Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

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What is a notary public?

A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government —typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts. Notaries are publicly commissioned as “ministerial” officials, meaning that they are expected to follow written rules without the exercise of significant personal discretion, as would otherwise be the case with a “judicial” official.

How much can a notary public charge?

A Notary Public has the discretion to set their pricing according to many factors such as distance traveled, extra services provided, time of day, etc. The state mandates that maximum that can be charged per signature, but does not mandate the amount that can be charged for additional services such as mobile service, printing, and shipping. If a Notary does not provide any extra service, and is not mobile, they are only allowed to charge $15 per signature.

how late are you open?

24 hours, 7 days a week. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. If you need a Notary Public late at night, PLEASE CALL if it's an "in the moment" decision in order to be accommodated. Otherwise, online self-scheduling works best. During the day we do our best to accommodate all requests.

Can i notarize anything?

While most things are able to be notarized, somethings are not. There are some basic requirements of documents needing to be notarized. The most important is that the document must require the signature of the person who is requesting notarization. Because a Notary Public is here to verify signatures, you cannot notarize something that does not need to be signed, such as a photograph. You also cannot notarize a document that is required to be signed by someone else, or was already signed by someone else. 

I am Trans-gendered and i do not have legal documents verifying my identity. what are my options?

No problem! We will be happy to help you with your notary needs.  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) identification documents or (B) the oath of a single credible witness* or (C) the oaths of two credible witnesses under penalty of perjury.  Just give us a call at (213) 308-1956, and we will discuss your options. 

*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
  5. The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed.

 

are you a notario publico?

Absolutely not! While the translation into Spanish if often called “Notario Publico,” California Notary Public’s are completely different from the meaning of Notario Publico. In Mexico this individual is a type of lawyer and has the ability to give legal advice, and do other things that a Notary Public cannot do. Do not confuse the two, they are two separate titles and have completely different duties. It is intact illegal for a Notary Public to refer to themselves as a Notario Publico.

Can i be refused service by a notary public?

Only under certain conditions can a Notary Public refuse to serve someone. If the individual cannot meet the legal requirements for identification, and requirements of documents able to be notarized, then the notary can decline. If the individual is unable to submit payment for the service they are requesting, then the notary may also decline. However, if a member of the public come to a Notary Public and presents all the required documentation and payment, a notary cannot refuse to serve them. A notary can be fined and lose their commission for refusing to execute their duty as a public servant.

can a notary public prepare my documents?

Absolutely NOT! A notary is not allowed to prepare legal documents or offer legal advice about a particular document (unless he or she is also an attorney). A notary public in most of the United States and Canada has limited powers than those of civil-law or other common-law notaries, both of whom are qualified lawyers admitted to the bar: such notaries may be referred to as notaries-at-law or lawyer notaries. In common law, notarial service is distinct from the practice of law, and giving legal advice and preparing legal instruments is forbidden to notaries such as those appointed throughout most of the United States of America.

which forms of identification are acceptable?

California permits Notaries to accept the following forms of identification:

  • A California driver’s license or nondriver’s ID
  • A U.S. passport (or passport card)
  • An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation if the inmate is in prison or any form of inmate identification issued by a sheriff’s department if the inmate is in custody in a local detention facility.

California also permits the following IDs, provided they include a photograph, signature, description of the person and a serial or ID number:

  • A driver’s license or official non-driver’s ID issued by a U.S. state
  • A Canadian or Mexican driver’s license issued by an appropriate public agency
  • A U.S. military ID
  • A valid foreign passport from the applicant’s country of citizenship
  • An employee ID issued by an agency or office of a California city, county, or city and county
  • An identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government

A valid consular identification document issued by a consulate from the applicant’s country of citizenship that meets specific requirements. (Note: Matricula consular cards issued by the government of Mexico do not meet California's statutory requirements.)