What will you need to bring for a notarization?

Besides the document that requires notarization, you’ll need identification so the notary can certify your identity as the signer and the notarial fee.

Any document that requires notarization can be executed by the notary, but some have special requirements:

Out of State real estate documents
Recordable documents that transfer property (Deed of Trust, Mortgage, Grant Deed, Quitclaim Deed, Warranty Deed, etc) located in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisianna or South Carolina have witness requirements in addition to the notarial requirement.

  • Connecticut requires two witnesses (one may be the notary)
  • Florida requires two witnesses (one may be the notary)
  • Georgia requires one witness (it cannot be the notary)
  • Louisianna requires two witnesses (neither can be the notary)
  • South Carolina requires two witnesses (one can be the notary) The witness must also witness the notary’s signature in the acknowledgment / jurat certificate of the Deed of Trust / Mortgage even if there is no witness line.
  • Vermont requires one witness (it cannot be the notary)

Who can be a witness?
The witness is an additional person over the age of 18 that is not party to the transaction and is present to witness the signing of the document.

If your document has a signature line designated for a witness, it is recommended to call the originator of the document to get clarification on what they require.

In California, “Identity is established if the notary public is presented with satisfactory evidence of the signer’s identity”. (Civil Code section 1185(a)).
The State of California 2014 Notary Handbook:

The most common forms of identification:

  • An ID card or driver license issued by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles
  • A United States passport

Also accepted provided it contains a photograph, description, signature and identifying number of the signer:

  • An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody in California state prison
  • A passport issued by a foreign government, provided it has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
  • A driver’s license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency
  • An ID card issued by another state
  • A U.S. military ID card
  • 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.

Notarial Fee

In California, the fee a notary may charge is regulated by the state.  It is currently set at a maximum of $10.00 per notarized signature.

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What is a Notary Public and what do they do?

A Notary Public is a publicly commissioned officer of the state.  In California, Notaries Public are appointed by the Secretary of State and granted four-year terms.  They serve the public as an impartial witness and perform a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents.  These acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts, and sometimes require the Notary to place the signer under oath to swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the information contained in the document is true and correct.

A Notary has three primary duties:

  • To verify the true identity of the signer of the document.
  • To establish their willingness to sign without duress or coercion.
  • To determine their understanding of the content of the document and the implications of signing it.

As official representatives of the state, Notaries Public certify the proper execution of many life-changing documents of private citizens.  Impartiality is essential and dictates that they not act in circumstances where they have personal interest, nor refuse service to any person due to race, nationality, religion, politics or sexual orientation.

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