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Notary Module 2: The Five Steps of Notarization
Terms in this set (20)
Notaries fulfill three important roles when performing notarial acts
serve the public, act as impartial witnesses and deter fraud.
The Notary protects the document and the public against fraud by
fulfilling the proper steps to notarization.
The Five Steps of Notarization
1. Require personal appearance
2. Scan the document for completeness
3. Identify and screen the signer
4. Record the journal entry
5. Complete the notarial certificate
Require Personal Appearance
Before any notarization is complete, the signer must
appear in person before the Notary Public (CC §§ 1189 and 1190 and GC § 8202).
The signer must be
face-to-face with the Notary.
A phone call, email or web broadcast do not replace
SCENARIO: You arrive at work to find a small stack of signed documents and a note asking you to call your boss on her cell phone. When you contact your boss, she tells you that she had to leave on short notice, but the documents must be notarized today. She assures you that she will be back early tomorrow to sign your journal. How would you handle this situation?
Refuse until boss personally appears
Scan the Document for Completeness
The Notary must visually scan the document, looking for two things:
1. A complete document
2. An original signature(s)
A Notary may not take
an acknowledgment or a proof of execution on an incomplete document (GC § 8205).
A Notary may not notarize a document containing
blanks the Notary knows from his or her experience to be incomplete (GC § 8205)
In order to be notarized, the signatures on a documents...
must be original.
Identify and Screen the Signer
Notaries are required to verify the identity of the signer whenever...
they notarize a signature
Three notarial acts involve notarizing signatures
• Proofs of execution
The Notary should also screen the signer for
willingness and awareness before proceeding with any notarization.
For acknowledgments and jurats, a Notary is required to
obtain satisfactory evidence of the signer's identity (CC § 1185[b]).
In order to obtain satisfactory evidence there must be the absence of
information, evidence, or other circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the signer is not the individual he or she claims to be and any ONE of the following:
• A state-approved ID document, or
• The oath of one credible identifying witness, or
• The oaths of two credible identifying witnesses
A California Notary Public may not use personal knowledge to...
establish the identity of the signer.
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