This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
“The office of a notary public is often not taken very seriously, and many notaries apply their seals and signatures to all sorts of documents with reckless abandon. That is a BIG mistake! Upon your notarial acts rests the validity of documents which involve large financial transactions or which are needed in court actions. If a document is found to be invalid because of your improper notarial act, you could be subject to discipline under the Notary Public Act as well. In fact, one of the fastest growing areas of litigation in the country is actions against notaries for losses by improper notarial acts.”
From the Handbook for the State of Idaho
If you leave this seminar with enough information to save one hour’s consultation with an attorney, that alone is worth the price of the course. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Relax. Have fun. With our help, you will become the best notary that you can be.
History of the Notary
• • • •
means to write Witnessing Scribe ______________________
Old Roman Republic Notarii _____________
have a lot of power
where notaries get their name from - became a public official
Notaries around the world _______________
have less power in comparision United States Notaries __________________
Elements of a Notary
1. IMPARTIAL WITNESS 2. PROVEN CHARACTER 3. STATE OFFICIAL
California Notaries Have Power
Who gives the power?_________________________
CA Secretary of State
Take Acknowledgments (CC 1189) Take Proofs (CC 1195) Administer Oaths and Affirmations (GC 8202 & CCP 2094) Take Affidavits (Jurats) (GC 8202) Take Protests (GC 8208)
Should only be done under supervision of an attorney
Certify Copies of Power of Attorney and Notary Journal (PC 4307)
You must. . .
Be a legal resident of California (GC 8201(1))
Secretary of State Change of Address: Notify ____________________________ by certified or registered mail within ____ days of any change of __________________ 30 _____________ or ____________ address. Failure to do so could business residential result in a $500 fine. (GC 8213.5)
If you change business address, you must include the business name on the notification to the State. (GC 8213.5) If you move business or residence address from one county to another, you may refile oath and bond with new county clerk
Principal place of business cannot be a PO Box or commercial mail receiving location (i.e. UPS Store, Postal Annex, etc.) unless you also supply a physical business address. (GC 8213.5)
Be 18 years old or older (GC 8201(a)(2)) Satisfactorily complete a 6 hour course of study
Required for all notary commissions issued on or after July 1, 2005
(GC 8201.2 & 8201(b)(1))
Pass a written exam prescribed by the Secretary of State
Have no felony convictions or disqualifying misdemeanor convictions (GC 8214.1)
Applicants must disclose arrests for which trials are pending and all convictions on the application. Failing to do so may result in Secretary of State denying the application for failure to disclose information. (GC 8201.1 & 8214.1(a))
Complete a fingerprint request and submit it for a background check (Live Scan) (GC 8214.1)
6 Exception: Notaries who are seeking reappointment with less than a ____ month break in service are not required to have their fingerprints retaken.
Background checks are run through the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. (GC 8201.1)
Office of the Secretary of State Business Programs Division Notary Public Section P.O. Box 942877 Sacramento, California 94277-0001 Phone: (916) 653-3595 www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/notary.htm Commission Term: Four Years (GC 8204) Property of THE NOTARY (GC 8202.5 & 8203.1) Exceptions PUBLIC AGENCIES AND MILITARY Resignation IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY SofS IN WRITING
You have 30 days to turn in all notarial records to County Clerk
Public Agency Notaries must resign when they terminate their employment Military Notaries must resign when they leave the base
Fee to State: $40.00 taking exam ($20.00 re-taking exam)
A notary must respond within 15 days of receiving written request sent by certified mail from the Secretary of State’s office for information relating to official acts performed as a notary. (GC 8206.5)
Name Change NOTIFY SECRETARY OF STATE BY APPLICATION. THEY WILL ISSUE A NEW COMMISSION w/SAME EXP. DATE & NUMBER. ONCE ISSUED, YOU WILL HAVE 30 DAYS TO FILE AMENDED OATH AND BOND WITH COUNTY CLERK. THE NAME CHANGE DOES NOT TAKE EFFECT UNTIL THE OATH AND BOND ARE FILED. Failure to do so could result in a $500 fine. Jurisdiction: Statewide (GC 8200) Bond: $15,000 by an admitted surety insurer (GC 8212) The notary remains PERSONALLY LIABLE Must be filed with oath WITHIN 30 CALENDAR DAYS OF ISSUANCE OF COMMISSION (GC 8213) Oath can be taken with County Clerk or by a notary in county of principal place of business
Stamp and Seal
(GC 8201.1 & 8214.1)
Type: Inked Stamp or Embosser
Kept in a LOCKED and SECURED AREA under the DIRECT and EXCLUSIVE control of notary. The seal is the property of the notary and shall not be surrendered to employer for any reason. (GC 8207 & 8214.1) Stamp universal but embosser allowed 1. PHOTOGRAPHICALLY REPRODUCIBLE 2. STATE SEAL & “NOTARY PUBLIC” 3. NAME AS COMMISSIONED 4. COUNTY WHERE FILED 5. EXPIRATION DATE OF COMMISSION 6. SEQUENTIAL # (Notary Commission #) 7. MANUFACTURER ID # 8. SERRATED OR MILLED EDGE BORDER All the elements must be easily discernible
Never place seal over signatures or any printed matter (GC 8202, CC 1189 & 1195) The recorder may not accept documents with illegible or improperly placed seals. (GC 8202 &
8207 and CC 1189 & 1195)
Always used except with SUBDIVISION MAP (GC 66436C) Mylar form, will smear
Type or print: Notary Name, County of Record, Exp. Date adjacent to signature. Name Record
Certificates of Authorization (GC 8207.3) Issued by: Secretary of State Manufacturer must be authorized to manufacture seals in the State of California If a seal is lost, misplaced, destroyed, broken, damaged, or is rendered otherwise unworkable, the notary shall immediately mail or deliver written notice of that fact to the Secretary of State. If requested by the notary, the State will issue a new Certificate of Authorization within 5 business days of receipt of notice. Seals must be destroyed when commission is no longer valid. (GC 8214.1) Seals can only be used for rendering notarial services (GC 8207) If a notary willfully fails to keep his or her notarial seal under direct and exclusive control or surrenders his of her seal to someone not authorized to possess it, the notary public is guilty of a misdemeanor. (GC 8228.1) misdemeanor
One active sequential journal in a locked and secure area under direct and
exclusive control of notary – exclusive property of notary (GC 8206(a)(1)) DATE & TIME Notarized (GC 8206(a)(2)(A)) TYPE Notarized Character of the document (GC 8206(a)(2)(B)) TYPE of Service SIGNATURE of each person being notarized (GC 8206(a)(2)(C)) METHOD OF ID (GC 8206(a)(2)(D))
Satisfactory Evidence 1. Document TYPE of ID ISSUING Agency Serial or ID NUMBER EXPIRATION or Date of Issue 2. Person (Credible Witness) SIGNATURE(S) of Credible Witness(es) 1 witness personally known by the notary with ID card 2 witnesses with ID cards (GC 8206(a)(2)(D)) Personal Knowledge (is allowed only in addition to above)
Fee (GC 8206(a)(2)(F)) Right Thumb Print REQUIRED FOR DEEDS & POWERS OF ATTORNEY (GC 8206(a)(2)(G))
Quitclaim, Deed of Trust, Grant Deed, Power of Attorney Deeds of Reconveyence and Foreclosures do not require thumbprints
Lost, stolen or unusable: IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY SEC of STATE BY CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED MAIL Photostatic Copy of Journal Entry: Written request with NAME, TYPE NAME OF DOCUMENT, and MONTH / YEAR Charge no more than $0.30 DOCUMENT per page. Must supply copy or statement that entry does not exist within 15 business days. (GC 8206(c) & 8206.5) Termination of Commission: ALL NOTARIAL RECORDS AND PAPERS DELIVERED TO COUNTY CLERK WITHIN 30 DAYS Must supply a photostatic copy of journal entries and/or notary records to Sec. of State within 15 days of receipt of written request. (GC 8205(b)) The notary shall provide the journal for examination and copying in the presence of the notary public upon receipt of a subpoena duces tecum or a court order, and shall certify those copies if requested. (GC 8206) If journal is surrendered to a peace officer, the notary must obtain a receipt. Journal must be surrendered immediately or as soon as possible if journal is not present. The notary must contact the Sec. of State by mail w/in 10 days with the following: Period of journal entries, commission number, expiration number and photocopy of receipt. Willful failure to provide the journal could be punishable by a civil penalty up to $2500. (GC 8206) Any person who solicits, coerces, or influences a notary public to improperly maintain the notary public’s journal is guilty of a misdemeanor. (GC 8225) misdemeanor If a notary willfully fails to properly maintain his or her journal or fails to notify the Secretary of State if his or her journal is lost, stolen rendered unusable or surrendered to a peace officer or, fails to permit inspection or copying of his or her journal, the notary has committed a misdemeanor. (GC 8228.1) misdemeanor If a private employer agreement exists, notary can permit copying of journal entries associated with the business purposes of the employer as long as it is done in the presence of the notary. (GC 8206)
What is a Notary?
