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Notarization Musts

The following is a list of "Notarization Musts" that you should expect when you request notarization.

  • The document signer(s) must personally appear before the Notary at time of notarization - not before, not after. A telephone call from the signer or the Notary's familiarity with a signature is not personal appearance.
  • The Notary must identify the signer through (1) paper identification documents  that is current or has been issued within five years containing a photograph, signature and physical description or (2) oath of a single credible witness or (3) oaths of two credible witnesses.
  • The Notary must be impartial and disinterested and not notarize a document bearing Notary's name or signature or that of Notary's spouse or relative, or document which will in any way benefit the Notary.
  • The Notary must not certify a copy of a birth certificate or other vital record or of a recordable document such as a deed. Copies of these documents must be issued only by the appropriate public records custodian.
  • The Notary must make a record of each notarization and require document signer to affix signature - and, if necessary, thumbprint - in official journal of notarial acts.
  • The Notary must hold and scan document to note unfilled blanks and glean information (title, name of signer(s), number of pages, etc.) for recording in journal of notarial acts.
Identification Requirements

At the time of notarization, valid identification must be presented which includes physical description, photograph, serial/identification number and signature.  The following types of identification are recognized as valid if current or issued in the last 5 years.

bullet California Driver License or State issued ID card
bullet United States Passport
bullet An employee ID card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or an agency or office of a city, county or city and county in California
bullet Driver’s license or ID card issued by another state
bullet Mexican or Canadian driver’s license issued by an authorized agent
bullet US Military ID card
bullet Foreign passport if stamped by the US Immigration and naturalization service

Note: Birth certificates, social security cards, etc., will not be accepted as a form of identification.


Click here for a copy of an Acknowledgment.
Click here for a copy of a Jurat.


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Page updated January 23, 2009