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Notary Public FAQs

Notary Public Frequently Asked Questions

Notary Public Frequently Asked Questions

Notary Republic or Notary Public?

The correct title, or phrase, is Notary Public. 🙂

Notary Public? What’s that?

The Notary Public has a crucial role in being trusted to identify signers during execution of documents and other transactions. Notaries help ensure that the proper person is signing a document and that they personally execute the document. Notaries establish the signers identity using satisfactory evidence which is established by the California Secretary of State. The primary methods of identification used by signers are driver’s license, passport, and military ID.  Notaries also play a crucial role in administering oaths and affirmations for affidavits, court proceedings, and even swearing newly appointed attorneys into the BAR. 

Be cautious in not confusing a Notary Public with the role of a lawyer, as Notaries do not have legal training or provide legal advice, assistance, or document preparation unless they are also an attorney licensed to practice. 

What is a Mobile Notary Public? How does that work?

A Mobile Notary Public varies from the definition of a Notary Public only in that they travel to your location for more convenient service. Mobile means traveling, not to be confused with online or internet Notaries. Mobile Notaries have the flexibility to travel to many locations, as well as provide services outside of normal business hours.

The traditional process of notarizing a signature would require the signer to locate and travel to the office of a Notary Public during their business hours. Mobile notaries revolutionized the process by providing flexibility, convenience, professionalism, and flexibility to accommodate special requests. 

How much can a Notary Public charge?

A Notary Public is permitted to set their pricing based on a variety of factors, only the actual per signature fee is mandated to a maximum of $15 per signature by the State of California. Notaries fees will vary based on the location of the signing, extra services provided, traffic hours, parking, etc. The state mandates that the maximum that can be charged per signature is $15. However, it 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 up to $15 per signature, such as at a UPS store.

How late are you open? Are you available for appointments 24/7?

We are open 24/7 BY APPOINTMENT. If you need a notary at a specific or unusual time, you need to request the appointment ahead of time to ensure our ability to accommodate you. We do not stay up all night waiting for appointment requests, so we cannot guarantee last minute service in the middle of the night if it is not requested ahead of time. During the day, we request any and all appointments that we are able to.

Why get something notarized?

Some documents have the legal requirement of being notarized before they are considered valid, such as when an oath is required prior to execution, or for real estate documents. Many other documents call for notarization, such as trusts, deeds, power of attorney, and affidavits. Some documents are notarized by choice to prove the execution and identity of the parties. In some circumstances in lieu of personal appearance, businesses and entities will request signatures be notarized so they can feel confident the signer was identified properly and personally signed their documents instead of doing so in their presence. 

Can I notarize anything I want?

Simply put, almost everything can be notarized. Some documents are not able to be notarized due to lacking the legal notarization requirements implemented by California law. 

There are a few basic requirements that need to be present in order to notarize a document. The first and most critical is that the document is actually requiring a signature from the person requesting the notarization! Items that do not require signatures, such as photographs cannot be notarized, after all, notaries duty is to notarize signatures. 

Notaries also cannot notarize documents that are required to be signed by someone other than the individual in front of them, such as school diplomas that need the school officials’ signature, the student cannot notarize that, only the school can. 

Can I be refused service by a Notary Public?

Under certain conditions are notary may refuse to notarize for a member of the public. If the individual cannot meet the requirements for identification, or the document is not legally able to be notarized, then the notary must decline. If the person is unable or unwilling to submit payment in exchange for notarization, the notary is not obligated to provide free services.
If you meet all requirements and offer payment for the services, the notary public is legally obligated to provide their services. A Notary serves the public and can be fined and their commission revoked for refusing to execute their duties as a public servant

Are you a Notario Publico?

No! While the direct translation to Spanish is Notario Publico, California notaries are not “Notario Publicos”. The duty of such title is similar to a lawyer, and is not related to the role and duties of a California Notary.
Do not confuse the two, they are two separate titles and have completely different duties. It is in-fact illegal for a Notary Public to refer to themselves as a Notario Publico in California.