A notary public is a (1) person of proven character who is (2) commissioned by the State to serve the citizens as an (3) impartial witness to a transaction. A notary may not have a DIRECT financial or beneficial interest in the transaction. (GC 8224) - CANNOT BE NAMED, SIGNER or receive a DIRECT PERSONAL FINANCIAL interest in the document (GC 8224 (A)) -CANNOT BE A GRANTOR, GRANTEE, MORTGAGOR, TRUSTOR, TRUSTEE, BENEFICIARY, ETC. (GC 8224 (B)) -CAN BE AN AGENT, EMPLOYEE, INSURER, ATTORNEY, ESCROW, or LENDER for the person who has a direct financial benefit in the document (GC 8224 (B)) Can a notary perform a service for him/herself? (GC 8224.1) NO, NEVER Can a notary perform a service for a family member? (GC 8224) YES, but be careful of COMMUNITY PROPERTY YES Does a notary have financial liability in the performance of duties? YES How much? UNLIMITED Why? ANYBODY CAN SUE ANYBODY
What Is A Notary Public?
Can a notary practice law? ____________
If yes, when?___________________________________ What does an attorney do? ___________________________ What should a notary never do?____________________
Acts of practicing law include the preparation, drafting, or selection or determination of the kind of any legal document, or giving advice with relation to any legal document or matters.
Does a notary have to examine the document? (GC 8205) _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ Does a notary have to know the document is true? __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________
What are you? You are a MINISTERIAL OFFICIAL A person who follows simple instructions without throwing in your own two cents.
The Basic Rules
Every Notarized Document must have:
A Statement A Signature SIGNED = SUBSCRIBED = EXECUTED Notarial Wording (Certificate)
Every Notarization Requires:
A Personal Appearance A Seal (exception___________________) A Complete Journal Entry
Every Time !!!!!!!
What a notary does most of the time
Key Wording . . . personally appeared . . . . . . proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence . . .. . . The notary guarantees:
1. that the signer PERSONALLY APPEARED before the notary on the DATE and in the COUNTY indicated. 2. to the IDENTITY of the signer. 3. that the signer ACKNOWLEDGED* executing the ACKNOWLEDGED document *Acknowledge means that the signer knows what they signed Note: The document does not have to be signed in the presence of the notary California notaries cannot determine or certify that a signer holds a particular representative capacity or make other determinations or certifications not allowed by California Notary Law. (CC 1189)
Completing an Entry in Your Journal
The notary should fill out the journal entry and then have the constituent sign the journal to verify that everything is correct. Check ID: 1 PHOTO 2 PHYSICAL DESC 3 SERIAL # 4 SIGNATURE 5 CURRENT (OR ISSUED W/IN 5 YEARS) Record ID: and note the type used, the government agency that issued it, the serial number and the expiration date. Compare the picture to the signer as well as the signatures and physical description. Look at the Date of Birth to see if it is reasonable. Enter special comments and observations that include details of the notarization that have not been covered. Examples might include names of witnesses, expenses, handwritten document, unusual behavior, etc. Travel fees should be listed in the notes box.
Venue State of California County of ___________________
SS. stands for “Scilicet” In Latin, it means “namely” or “venue”
On ___________________ before me, _________________________,
(here insert name and title of officer)
personally appeared_________________________ who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument. I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.
WITNESS my hand and official seal
_______________________ Notary’s Signature
Never sign your name before the constituent signs your journal! The certificate must be completely filled out at the time the notary’s seal and signature are affixed.
***NEW 2008 LAWS*** If the document is to be recorded in California, it must contain the exact statutory wording above. If the document does not have that wording, you will need to attach a loose certificate. (Page 20) (CC 1189) Failure to properly identify the signer by satisfactory evidence subjects the notary public to a civil penalty of up to $10,000. (CC 1185) $10,000
Signature By Mark
When the signer of an instrument cannot write (sign) his or her name, that person may sign the document by mark. (CC 14) The requirements for notarizing a signature by mark are as follows:
1. The person signing the document by mark must be identified by the notary public by either personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence. (CC 1185) 2. The signer’s mark must be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses on the document. One witness should write the person’s name next to the person’s mark and then the witness should sign his or her name as a witness. The witnesses are only verifying that they witnessed the individual make his or her mark on the document. A notary public is not required to identify the two persons who witnessed the signing by mark or to have the two witnesses sign the notary public’s journal. EXCEPTION: If the witnesses were acting in the capacity of credible witnesses in establishing the identity of the person signing by mark, then the witnesses’ signatures must be entered in the notary public’s journal.
Power of Attorney
“Principal-in-fact” PERSON GIVING POWER “Attorney-in-fact” PERSON RECEIVING POWER
SAMPLE CERTIFICATION OF POWER OF ATTORNEY
State of California County of ______________ }ss. I (name of notary) , Notary Public, certify that on (date) , I examined the original power of attorney and the copy of the power of attorney. I further certify that the copy is a true and correct copy of the original power of attorney. ___________________ NOTARY SEAL
***NEW 2008 LAW***
You must obtain Principal-in-Fact’s thumbprint in the notary journal. (GC 8206)
(CCP 2093 & 2094)
An oath or affirmation can be as simple or as elaborate as the notary desires. A simple oath - “Please repeat after me ‘I do solemnly swear that the statements in this document are true, so help me God.’” A simple affirmation - “Please repeat after me ‘I do solemnly affirm that the statements in this document are true.’” The word “swear” is reserved for an oath, and although there is no reference to God or any Supreme Being, the affirmation has the same legal effect as the oath.
• Attempt an oath first, if not, give an affirmation. Know this...
Affiant: Affirmant: The person that takes the oath. The person that takes the affirmation.
Subscribed and sworn to before me…
A Notary Guarantees that:
1. the signer ______________________ before the notary on the ___________ and in the _______________ indicated.
2. the signer ___________ the document in the presence of the notary.
3. the notary administered an _______________ 4. the notary must identify constituent by satisfactory evidence.
What is an oath? ___________________________________________________ How should it be administered? _______________________________________ What is an affirmation? ______________________________________________
Subscribed (signed) to and sworn (or affirmed) to before me this ______ day of __________, 200__, by_________________ proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) who appeared before me.
