If you have a document that you need notarized, there are a few things you should know. California state law has requirements that must be met for your notarization to be approved. So call your Notary Public and let us help you prepare for any type of notarization at your mobile notary appointment.
1. Make Sure the Document is Complete
Providing a complete document to your notary is the most obvious requirement that you need to fulfill. Have every page of the document present, and fill in all blanks other than signature lines. This requirement is for your protection, and the notary cannot legally help you fill in blanks. If you have need help filling in the missing information, talk to the relevant parties before meeting with a notary.
2. Have Valid Identification
This is extremely important. One of the primary duties of a notary is to verify the identity of signers.
There are two main options. You can either:
- Present a form of acceptable ID or
- Present two Credible Witnesses who have their own acceptable identification with them
Credible Witnesses are generally only used in situations when valid identification doesn’t exist, like when a person was not issued a birth certificate and has no state ID, passport, social security card, or drivers license.
Most people use ID, e.g. passports and driver’s licenses. If you cannot present paper identification documents and intend to present two witnesses, give the notary a heads up on this.
3. Your ID Name Must Match the Name on the Document
Even if there is a minor discrepancy in name on the document and signer’s identification papers, a California notary won’t proceed with the notarization. The general rule of “less, not more” applies for minor discrepancies. For instance, If the name on the ID is “David Lee Brooks” and the name on the document is “David L. Brooks”, it is acceptable, but not the other way around.
If your ID name doesn’t match the document, the easiest way is generally to change the way the document is filled out.
4. Know What Type Notarization You Need
Usually, your document will include notarial language. Look for the words jurat or acknowledgement, because these are the two most common types of notarization. Basically, jurat notarization is to show that you agree to what the document says (like an oath), and acknowledgment notarization is to verify that you are the person signing the document (to prevent fraud). If there is no notarial wording on your document, don’t panic; mobile notaries carry jurat and acknowledgement forms wherever they go. Just specify the type of notarization you need.
5. Know What You Will Be Paying
Count up the number of notarized signatures you need, this helps you estimate what you’ll be paying. Notaries charge a state mandated fee per signature, although mobile fees, charges for printing, and wait fees may apply. These charges vary from one notary to another. Some notaries charge a cancellation fee if the signing cannot be completed for some reason. Others require an advance deposit before they set up an appointment with you. Discuss your needs with the notary beforehand so there are no surprises at the end of the appointment.