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Your questions about Rules of Notary Publics in CA (they are commissioned for 4 years at a time) Must sit for exam each and every four years and be fingerprinted again

May 12, 2015

When completing a certificate of acknowledgment or a jurat, a notary public is required to certify to the identity of the signer of the document. (Civil Code sections 1185(a), 1189, Government Code section 8202) Identity is established if the notary public is presented with satisfactory evidence of the signer’s identity. (Civil Code section 1185(a)) Satisfactory Evidence – “Satisfactory Evidence” means the absence of any information, evidence, or other circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the individual is not the individual he or she claims to be and (A) paper identification documents or (B) the oath of a single credible witness or (C) the oaths of two credible witnesses under penalty of perjury, as specified below: A. Paper Identification Documents – Identity of the signer can be established by the notary public’s reasonable reliance on the presentation of any one of the following documents, if the identification document is current or has been issued within five years (Civil Code section 1185(b)(3) and (4)): 1. An identification card or driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles; 2. A United States passport; 3. An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody in California state prison. 4. A type of identification listed below, provided that it contains a photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number: (a) A passport issued by a foreign government, provided that it has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; (b) A driver’s license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses; (c) An identification card issued by another state; (d) A United States military identification card with the required photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number. (Some military identification cards do not contain all the required information.); or (e) An 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. Note: The notary public must include in his or her journal the type of identifying document, the governmental agency issuing the document, the serial or identifying number of the document, and the date of issue or expiration of the document that was used to establish the identity of the signer. (Government Code section 8206(a)(2)(D)) B. Oath of a Single Credible Witness – The identity of the signer can be established by the oath of a single credible witness whom the notary public personally knows. (Civil Code section 1185(b)(1)) The notary public must establish the identity of the credible witness by the presentation of paper identification documents as set forth above. Under oath, the credible witness must swear or affirm that each of the following is true (Civil Code section 1185(b)(1) (A)(i)-(v)): 1. The individual appearing before the notary public as the signer of the document is the person named in the document; 2. The credible witness personally knows the signer; 3. The credible witness reasonably believes that the circumstances of the signer are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for the signer to obtain another form of identification; 4. The signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signer’s identity; and 5. The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed. general information 9 Note: The single credible witness must sign the notary public’s journal or the notary public must indicate in his or her journal the type of identifying document, the identifying number of the document, and the date of issuance or expiration of the document presented by the witness to establish the identity of the witness. (Government Code section 8206(a)(2)(D)) C. Oaths of Two Credible Witnesses – The identity of the signer can be established by the oaths of two credible witnesses whom the notary public does not personally know. (Civil Code section 1185(b)(2)) The notary public first must establish the identities of the two credible witnesses by the presentation of paper identification documents as listed above. Under oath, the credible witnesses must swear or affirm under penalty of perjury to each of the things sworn to or affirmed by a single credible witness, as set forth above. (Civil Code sections 1185(b)(2) and 1185(b)(1)(A)(i)-(v)) Note: The credible witnesses must sign the notary public’s journal and the notary public must indicate in his or her journal the type of identifying documents, the identifying numbers of the documents, and the dates of issuance or expiration of the documents presented by the witnesses to establish their identities. (Government Code section 8206(a)(2)(E))

Notary Public Journal

A notary public is required to keep one active sequential journal at a time of all acts performed as a notary public. The journal must be kept in a locked and secured area (such as a lock box or locked desk drawer), under the direct and exclusive control of the notary public. The journal shall include the items shown below. (Government Code section 8206(a)) • Date, time and type of each official act (e.g., acknowledgment, jurat). • Character of every instrument sworn to, affirmed, acknowledged or proved before the notary public (e.g., deed of trust). • The signature of each person whose signature is being notarized. • A statement that the identity of a person making an acknowledgment or taking an oath or affirmation was based on “satisfactory evidence” pursuant to Civil Code section 1185. If satisfactory evidence was based on: 1. Paper identification, the journal shall contain the type of identifying document, the governmental agency issuing the document, the serial or identifying number of the document, and the date of issue or expiration of the document; 2. A single credible witness personally known to the notary public, the journal shall contain the signature of the credible witness or the type of identifying document, the governmental agency issuing the document, the serial or identifying number of the document, and the date of issue or expiration of the document establishing the identity of the credible witness; or 3. Two credible witnesses whose identities are proven upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence, the journal shall contain the signatures of the credible witnesses and the type of identifying document, the governmental agency issuing the document, the serial or identifying number of the document, and the date of issue or expiration of the document establishing the identity of the credible witnesses. • The fee charged for the notarial service. • If the document to be notarized is a deed, quitclaim deed, deed of trust, or other document affecting real property or a power of attorney document, the notary public shall require the party signing the document to place his or her right thumbprint in the journal. If the right thumbprint is not available, then the notary public shall have the party use his or her left thumb, or any available finger and shall so indicate in the journal. If the party signing the document is physically unable to provide a thumb or fingerprint, the notary public shall so indicate in the journal and shall also provide an explanation of that physical condition. If the sequential journal is stolen, lost, misplaced, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable, the notary public immediately must notify the Secretary of State by certified or 10 general information registered mail. The notification must include the periods of journal entries, the notary public commission number, the commission expiration date, and, when applicable, a photocopy of the police report that lists the journal. (Government Code section 8206(b))

A notary public must respond within 15 business days after the receipt of a written request from any member of the public for a copy of a transaction in the notary public journal by supplying either a photostatic copy of a line item from the notary public’s journal or an acknowledgment that no such line item exists. The written request shall include the name of the parties, the type of document, and the month and year in which the document was notarized. The cost to provide the requested information must not exceed thirty cents ($0.30) per page. (Government Code sections 8206(c) and 8206.5) The sequential journal is the exclusive property of the notary public and shall not be surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment, whether or not the employer paid for the journal, or at any other time. The circumstances in which the notary public must relinquish the journal or permit inspection and copying of journal transactions and the procedures the notary public must follow are specified in Government Code section 8206(d). A notary public is guilty of a misdemeanor if the notary public willfully fails to properly maintain the notary public’s journal. (Government Code section 8228.1) Within 30 days from the date the notary public commission is no longer valid, the notary public must deliver all notarial journals, records and papers to the county clerk’s office where the oath is on file. If the notary public willfully fails or refuses to do so, the notary public is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be personally liable for damages to any person injured by that action or inaction. (Government Code section 8209) Any notarial journals, records and papers delivered to the Secretary of State will be returned to the sender.

An "acknowledgement" is a certification by the Notary Public (she acknowledges) that the PERSON SIGNING the doc is the PERSON WHOSE NAMED IS ON THE DOC

A "Jurat" means the PERSON signing the DOC in front of a Notary Public also SWEARS that the STATEMENTS inside the DOC are TRUE. (the NP administers the oath)

This is similar to when you are in court and the Bailiff makes everyone in the courtroom swear (take an oath) that they will tell THE TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH a NP can administer an oath just the same as a court clerk or bailiff.

I hope this clears up any quesions.

 

------------------------------------
Nancy Duffy McCarron, CBN 164780
Attorney, Real Estate Broker, BBB Arbitrator, CA Notary Public
Certified Forensic Loan Auditor, Property Manager

 

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