___________________________ Notary’s Signature
“Locus Sigilli” In Latin, it means “Location of the Seal”
A jurat is part of an affidavit
Body I certify that I have resided in the State of California for more than five
years. ________________________ (Signed)
Caption State of California
County of _______________
Jurat Subscribed and sworn to before me on this ___day of ___________ 2007,
by_________________________________________________________ proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) who appeared before me. _____________________ Notary’s Signature
If a notary executes a jurat and the statement sworn or subscribed to is contained in a document that includes the affiant’s birth date or age and a photograph or finger or thumb print of the person, the notary must require the person to verify the birth date or age by showing a certified copy of the person’s birth certificate or an identification card or driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Two general meanings of a “deposition” 1. A meeting of people in a non-courtroom location, usually in an attorney’s office, with a person who has been subpoenaed, called the “deponent,” who is to answer questions in relation to pending litigation. It is presided over by a court reporter or a public _______________________, who is always a Notary Public. 2. The written testimony that has been transcribed from the oral testimony under oath. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are requested to preside over a deposition, you should decline, and refer them to a person who has the proper training, such as a court reporter or a public stenographer.
Protest – A statement by a notary indicating that payment for a negotiable instrument, usually a check or a promissory note, has not been received. (GC 8208)
Protests and related procedures do not reflect modern commercial paper practice. In order to avoid the risk of the unlawful practice of law, Notaries Public who are not attorneys should engage in such complicated procedures only under the specific direction of an attorney who assumes responsibility for the activity
Other Notary Acts
Wills, Living Trusts, Codicils: (Notary should decline and refer to a member of the State Bar) Certified Copies: The only documents you can certify are (GC 8205(a)(4) & 8205(b)(1))
1. ________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________
Marriages: Cannot perform, but can notarize.
(FC Sect. 503)
___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________
Loose certificates are the notarial instructions on a separate page It is not acceptable to affix a notary’s seal and signature to a document without the notarial wording Notary should have loose certificates available. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Require the constituent to select the appropriate certificate ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________
California Acknowledgment Form
State of California County of _____________________________
On ______________________________ before me, _______________________________________, personally appeared _________________________________________________________________ who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument. I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct. WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Signature of Notary
Please provide information about the document that this form is attached to. ***This is not required under California State notary public law.***
Failure to follow the certificate of acknowledgment requirement of proof of identity by satisfactory evidence subjects a notary public to a civil penalty of up to $10,000. (CC 1185)
2007 Golden State Notary, Inc.
California Jurat Loose Certificate
State of California County of _____________________________
Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me this ____ day of _____________, 2____ by ____________________________________________________________________, proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) who appeared before me.
Notary Public Signature Seal
To help prevent fraud, it is recommended that you provide information about the attached document below. ***This is not required under California State notary public law.***
Document Title:___________________________________________ # of Pages:______
2008 Golden State Notary, Inc.
SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE (CC 1185(C)) ID DOCUMENTS Contains: 1. PHOTOGRAPH 2. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION 3. SIGNATURE 4. SERIAL NUMBER 5. CURRENT (or w/in 5 yrs of issuance) 1. 2. 3. 4. Acceptable Examples Driver’s license or non-driver’s ID (CC 1185 (c)(4)(B)) Passport – no physical description, but allowed
Foreign passports must have stamp from CIS or INS
(CC 1185 (c)(4)(A))
U.S. military ID (NEW vs. OLD) (CC 1185 (c)(4)(D)) Inmate IDs issued to incarcerated prisoners
(CC 1185 (c)(4)(F))
PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE Having an acquaintance, derived from association with the individual in relation to other people and based upon a chain of circumstances surrounding the individual, which establishes the individual’s identity with at least a reasonable certainty.
***NEW 2008 LAW***
Personal Knowledge can only be used IN ADDITION TO Satisfactory Evidence
One credible witness with ID if personally known by the notary OR Two credible witnesses with ID if not personally known by the notary An oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury must be taken. Under oath, the credible witness must swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that each of the following is true: (CC 1185(c)(1)(A)-(E))
The individual appearing before the notary as the signer of the document is the person named in the document The credible witness personally knows the signer 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 The signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signer’s identity The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed
Credible witness(es) must sign the notary’s journal!
A Credible Witness Affidavit is used when a person does not have an identification document that is required by the State of California. The credible witness must be personally known by the notary public and provide identification. If the witness is not personally known to the notary public, two credible witnesses are required and both credible witnesses must have identification documents required by the State of California. The notary public must administer the oath verbally and the credible witnesses must sign their names in the notary public’s official notary journal.
Proof of Execution
(CC 1195, 1196, 1197, CCP 1935)
Principal cannot appear and requests the notarization Subscribing Witness must take an oath that: he/she witnessed the signing or the acknowledgment of the signing he/she was requested by the principal to sign as a witness The notary must personally know the subscribing witness or a credible witness for the subscribing witness (no paper ID). The subscribing witness must sign the document and journal (if credible witness was used, they must also sign journal). Not allowed on Deed of Trust, Mortgage, Security Agreement, Quitclaim Deed or a Grant Deed document.
Proof of Execution State of California County of ___________________ }ss. On ______________ before me, the undersigned, a notary public for the state, personally appeared______________________________, personally known to me (or proved to me on the oath of ________________________, who is personally known to me) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument, as a witness thereto, who, being by me duly sworn, deposed and said that he/she was present and saw _______________________________, the same person described in and whose name is subscribed to the within and annexed instrument in his/her/their authorized capacity (ies) as (a) party(ies) thereto, execute the same, and that said affiant subscribed his/her name to the within instrument as a witness at the request of ___________________________. WITNESS my hand and official seal. _______________________ Notary’s Signature
Held Responsible for Compliance (or Lack Thereof) with the Law
California Home Owner Has House Stolen!
A Los Angeles property owner had her house stolen and the robber didn’t have to use any heavy equipment! It was as easy as a notary acknowledging the owner’s signature, forged on a deed conveying her property to another party.* The court’s written opinion, which found the notary liable for over $20,000 in damages, stated “When taking an acknowledgement, the (notary) should require the acknowledging party to appear in person before him, as he is required to certify that such party ‘personally appeared.’ It seems fundamental to the (court) that the requirement of notarial acknowledgment in real estate transactions is...to prevent fraud.”
McDonald v. Plumb, 12 Cal.App 3d 374, 90 Cal Rptr. 822 (2nd Dist., 1970) *Note: New thumbprint law in California will discourage this type of fraud.
Employee Notary and Boss At a Loss!
A notary and his employer were held liable for a loss of $71,441.39 when it was determined that the notary fraudulently performed notarizations for 5 individuals relating to a business sale. Three of the “signers” did not appear before the notary, and one signature was later determined to be a forgery. The court concluded that the plaintiffs in the case would not have entered into the deal without the notarized signatures of all persons involved. Therefore, when one signature was determined to be a forgery, the “deal” was invalidated. The notary and the boss got sued!
Iselin Jefferson Financial Co. Inc.. v. United California Bank, 16 Cal.3d 886,549 P.2d 142 (1976).
