I know that many questions may come to mind about a Legal Document preparation, process service, loan signing or wedding officiant services.
Since notarizations causes for certain guidelines to be met by the state of California, for your convenience, I've provided useful information to aide you during the notarization process.
What you will need at the time of notarization1. The document(s) that you want notarized completely
filled-out (without signatures) and
correct spelling of names(s).
2. The person(s) that will either serve
as Subscribing Witness(es).
3. An acceptable form of identification
Q: What are the acceptable forms of identification?
A: California law allows for various identification documents to be used to verify your identity such as:
- Driver's License or ID - for the state of California or a driver’s license issued by another state, and by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses, EXPIRED I.D. STILL MAY BE USED: UP TO 5 YEARS, from the date of notarization.
- Passports - A United States Passport
UPDATE: Passport I.D. Req. beginning Jan. 1, 2017
1. No longer requires a foreign passport presented to be stamped by the United States Citizenship and Immigration
2. Allows a valid, unexpired
consular ID document issued by a consulate from the applicant's country
be accepted by a Notary as satisfactory evidence of
- Personal Knowledge BETWEEN Notary & Document Signer - I as the Notary Public MUST "personally" know the document signer and have a well-established relationship to use this option; or
- Identification Cards - issued by California or another state,
- Military Identification Card - issued by the United States,
- Inmate Identification Card - issued by
the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, ONLY when incarcerated in a California law enforcement
1. Any form of inmate identification of the Sheriff’s
Department, if the inmate is in custody, in a local
detention facility; or
2. There is reasonable reliance on any one of the following forms of identification, provided that the I.D. also contains a photograph description of the
person, signature, and identifying number
- Employee Identification Card - issued by an agency or office of the State of California, agency or office of a city or county,
- 2 Credible-Witnesses(s) - Known personally by the document signer that can attest that he/she doesn't have or can't obtain the required identification required to complete the
notarization under oath/affirmation.; lastly
- Tribal Identification Card- Issued by a federally recognized tribal
government as satisfactory evidence of identity
provided it is current or issued in the past 5 years
contains a signature, description of the person, and
Common Questions asked by signers
Q: What documents aren't able to be notarized?
A: A Notary Public may NOT notarize documents that are:
- Certified copies of birth, fetal death, death, marriage records.
- I-9 documents can ONLY be completed by a certified Immigration Specialist; and
- At the Notary Public's discretion, anything that may appear to be fraudulent in any way.
Q: Does the signer of a document has to be present?
A: No, a person may, as a Subscribing-Witness, accompany the notarization process with two credible witnesses completing the notarization. Real Estate and Power of Attorney documents cannot use this type of notarization.
Q: Can the Notary Public select which form to complete the notarization?
A: By law, I am not authorized to select the appropriate form because that would constitute practicing law. If you need advice, contact the local Bar Association in your area or a Lawyer of your choice for more information. For your convenience, I provided California approved and (UPDATED) reproducible forms for your notarization needs.
Q: Are there persons that are exempt paying notary fees?
A: Yes, when performing notarial services on a military base, military personnel, veterans, and documents related to military veterans pensions. Also, absentee ballot I.d. and voting materials are exempt from notarization fees, excluding traveling fees.
Useful Information & Links
The links below will provide up-to-date information regarding notary laws for the state of California and expanded answers to questions that were not referenced above!