A notary is required to independently witness and authenticate legal documents and transactions, in particular when they need to be submitted to authorities overseas. Notarization confirms the authenticity of signed documents, ensuring that they are fully compliant with the requirements in the relevant jurisdiction.
The certification by a notary can also be needed to confirm the authenticity of copied documents, such as passports or utility bills.
A notary's Certificate of Acknowledgment is one of the most common notarizations in California. The notary verifies the signer's identity and the signer signs the document or acknowledges that he/she signed it and that it is their signature on the document to which the notary attaches the Certificate. It does not verify the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.
For a Notary Public to notarize your signature with a Certificate of Acknowledgment, you must sign it or acknowledge to the Notary that you did sign it. It the document requires a Jurat Certificate (the second most common notarization), you must sign it in the physical presence of the Notary and swear an oath. Generally speaking, it is best to wait until the Notary tells you that you can sign, as you may need to swear an oath first, for example. The most common mistake we see is customers coming in with documents already signed. Usually, this is easily rectified. You simply sign the document again in front of the Notary. However, it is, of course, a little messy. And it may not be accepted in your particular circumstances. If you want to be sure, contact your counsel, or the organization that you are sending the document to, and ask. If possible, bring a spare copy, just in case.
If you prefer to schedule an appointment or obtain a quote online, you can visit our website and fill out our contact form. Simply provide us with your contact information and a brief description of your request, and one of our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.