Private Employer Agreement
If the employer pays for the required fees to the State, the bond, stamp and/or seals and other supplies the notary may agree to submit the fee to the employer for service that is performed during the business day. If the employer paid for the supplies, does the boss keep them if the notary is fired? ______________________________ Under this agreement, the employer can limit the service of the notary to transactions just pertaining to the company business. (GC 8202.8) If you have this agreement, could the boss’s wife demand that you acknowledge a personal document during regular business hours? _______________________ A notary public who is an employee shall permit inspection and copying of journal transactions by a duly designated auditor or agent of the notary public’s employer, provided that the inspection and copying is done in the presence of the notary public and the transactions are directly associated with the business purposes of the employer. The notary public, upon the request of the employer, shall regularly provide copies of all transactions that are directly associated with the business purposes of the employer, but shall not be required to provide copies of any transaction that is unrelated to the employer’s business. Confidentiality and safekeeping of any copies of the journal provided to the employer shall be the responsibility of that employer. If an employer or any other member of the public tries to solicit, coerce, or in any manner tries to influence a notary into breaking the law, the employer has committed a _____________ (GC 8225)
• • •
r ea er, D y plo Em
The notary seminar that you paid for has opened my eyes to the liability that we both share when I perform notary services for our company. As a notary I have a new boss, the Secretary of State, and I am required, by law, to follow the written rules given to me by the State and clarified at the seminar. I am grateful to have this knowledge and I am going to ask you to help me in my sworn duty to the public. If I violate any notary laws of the State of California, I am personally liable for the damages and the State could hold you liable for notary law violations that occur while I am notarizing during business hours. I will swear to uphold the notary laws of the State. Please do not ask me to violate the law. You would not knowingly ask me to do anything illegal, but sometimes shortcuts are taken when there are deadlines to be met. I will notarize any document that meets all of the criteria of the State and I will ask you to follow all of the laws so that I can perform my duties for the public and at the same time protect the interest of our company. There are three things that I must do to cover us so neither gets into trouble: 1. Every time I authenticate a signature I must have the signer personally appear; that is, face to face at the time. 2. I will ask for ID every time I perform a notary service. This is now a legal requirement. If I have the ID in my hand I will positively fulfill this basic requirement. 3. The document must be complete and the signer must sign my journal. With the information I have received at the seminar and your cooperation, I am sure that my notary public commission will be an asset to our company. Sincerely,
(Ability to Understand)
The following is not required by California Notary Law, but is the recommendation of Golden State Notary to help prevent fraud.
Incapacitated __________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Visually Impaired _______________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Hearing Impaired _______________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Adjudicated Mentally Incompetent ________ ______________________________________ Minors ________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Notaries May Not Refuse Service It is the duty of a notary public to provide notary services to all persons who present a _______________________ and pays the ____________________. Exception: ____________________________________ Exception to the Exception: ______________________
A notary public cannot use the title of “Notary Public” as part of his/her name. A notary public who advertises as an immigration specialist cannot advertise as a notary public. (GC 8223(a))
A notary cannot assist a client in completing immigration forms unless the notary is also a qualified and bonded immigration consultant. (GC 8223) A notary may perform notarizations on immigration documents.
(GC 8205 and 8223)
An immigration consultant may only charge $10 for entering data provided by the client on immigration forms. (GC 8223)
A notary public can advertise in an ethnic publication; however, he/she must state that he/she is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice about _____________or any other legal matters, and he/she must state the fee for a notarization. (A notary cannot translate Notary Public as “Notario Publico” in the advertisement)
A notary public can “technically” notarize a document in a foreign language, as long as the notary speaks the constituent’s language and the notary text is in a language that the notary understands. If the document is in English, but the constituent does not understand the notary’s language, it cannot be notarized because the constituent cannot acknowledge executing the document. The notary must communicate with the constituent directly; an interpreter will not suffice.
• • • •
A NOTARY PUBLIC CANNOT:
Unlawfully refuse to notarize because of race, religion, national origin, sex, political belief, lifestyle, sexual orientation, or age Refuse to notarize if you disagree with the contents. Refuse service for non-customers. Exception: Private employer agreements Unreasonably refuse to notarize
Grounds for Refusal, Revocation or Suspension of Commission
The Secretary of State may refuse to appoint any person as notary public or may revoke or suspend the commission of any notary public upon any of the following grounds:
a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) k) l) m) n) o) p) q) Substantial and material misstatement or omission in the application submitted to the Secretary of State. Conviction of a felony, a lesser offense involving moral turpitude, or a lesser offense of a nature incompatible with the duties of a notary public. A conviction after a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this subdivision. Revocation, suspension, restriction, or denial of a professional license, if the revocation, suspension, restriction, or denial was for misconduct, for dishonesty, or for any cause substantially relating to the duties or responsibilities of a notary public. When adjudged liable for damages in any suit grounded in fraud, misrepresentation, or violation of the state regulatory laws or in any suit based upon a failure to discharge fully and faithfully the duties as a notary public. The use of false or misleading advertising wherein the notary public has represented that the notary public has duties, rights, or privileges that he or she does not possess by law. The practice of law in violation of Section 6125 of the Business and Professions Code. Charging more than the fees prescribed by this chapter. Commission of any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit the notary public or another, or substantially injure another. Failure to complete the acknowledgment at the time the notary's signature and seal are affixed to the document. Failure to administer the oath or affirmation as required by paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 8205. Execution of any certificate as a notary public containing a statement known to the notary public to be false. Violation of Section 8223. Failure to submit any remittance payable upon demand by the Secretary of State under this chapter or failure to satisfy any court-ordered money judgment, including restitution. Failure to secure the sequential journal of official acts, pursuant to Section 8206, or the official seal, pursuant to Section 8207. Violation of Section 8219.5. Willful failure to report the theft or loss of a journal. Any crime relating to notarial acts including but not limited to: making a false writing, fraud relating to a deed of trust, improper notarial acts, unlawfully acting as a notary, filing false or forged documents, forgery, embezzlement, falsely obtaining personal information and willful failure to provide access to a journal when requested by a police officer.
If a notary public is convicted of a crime related to notarial misconduct or of any felony, felony the court must revoke the notary’s commission and surrender the notary seal(s).
Administrative Penalties Suspension Revocation
Grounds for Penalties Misstatements on application Conviction of a crime Losing a professional license Failing to discharge duties faithfully (failing to complete the acknowledgment, failing to administer an oath, knowingly notarizing a document with false information, making unauthorized certified copies) Practicing law Failing to pay court ordered fees and penalties Failing to keep a journal, failing to notify Sec. of State that the journal is lost, stolen, unusable, or surrendered to a police officer, permits unlawful copying or inspection of the journal, willfully fails to keep his or her seal under direct and exclusive control, or willfully surrenders his or her notarial seal to any person not authorized to possess it is guilty of a _________________ and also ___________________.
Any person who acts as a Notary Public in any manner without being duly qualified by the state has committed a ________________
Any person who solicits, coerces, or in any manner influences a notary public to perform an improper notarial act knowing such act to be improper is guilty of a misdemeanor. (GC 8225) Any person who solicits, coerces, or in any manner influences a notary public to improperly maintain the notary public’s journal is guilty of a misdemeanor. (GC 8225) A notary public who issues an acknowledgment, knowing it to be false may be guilty of forgery. A person who falsifies the forgery acknowledgment of a notary public may also be guilty of forgery. Forgery is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or county jail for not more than one year. (False certification by a notary may also be a misdemeanor pursuant to GC 6203.) (PC 470)
The penalty for the following can be a fine of up to $ ___________: Overcharging (GC 8214.1(h)) Failing to complete the acknowledgment (GC 8214.1(j)) Failing to administer an oath (GC 8214.1(k)) Failing to discharge duties faithfully (GC 8214.2(d))
This only applies if it was due to negligence, as opposed to a willful act.
