A state appointed official commissioned to witness the signing of important documents and to administer oaths. Documents are notarized to deter fraud and to ensure they are properly executed. An impartial witness (the Notary) identifies signers to screen out impostors and to make sure they have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly.
May a Notary give legal advice?
No. It is illegal for a Notary to answer legal questions or act as a legal advisor unless he or she is also an attorney. A violation of this is considered a UPL (unauthorized practice of law) and is a crime. Also, a Notary cannot provide any advice about a particular document.
What are acceptable forms of ID?
Identification must be current or have been issued within five years:
- An identification card or driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles;
- A United States passport;
- Other state approved identification card, consisting of any of the one following, provided that it contains a photograph, a description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number.
A passport issued by a foreign government, provided that it has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration or Naturalization Service or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
A driver license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue driver licenses;
An identification card issued by another state;
A military identification card;
An inmate identification card issued by California Department of Corrections, if the inmate is in custody.