, Adoption, Custody, Medical, Banking, Personal, Jail
SOME ITEMS A NOTARY MAY NOT DO * Just seal and sign * Notarize a birth certificate or any other vital public record * Help prepare documents * Help with immigration * Notarize an incomplete document * Select the type of notarization * Notarize for an absent signer (unless a Subscribing Witness) * Notarize patents or copyrights * Inspect only the signature page * Not attach a certificate, if applicable * Certify a translation * Notarize without ID * Certify an object or event * Falsify a date * Use an interpreter * Notarize a will for probate unless directed by an attorney.
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