Crime and Punishment
The penalty for the following can be a fine of up to $ ____________: Misleading advertising (GC 8214.1(f)) Willful failure to discharge duties required of a notary public (GC 8214.1(d)) Committing of acts of dishonesty, fraud, or deceit (GC 8214.1(i) Knowingly notarizing a document with false information (GC 8214.1(l)) If this is a deed of trust on a single family dwelling up to 4 units the crime is a ____________ (GC 8214.2) Advertising as a notary public when one is an immigration specialist or violating the restrictions on charging to assist in the completion of immigration forms (GC8214.1(m)) Failing to include the disclaiming sentence in foreign advertisements
Advertising in a foreign language without the disclaimer or translating “Notario Publico” (notary public into Spanish) could result in ________________________ for the first offense, and _______________________ for the second offense. (GC 8219.5) The civil penalty for the following can be a fine of up to $ _________: Failure to provide a peace officer with a journal when requested Failure to obtain a thumbprint as required by GC 8206 The civil penalty for the following can be a fine of up to $ _________: Failure to properly identify a signer by satisfactory evidence on a certificate of acknowledgment.
Prior to a revocation or suspension or after a denial of a commission, the person affected has a right to a hearing on the matter, except in the cases indicated in §8214.3. (GC 8214.3) If the Secretary of State has determined that a notary public has committed or omitted acts constituting grounds for suspension or revocation of the notary’s commission, the resignation or expiration of the notary’s commission does not bar the Secretary of State from instituting or continuing an investigation or instituting disciplinary action. (GC 8214.4) 34
Taking an acknowledgment (GC 8211(a))
(per constituent signature)
Administering an oath w/jurat (GC 8211(b)) $ 10.00 Completion of a Jurat (GC 8211(b)) Certify Copies of Power of Attorney
$ 10.00 $ 10.00 $ 20.00 $ 5.00 $ 5.00 $ 10.00 $ 10.00 $ 5.00 $ 5.00
Taking a deposition (GC 8211(c)) Administering oath to witness Certificate to the deposition Taking a proof (GC 8211(a)) Protests (GC 8211(d)) Recording Protest (GC 8211(f)) Serving notice of nonpayment
Tell your constituent your fee schedule prior to performing the notary service. You can be pro-bono (you do not have to charge a fee). (GC 6100) – Exception: Public Agency Notaries _____________________ – Military Notaries ____________________________________ Travel Fees: Agree in advance on a fee that is reasonable. No fee for Voter Items (GC 8211(g)) No fee for Veteran’s Benefits (GC 8211(i)) No fee on Military Installations (GC 8211(i))
Advise the constituent of the notary fee. Ensure personal appearance from all signers. Obtain the proper ID from all signers. Be sure the right person is executing the document. Check to see if there have been any alterations to the document. Be sure no blanks have been left unfilled. Be sure the facts in the notarial certificate are accurate. Make a complete entry in your journal. Notarize the document. Keep the document content confidential. Collect your fee.
Read the question carefully. You have plenty of time, so don’t rush. Re-read the question several times to make sure you understand what the question is really asking. Take the test in the booklet first. The test is machine scored so any erasures on your answer sheet may be read as a wrong answer. Taking the test in the test booklet first allows you to eliminate answers you know are wrong and narrow your options for a correct answer. When you have decided on your answers, then you can mark your answer sheet clearly and neatly, staying within the lines. Select the best answer. Several answers could technically be correct, but go with the answer that would be the best answer to respond to the question that is asked. Be careful not to read into the question more than what is stated. Do the easy questions first, then go back to the harder questions. Do the “gimme” questions first, then see how many you already know the answers for. If you have more than 20, then you know you have already passed the test. Then go back and try to answer the rest without the pressure of needing to get the question right in order to pass. Guess when you need to. There is no penalty for guessing, so make sure you give an answer to every question. Otherwise an unanswered question will be a wrong answer. Go with your first impression. After you have chosen an answer, don’t change it unless you are absolutely sure that you know the correct answer. Generally, your first impression is the right impression.
• Test Scores – Receive letter in the mail saying ‘You have passed’ or you can go online to: https://notary.cps.ca.gov to view your test score. To obtain your password, call CPS at (916) 263-3520, then press '5' to speak to a live person. Test results should be posted 7-10 business days after the exam. Live Scan – Submit live scan fingerprints to the Department of Justice for your thorough background check. Application for live scan will come in the mail with your test results. Live scan locations can be found at: http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.htm – You cannot be a convicted felon – Wait for your commission paperwork to arrive (8-10 weeks) Notary Supplies/Loan Signing Agent Course – If you would like to become a Certified Loan Signing Agent, go to www.GoldenStateNotary.com and take our online Loan Signing Agent course. – If you have not already done so, order your official notary stamp/embosser. – Be sure to send your original Certificate of Authorization to Manufacture Notary Public Seals to us. Bond and Oath of Office – Purchase a 4-year/$15,000 bond • You will receive several solicitations in the mail. All bonds are the same. A good deal is $28, $50 is high. • File your bond and oath of office with the county clerk. A list of county clerk locations and hours can be found at: www.GoldenStateNotary.com/county_clerks.cfm You're Finished! – Congratulations, you are a Notary Public! – You can now advertise your services on http://search.notary.net
This information and helpful links can be accessed from www.GoldenStateNotary.com on the “How to Become a Notary” page.
1. 2. 3. 4. California notaries are commissioned by Secretary of State_ The term for the notary is 4 Years The minimum age for a notary is 18 You are required to file your bond with the County Clerk. How many days to file? 30 Days Who does the bond protect? the public; it is a limited fund for paying claims. How much? $15,000.00 Is there a limit for the Notary? No Does the bonding company have to be a surety licensed to sell bonds in California? Yes. Does the surety have to have offices in California? No A California notary has jurisdiction only in the State of California. Documents can come from anywhere in the world. Change address business or residential notify SOS when? 30 days How? Certified or registered mail. How much can the notary be fined for not notifying the secretary of state? $500.00 If your company moves from one county to another, does the notary have to notify the SOS? Yes Does the notary have to retake the oath of office and file the bond in the new county? No Could the notary file the bond and take the oath of office in the county where he/she does over 50% of the business? Yes If you move to a different county how many days do you have to tell the SOS? 30 days Do you have to retake the oath of office when you change counties? No Could you? Yes If you change name while you are a notary, who do you notify SOS. How many days? thirty days. How? Certified or registered mail. Will a modified bond and a new oath have to be filed after the name change? Yes Will the notary have to get a new seal? Yes How much can the notary be fined for not notifying the secretary of state? $500.00 The State mandates the requirements for the seal to include 1. State seal and Notary Public 2. Name 3. County where oath taken 4. Manufacturer number 5. Your number 6. Date Commission expires And must be photographically reproducible, Legible If it is smeared the notary must stamp it again It must be kept in a safe and locked area and under the notary’s control If the notary willfully violates law, the notary can be fined $2500.00 For whatever reason you are no longer a notary you must do what with the Seal? You must destroy it. Does the seal manufacturer have to be authorized by the State of California to make seals? Yes The notary must seal every document except a subdivision map A Journal entry is required how frequently? Every time You are required to record: 1. Signature
5. 6. 7.
11. 12. 13.
15. 16. 17. 18. 19.
