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A notary is appointed by the state of California to serve the public by witnessing the signing of important documents and/or administer oaths. An important part of notarizing documents is to properly identify the signer’s identification to protect all parties involved. Thus, signer(s) must provide some form of paper identification documents which must be current or issued within five years. An acceptable form of paper identification document will contain the bearer’s photograph, physical descriptions, signature, and serial or unique identifying number.
Acceptable California Identification Include:
- California (or other state) Driver’s License
- California (or other state) Identification Card
- Mexico Driver’s License issued by an authorized Mexican public agency
- Canada Driver’s License issued by an authorized Canadian agency
- United State Passport
- United State Military Identification Card (containing signature)
- Inmate Identification Card (issued by CA and if inmate is in custody)
- Foreign Passport (must be valid)
- Identification Card issued by a federally recognized tribal government.
In the absence of the proper identification, you may use “two credible witnesses” who know you personally and will execute a sworn affidavit to that fact. These two credible witnesses cannot be related to the person, financially involved, or named in the documents.
Notaries Do Not Prepare Documents
- California notaries are not allowed to prepare or choose documents for their clients. Our duties are specifically defined by the Secretary of State. Basically we ensure that a document signer appears before us in person and is appropriately identified. We also administer oaths, if required.
- If you have any questions regarding your documents, please consult an attorney or the person who provided you the documents prior to our notarization.
- A Notary Public cannot notarize his own signature.
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