What do I need for a notarization?
Every signer needs to have a current Valid ID with them (see below for acceptable types), be able to sign their name, and be aware and able to understand what they are signing. The documents should be reviewed and filled out before the notary arrives except for the signature pages.
What are acceptable types of ID?
- State-issued, Canadian, or Mexican Driver’s License
- State-issued ID card or senior ID card
- U.S. Passport
- Inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Sheriff’s Department
- Foreign passport that has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
- Permanent resident card or “Green Card”
Other types of ID that are acceptable as long as they have a photograph, signature, and description of the person as well as an ID number:
- Valid consular ID issued by a consulate from the signer’s country of citizenship
- Employee identification 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.
- U.S. military ID card
What if the signer does not have acceptable ID?
If the signer does not have acceptable ID, two witnesses, known as credible witnesses, can swear that the signer is who they say they are and then the witnesses’ signatures and Valid IDs will be recorded in the notary journal. Witnesses can be anyone who knows the signer and is not named and does not stand to benefit from the document being signed.
What if the signer cannot write their signature?
If the signer cannot sign their name, they can perform a “signature by mark”. They need to be able to make a mark resembling an “X” to do this alternative. They will make an “X” on the signature line of the document in the presence of two witnesses, then one of the two witnesses will print the signer’s name next to the mark and both witnesses will sign their names on the document as witness to the mark.
What does a notary do?
A Notary Public is an official commissioned by the Secretary of State to act as an impartial witness to prevent fraud by verifying identity.
What does a notary not do?
A notary cannot give any legal advice, provide forms or documents for a client, or fill out documents for a client.