2. Date and time of service 3. Character/Type of document 4. ID 5. Fee charged 6. Thumb print with Deeds 7. Type of service The journal exclusive property of the notary. If you resign you must return it to County Clerk Within how many days? 30 days If someone wants a copy of the journal they must request in writing The notary must keep the journal in safe and locked area If you resign your job and the boss paid for the journal, who keeps the journal that the boss paid for? The notary takes it with them. If you renew your notary commission what do you do with your current journal? Continue to use it until it is full. A judge could issue a subpoena for your journal. What do you do if this occurs? Request a receipt and send a copy of the receipt to the SOS within 10 days. After you start a new active journal the subpoenaed journal is returned, are you allowed to have two active journals? No. A Police officer showing good cause could request the journal without a warrant, What does the notary do? Give the journal to that officer of the law. If the journal is lost the Notary must notify Secretary of State when? immediately by certified or registered mail The venue on the document is filled out by the notary indicating location where the notary signed and sealed the document. If you see the words, State of California County of______________ What does the notary put in the blank? The county where the document is Notarized. The most common service of a notary is an acknowledgment. In an Acknowledgment the notary guarantees Positive ID by using I D cards An ID card must have Photo Physical Description Serial Number Signature Current or issued in last 5 years Is a notary allowed to use Personal Knowledge as a method of ID? Yes, in ADDITION to acceptable ID documents. A personal appearance is required Every Time The definition of personal appearance is Face to Face Signed means executed, subscribed. The notary is required to scan the documents to make sure it is complete If there is a blank the constituent Fills it in or puts N/A in blank Thumb prints in the journal are required on these documents 1. Grant Deeds 2. Quitclaim Deeds
20. 21. 22. 23.
25. 26. 27. 28. 29.
31. 32. 33. 34.
35. 36. 37. 38.
3. Deeds of trust 4. Power of Attorney The second most common document a notary signs is an Affidavit This instruction to the notary is called the Jurat The main reason this is done is to compel truthfulness In order to do this the notary must give Oath or affirmation However you are not guaranteeing the document is true You are also required to identify the constituent When an affiant objects to an oath the notary gives an affirmation The maximum a notary can charge to acknowledge three signatures is $30.00 A notary who charges more that the $10 dollars per signature can be fined. How much? $750.00. What else could happen? Revocation of the commission. Where does the fine money go? To the General Fund of the State of California If the constituent does not have ID a notary can prove ID with a credible witness. What method of ID does the notary use with a credible witness? Personal Knowledge and ID cards. Both are required as of 1/1/2008. What does the credible witness have to do in the journal? Sign it When would two credible witnesses be used? When the notary does not know credible witnesses. Will the witnesses have to have ID cards? Yes You must use personal knowledge with this type of proof. Proof of execution by Subscribing Witness If the Notary does not know the subscribing witness what method of ID is the notary allowed use to identify the subscribing witness? Credible Witness Personally known to the notary and has produced acceptable ID. Why? To help prevent fraud. This form of ID cannot be used with these documents. Affidavits and Deeds Why? The notary must give the oath or affirmation with an affidavit and deeds require Thumb prints in the journal. California notaries are allowed to certify copies of Powers of Attorney And Notary’s own journal when requested in writing. Do powers of Attorney require the notary to put a thumb print in the journal? Yes If there is no notarial text the notary can attach a Loose Certificate If you are not lawyer you may not advertise in Spanish without a disclaimer. What is the disclaimer? I am not an Attorney and can not give legal advice. If you do this what is the punishment for 1st time? Suspension for no less than one year or revocation of commission 2nd time? Permanent revocation of notary commission. What else must be in the ad? Fees charged Is an immigration consultant, qualified and bonded, allowed to advertise as a notary public? No. Is an immigration consultant allowed to be a notary? Yes Is an immigration consultant while acting as a notary allowed to assist a client in filling out immigrations forms? Yes What is the maximum that can be charged for each set of forms? $10.00 A notary is allowed to notarize a document in a foreign language if the document is complete and the notary is able to identify the constituent and the notary knows what type of document the signer is signing. The notary is required to communicate with the signer.
39. 40. 41.
42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47.
If you are presented a Deed of Trust to acknowledge and the client presents a proper identification document that does not have a thumb print, the notary would, acknowledge the document and make the client put the thumb print in the Journal. If a notary signs and seals the document that is known to be fraudulent, the notary has committed a Felony. How much could the notary be fined for doing this? $10,000.00 What method of identification does the notary use to ID the witnesses in a signature by mark acknowledgement? No ID required How many witnesses? Two Do the witnesses have to sign the journal? No Does the person making the mark have to sign the journal? Yes An Arizona resident is in California and has an expired ID, what other condition would allow you to use the expired I D? Issued in the last five years. If a notary does not ask for satisfactory evidence (ID documents) when you perform notary service you can be fined. How much? $10,000.00 When an officer of the law has good cause to take the notary journal, the notary must give it to the officer and THE officer has 24 hours to notify the Secretary of State. Willful failure to provide the journal to a peace officer when requested could result in a fine of $2500.00 Willful failure to notify the Secretary of State of a change of address or and name change could result in a fine of $500.00. A notary who does not have the client put the thumb print in the journal when required can be fined $2500.00
For your benefit, do not start this section until instructed to do so. 1. If you are a notary commissioned by the State of California on July 1st, 2005 and you do not renew your commission, which of the following dates would you be in violation of the law if you were to acknowledge a signature? a. July 1st, 2008 b. July 1st, 2009 c. July 2nd, 2007 d. June 30th, 2009 2. Every notary is required to have a bond. What is the purpose of the bond and who does the bond protect? a. The bond is an insurance policy that covers the notary in the event that they make a mistake. b. The $15,000 bond is purchased from a surety insurer licensed to sell bonds in California and it protects the public for claims against the notary up to $15,000. c. There is no limit as to how much the bonding company will have to pay and the bond protects both the notary and the public. d. None of the above are true. 3. The legislators in the State of California realized there was a need for notaries public to be adequately trained to insure that the laws were being followed. In order to do this they passed a law. Which of the following would best describe what that law said? a. The test was to be rewritten and made more difficult and made available in all different languages that are spoken in California. b. All new and renewing notaries would have to have a six hour training course by state approved education vendor. c. After the initial six hour course, a three hour course would be required for renewing notaries. d. Both B and C are correct. 4. A notary is considered to have a disqualifying interest when acting as: a. A real estate agent selling a condominium. b. A mortgagor in a real estate transaction. c. An attorney who has drafted papers for a client. d. An employee notarizing for an employer. 5. Which would be an example of a notary who has a direct benefit from the document? a. The notary is acknowledging the signature of her husband and mother-in-law on a deed of trust when the notary is not a principal in the transaction. b. The notary is named as a beneficiary in a trust but does not think that the estate will have any money to pay beneficiaries. c. The notary is a commissioned salesperson and will get a commission at a much later date. d. All of the above are true. 6. Which of the following is true regarding the notary’s signature on a document? a. The notary signs the document on the line by the words “Witness my hand and seal” b. The notary text says “before me___________” that is where the notary would sign. c. Under no circumstance is a notary allowed to sign anywhere on the document. d. None of the above are true. 43
7. Journals, stamps and seals are tools that are used by the notary. Which of the following is true about the proper care of these items? a. They are the exclusive property of the notary. b. The notary must keep them in a safe and locked area. c. If the notary is fired from the job, the notary must take the journal, seals and all notary tools with him/her. d. All of the above are true. 8. In the course of the notary performing service, the client sometimes asks for help. The notary is not allowed to do all of the following except: a. Explain just one tricky part of the document that the client does not understand. b. Explain the differences between acknowledgments and jurats. c. Assist in the filling out of forms that they do not understand. d. None of the above are allowed. 9. If you see the words, “State of California, County of______________,” what does the notary put in the blank? a. The county where notarization is performed. b. The county where the notary does at least 51% of his/her business. c. This line does not have to be filled in as long as all parties are in California. d. Notaries have jurisdiction in the entire state, so it does not make any difference what is in the blank. 10. If the Secretary of State sends a written request for a certified copy of the notary’s journal, the notary must a. Decline and let the constituent know that the journal entry is private information known only to the signer and the notary. b. Make certified copies of the requested material and immediately send it to the Secretary of State. c. The notary must send the requested material to the Secretary of State by certified mail. d. Both B and C are true. 11. A California notary has jurisdiction only in a. The State of California. b. Anywhere in the world as long as the client is a California resident. c. As long as the document is going to be recorded in California, it does not make any difference where the notary is located. d. None of the above are true. 12. If you change your name while you are a notary, what must you do? a. Submit a name change application to the Secretary of State within 30 days. b. A name change is not required until you renew your commission. c. File a modified bond and take a new oath of office. d. A and C are correct. 13. If a California notary changes his/her business or residential address while a notary, which of the following is/are true? a. As long as the notary does not move out of California, no action is required. b. If the business address is a P. O. Box the notary must have a physical home address on file with the secretary of state. c. The notary may refile the oath and bond in the new county, but is not required to. d. Both B and C are correct. 44
