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Notarization means legal? True, legal, and binding? No

Notarization means legal? True, legal, and binding? No

Notarization means legal? Notarizing alone does not create a legal document

People often are confused about what notarization actually does, and what the notary public’s role is. Many clients feel as if notarization creates a legally binding document, contract, or makes something true. Notarization solely confirms that the people signing it were identified by a Notary Public and were indeed the people who signed the document. It does not make the contents true or mean that the document will uphold in court or legally if you just draft a document and have it notarized.

In January of 2015 a new law was enacted which requires California notarizations to have the following disclosure “A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.” The purpose of this is to inform the public and people who receive notarized documents that the notarization does not actually create a legal document, make it valid, or mean that everything in the document is true. It only verifies that people signed the documents.

If you are concerned with creating a legal document or ensuring the validity of a document. Consult a lawyer. A Notary will not make a document legal, and they cannot attest to the validity or legality of a document.