What is a Notary Public, and when do I need one?
A Notary Public is authorized by a state governing body to verify the identity of persons entering into a formal agreement, and to witness the signing of that agreement. A Notary Public helps you protect your interests by acting as an officially recognized impartial witness witness to not only the signature of a document but also the fact that all parties who signed did so willingly and under their own power.
Documents requiring notarization may include
- Powers of Attorney (or copies of an original POA)
- Personal Legal documents
- Financial Documents
- Wills & Trusts
- Health Care Directives
- Passport & Visa Authentications
- DMV Documents
- Consent Letters for Minor Child to Travel Internationally
Notaries may perform the following notarizations:
- Certified Copy of Notarial Record
- Certified Copy of original Power of Attorney
- Oaths and Affirmations
- Proofs of Execution
Notary and Notary Signing Agent (NSA) FAQ
1Can I just sign the document or do I have to complete the document before the notarization?
No. A Notary Public cannot take an acknowledgment on a document that is incomplete. (California Government Code section 8205.)
2Can I get a document notarized that is in a foreign language?
Yes. A Notary Public can notarize a signature on a document written in a foreign language, whether or not they are familiar with the language, since a Notary Public’s function only relates to the signature and not the contents of the document. However, a Notary Public must be able to communicate with the customer without a translator. The Notarial Certificate in a foreign language document or attached to a foreign language document, e.g., the Acknowledgment or Jurat, must be written in English.
3Does notarizing a document make it legal and binding?
No. By completing a certificate of acknowledgment, the Notary Public is not certifying the legality of the underlying document. An Acknowledgment is the Notarial Certificate attached to a document when the Notary Public confirms the identity of the signer and the signer acknowledges being the signer of the document.
4What is an Acknowledgement?
A formal declaration before a Notary Public that the instrument presented is the free and voluntary act of the party executing it and the signatures on the documents are genuine.
5What is a Jurat?
A Jurat is an attached written statement of a Notary Public that an oath or affirmation was taken before the Notary Public.
6What is an Affirmation?
An Affirmation is an oral or written declaration made by a person who has an objection to taking oaths, certifying under the penalty of perjury the declarations are true.
7When should I use a Notary Signing Agent?
A Notary Signing Agent (“NSA”) is a notary who is specially trained to handle and notarize loan documents. For lenders, NSAs are the critical final link to complete the loan. A NSA is hired as an independent contractor to ensure that real estate loan documents are executed by the borrower, notarized, and returned for processing on time. Completing this critical part of the loan process enables the loan to be funded.
Examples of Notarization of Mortgage Loan Documents include:
- Loan for Home Purchase
- First mortgage
- First refinance
- First & second / piggyback loan
- Home equity line of credit – HELOC
- Reverse Mortgage
- Commercial Real Estate Loan
Notary Public Fees
Quote upon request.