14. Notaries often use the notary commission in the workplace during regular business hours. This situation provides for a “private employer agreement.” Which of the following is not true about that agreement? a. The notary can charge, but all the fees always go to the notary. b. If the employer has paid for all the notary expenses, the employer is allowed to exclude the public from service and have the notary only acknowledge company documents during business hours. c. Fees charged during the business day can go to the employer. d. Even though the employer paid for the stamp and journal, if the notary leaves the job for any reason, the seal journal and all notary records belong to the notary and the notary takes those items with him/her if he/she is no longer employed by that employer. 15. There are certain documents that a notary will perform notary service on that requires that the notary have the constituent put the thumb print in the journal. Which of the following does not require a thumb print in the journal? a. When acknowledging the signature on a deed of trust or quitclaim deed b. If the notary is signing and sealing documents for a deed of reconveyance or deed in a foreclosure. c. Signatures on a Power of Attorney d. Notarization of a grant deed 16. A journal entry is required every time a notary performs notary service in the State of California. What is required to be in the notary journal in order to comply with the law? a. Name, date, county where service performed, fee charged and method of identification. b. Signature of the notary, type of service, date and time of day service took place, fee charged and identification. c. Signature of signer, date and time of service, type of service, character of document, method of identification, fee charged and thumb print with most deeds and powers of attorney. d. Name, address, phone, type of document, fee charged, method of identification, and date of document. 17. Sometimes the constituent will not have a proper identification card that is acceptable to the Secretary of State. Which of the following is true about a “credible witness” when the notary uses this form of identification? a. If the credible witness knows the signer and is known by the notary and provides ID, the witness has to swear that the person is the person named on the document and sign the journal. b. If the credible witness is not known to the notary, the notary must require two credible witnesses with proper identification. c. A credible witness or credible witnesses are used to prove identification. d. All of the above are true. 18. Which of the following best describes the use of “Personal Knowledge” when a notary uses this for identification purposes? a. If the notary knows the signer’s signature, no journal entry is required because the notary already “knows” the information. b. Personal knowledge is the best form of ID, and is the only method of ID allowed. c. Personal knowledge is only allowed in addition to ID cards. d. Both B and C are correct.
19. Journals are the public record of the notary and can only be used for the completion of notary service. Which of the following is true about the journal? a. Notaries are allowed to have as many active journals as they want; however, they are required to state in the front of the journal what that journal is being used for. b. Because the journal is the tool for the notary, the care and storing of the journal is up to the notary. The Secretary of state has no say in what the notary does with the journal. c. If the journal is damaged, destroyed, lost or is no longer in the exclusive control of the notary, the notary is required to notify the Secretary of State immediately by certified or registered mail. d. After the notary resigns, he/she is to notify the Secretary by certified or registered mail where he/she plans on keeping the journal for the next 10 years. 20. A peace officer has good cause to examine your journal and comes to take it. Which of the following is the correct procedure for the notary? a. The notary would request a receipt and send a copy of the receipt to the Secretary of State within 10 days. b. Call the Secretary of State and have them tell the officer that the court has no right to the notary record. c. Decline to give the journal because a warrant must be issued by a magistrate. d. Give the officer the journal immediately. 21. Only a notary is allowed to be in possession of the notary journal, no matter who paid for it. Which of the following is not true about copies of journal entries? a. Any member of the public can request a copy of a journal entry as long as it is a proper request and it is in writing. b. Because the journal contains private information, no one other than the notary can have a copy of the journal. c. The notary is required to give certified copies of the journal entries upon service of a subpoena or court order. d. The notary’s employer or a representative of the employer can have copies of business related journal entries, if the copying is done in the presence of the notary. 22. A notary must use the official seal in all cases except: a. There are no exceptions to this rule. b. When performing acknowledgments for California subdivision map certificates. c. When a seal and a rubber stamp are used at the same time. d. When you type the information instead. 23. California notaries are required to have a seal. Which of the following is true about the laws governing the seal? a. The seal must be placed on the document in a way that it is clear and legible (photographically reproducible). b. Any notary seal may be used by any notary, for any good reason as long as you have permission from the other notary to do so. c. Each seal has the name of the notary and only that notary may use it or be in possession of the seal no matter who paid for it, so when a notary resigns or is no longer a notary, the notary must destroy it. d. Both A and C are correct.
24. When a notary signs and seals a document, sometimes it must be recorded. Which of the following is not true? a. The recorder of the document could reject a document if it does not have a clear seal with all elements discernible. b. A document could be signed and sealed in another state by an out-of-state notary, it can be recorded in California. c. Documents from out of the country cannot be recorded in California. d. A document that is acknowledged today could be recorded at a date in the future. 25. The State mandates the requirements for the seal. Which of the following are part of that mandate? a. State seal and Notary Public, Name, County where oath taken, Manufacturer number, Commission number, Date Commission expires, milled or serrated border. b. Signature of the notary, Date commission expires, county where the notary is allowed to serve, and the notary number. c. Manufactured by a company authorized by the Secretary of State. d. Both A and C are correct. 26. Which of the following is not a requirement for identification? a. An identification card must have a photo, physical description, serial number, signature and be current or issued in the last five years. b. A foreign passport may be used if it has stamp from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. c. Personal knowledge is the best form of identification in all matters relating to notary service. d. Satisfactory evidence includes “credible witness(es)” as long as they have acceptable identification cards. 27. There are times that a notary will have a person who does not read or write or is physically unable to sign so those clients make the signature by mark. Which best describes the requirements of the witnesses to the mark? a. The notary will identify the signer and have the signer sign the document in front of two witnesses who will not need identification or be required to sign the journal; however, the witnesses will have to sign the document. b. The notary will have to identify all witnesses and have a journal entry for each of the witnesses. c. Witnesses only have to watch the mark on the document and nothing else is required of the witnesses. d. Only one witness is required if the witness is a good friend of the signer or the notary. 28. The most common service that a notary performs is a. Certified copies b. Acknowledgments c. Depositions d. Affidavits
29. Which of the following is true of an acknowledgement? a. The acknowledgement form must be completely filled out by the notary at the time of service or the notary could be fined $750 or have the commission revoked or both. b. The acknowledged signature has to be signed in front of the notary in order for the notary to acknowledge the signature. c. In an acknowledgement the notary is assuring that the constituent personally appeared in front of the notary on the date and in the county indicated and was identified by the notary and the signer acknowledged signing the document. d. Both A and C are true. 30. The second most common service that a notary performs is a jurat. Which of the following is not true of a jurat? a. The person swearing to the oath is in the presence of the notary. b. The notary administered the oath or affirmation. c. The notary is guaranteeing under penalty of perjury that the statement is true. d. After the oath is given, the jurat is filled out by the notary and the client could be guilty of perjury if he/she lied. 31. If the document says “subscribed and sworn to” and the document states that the person taking the oath is swearing to their date of birth or age and the document includes a photograph or a finger or thumbprint of the person, the notary would a. Verify the birth date or age by examining a certified copy of the person’s birth certificate or an ID or Driver’s License issued by the DMV. b. Require an acceptable identification document and record the information in your journal. c. Administer the oath in the presence of the affiant and make sure that the affidavit is signed in the presence of the notary. d. The notary is required to do all of the above. 32. The jurat is the service and the document is the affidavit. What best describes what the notary does with a jurat? a. Makes sure that the document is complete before administering the oath by scanning it. b. Identifies the affiant and uses the approved identification card to fill out the journal entry. c. Gives the oath and watches them sign the document in the presence of the notary. d. All of the above are true. 33. Almost all service in front of the notary will be either acknowledgement or jurat. Although there are differences, the notary will be filling out the notary text on the document. All except one of the answers is correct about every document: a. The notary must scan the document to make sure it is complete and deny service if it is not complete. b. The document could be in a different language if the notary is able to communicate with the signer in a language that both understand. c. If the notary has prior knowledge that the document is fraudulent, the notary is not allowed to sign and seal the document. d. If the document is in a language unknown to the notary, the notary may use a translator to help understand what type of service to perform and help fill in the notary text.
