Updated: Feb 25
When you are handed a document and are told to get it notarized or you will need a notary, here is what you can expect. Please note this process is strictly for California notarizations...check with your state for their notary laws.
What Notarial Act is Needed
Please ask the party that gave you the document what type of notarization you require. A Notary, by law, is unable to choose the form for you. Types of notarizations include acknowledgements, jurats, power of attorney copy certification, copy certification by document custodian, oath/affirmation
Is Document Complete?
Ensure that all blank spaces on the document are complete. Notaries are unable to notarize incomplete documents.
If a jurat is required, please do not sign the document, you will need to sign in front of the Notary.
Contact a Notary (options)
Contact a Mobile Notary, such as myself. I will come to you anytime of day. It is very convenient but will cost additional to travel
Go to your nearest UPS Store, Bank or anywhere donning the Notary Public sign outside their business. This will save the travel fee.
Go online and Google "Notary Near Me"
For most notarial acts you will be charged $15 per act (acknowledgement, jurat, oaths/affirmations, copy certification of power of attorney and copy certification of document custodian).
In California, Notaries are able to set their own travel fee so be sure to settle on what that fee is prior to Notary arrival. It will be the cost of travel plus the $15 per notarial act.
A Notary's duty is to witness the signing of your documents, verify your identity, willingness to sign the documents, and awareness of the contents of the document or transaction.
Ensure the name on the document matches the name on your ID
Ensure your ID is current or issued within the past 5 years of the notarization
Ensure your ID has an identifying number (serial number), contains a photo and physical description and your signature
Acceptable forms of ID: Passport/Book, Foreign Passport endorsed by USCIS, CA Driver's License, ID or Senior ID Card issued by CA DMV, Other State Driver's License or ID, Mexico or Canada Driver's License, CA State Employee ID Card, Employee ID from any city/county within CA, US Military ID (only if includes a signature), Inmate ID issued by California Dept. of Corrections.
Notary Public will once arrived...
Will ask for your ID
You will let them know which form to use, if not already provided
Will review the document for completeness
Will ask if you signed the form, if already signed
Will ensure you understand and are willing to sign the document
Will ask you to sign and date the document, if not already signed
Perform the oath or affirmation, if needed
Fill out the notarial act form, add signature and stamp
There is specific language that must be used on California notarial forms (jurat, acknowledgement, etc.). If the language provided on your document does not match, the Notary will cross out that section on your document, add "see attached" and attach one of their own certificates.
Record each act in their journal and have you sign and fingerprint each entry
Agreed upon fees are paid; you are all done!