34. A California notary is authorized to certify copies of a. Deeds b. Birth certificates c. Immigration documents d. A power of attorney and his/her own journal 35. A subscribing witness may be used a. When a document signer is unable to appear before a notary. b. In deeds transferring real estate. c. Instead of a credible witness. d. After two credible witnesses have identified him. 36. When a notary has a proof of execution by subscribing witness, which of the following is not true? a. The notary must personally know the subscribing witness or use a credible witness personally known to the subscribing witness and the notary public. b. If the notary does not know the subscribing witness, the notary is allowed to use two credible witnesses with identification cards. c. The subscribing witness must have watched the signer sign the document or heard from the signer tell the witness that they signed the document. d. A notary may not use a subscribing witness for deeds mortgage or security agreements, or affidavits. 37. California notaries are allowed to acknowledge signatures on immigration documents as part of business; however, immigration consultants qualified and bonded are allowed to do all the listed except a. Assist in the filling out of immigration forms, but may not charge more than $10.00 per set of forms. b. Advertise that they are notaries public. c. Charge a maximum of $10.00 per signature on the document. d. Speak to the client in a different language and acknowledge signatures on foreign language documents. 38. Notaries are allowed to advertise their services in English and other languages; however, there are restrictions on advertising in a foreign language. Which describe these restrictions? a. A notary in California is never allowed to use the term “Notario” or “Notario Publico” in advertising or in any other way. b. Any ad in a foreign language by a non-attorney has to have a disclaimer stating that the notary is not an attorney and may not practice law or give legal advice on any matter. c. The foreign ad must also list the fee for services. d. All of the above are restrictions required by the State of California. 39. The State of California sets the maximum fees that a notary may charge for the services; however, some services the notary is not allowed to charge. Which of the answers below describe the documents that the notary would not charge for service? a. Voter related items, Veteran’s benefits, and on Military installations. b. Public agency notaries are not allowed to charge. c. If you have a private employer agreement, no fees can be charged. d. A notary can never charge for travel fees or work done away from the office.
40. Which of the following statements are true about the fees that a notary is allowed to charge? a. The notary may charge no more than $.30 (thirty cents) for a copy of a journal entry when requested in writing. b. A public agency notary is required to charge; however, the fees collected go to the public agency. c. If a notary gives an oath in a deposition, that notary is only allowed to charge $5.00. d. All of the above are true. 41. Even though the notary is not reading the document, if the notary knows that the document is fraudulent and it is a real estate document the notary has committed a crime. What type of crime is it? a. A tort b. A felony c. A misdemeanor d. A civil case and not a problem for the notary. 42. There are two major crimes listed in the notary handbook, felonies and misdemeanors, which of the following constitutes a misdemeanor? a. A person who solicits or coerces or in any manner influences the notary to act improperly. b. Any person who destroys, defaces, or conceals any records or papers belonging to the office of the notary public. c. Any person who acts as a notary or advertises that he/she is a notary when he/she is not commissioned or duly qualified. d. All of the above are misdemeanors. 43. All offenses that are committed by the notary could result in a suspension or revocation of the notary commission, but the notary may also be fined $750.00. Which of the following is not punishable by the fine or suspension of the commission? a. Failure to fill out the form in an acknowledgement. b. Not performing service on a document in a foreign language when you cannot read the text in that language. c. Charging more than allowed to perform notary service. d. Failure to give the oath with a jurat. 44. There are crimes that could cause the notary to have a fine of up to $1500 or worse. Which of the following would fall into that category? a. Advertising as a notary public when one is an immigration specialist. b. Advertising in a foreign language without the disclaimer. c. Misleading advertising. d. All of the above. 45. Which of the following is true about the liability of the notary in the performance of the duties? a. Because the notary is a Commissioned officer of the State, the State will take care of all liability. b. The notary is required to file a $15,000 bond and that bond takes care of all liability for the notary. If there are any problems the constituent contacts the bonding company. c. The notary has unlimited liability on every document they sign. d. All of the above are true.
46. If a notary breaks any of the laws governing the notary, which of the following is true about the notary’s right to defend him/herself? a. Every notary has the right to a fair hearing. b. When the notary takes the oath of office, he/she states that they give up all rights if he/she breaks the law. c. If the Notary made an accidental mistake he/she cannot be held liable so no hearing is necessary. d. None of the above have to do with notary law. 47. California has many Spanish speaking residents so using the term “Notario Publico” or Spanish translation for Notary Public is against the law. What punishment could a notary receive for doing this? a. The first time the notary breaks the law, he/she will receive no less than one year suspension. b. If you read, write, and understand Spanish, you will be fined $ 750. c. The second time will result in permanent revocation of the commission. d. Both A and C are true. 48. The notary text says “…personally appeared _____________, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person...” What should be done about this blank? a. The notary writes his/her name. b. The notary writes the signer’s name. c. This must be filled out by the constituent prior to performing notary service. d. The credible witness writes his/her name in the blank. 49. The signer of a document has no ID but brings a friend of his/hers who is also personally known to the notary. What ID document is required of the signer? a. Ask the mutual friend for ID and have them swear to the signer’s identity. b. A driver’s license or other acceptable ID c. A birth certificate. d. One other witness who knows the signer 50. How long does a notary have to retake his/her oath of office before the county clerk after notifying the Secretary of State of a change in address? a. Retaking an oath is not required for an address change. b. 10 days c. 30 days d. 60 days 51. When a California resident applies to the state, which of the following is not required? a. The applicant must submit a photograph with the application. b. Live scan finger prints will be required to be submitted to the department of justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. c. Submit proof of United States citizenship. d. Disclose both business and home addresses. 52. All offenses that are committed by the notary could result in a suspension or revocation of the notary commission, but the notary may also be fined $10,000. Which of the following could result in the fine? a. Failure to require proper identification from your client before the acknowledging the document. b. Performing service on a document that the notary knows is fraudulent c. Charging more than the law allows. d. Both A and B are correct
Answers 1. B 2. B 3. D 4. B 5. B 6. A 7. D 8. B 9. A 10. D 11. A 12. D 13. D 14. A 15. B 16. C 17. D 18. C 19. C 20. D 21. B 22. B 23. D 24. C 25. D 26. C 27. A 28. B 29. D 30. C 31. D 32. D 33. D 34. D 35. A 36. B 37. B 38. D 39. A 40. D 41. B 42. D 43. B 44. D 45. C 46. A 47. D 48. B 49. A 50. A 51. C 52. D
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