Notary FAQ

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Here are some Notary Frequent Asked Questions I’ve received.

I’m sure you have questions about notary services. I will do my best to answer all questions that I get asked.

Below are the questions I have been asked the most to speed up the process of helping you determine what you need.


What is a Notary Public?

A notary public is a person who the state has appointed to witness documents and administer oaths in a legal or official capacity.

Notaries in California are required to have training before taking the state exam. Additionally, we are background-checked and bonded.

What is a mobile notary public?

A mobile notary public is a notary public who travels with their notary seal, certificate, and other notarial paraphernalia to conduct notarial acts

I have COVID concerns.

First of all, I am vaccinated, but not all notaries are.

There aren’t clear guidelines when it comes to COVID. Each business seems to do its own thing.

I’m not here to tell you one thing or another, but I will wear a mask. I am willing to meet you wherever you are comfortable. If that is at a coffee shop, at your home, or outside, I am flexible.

My main goal is to make you feel comfortable. Click here to contact me for more information.

How do I prepare for a signing?

This really depends on what type of work you need.

If we are completing a loan signing, a few things need to be done. Feel free to contact me for specifics.

I need some general notary work, aka a document that needs notarization. Click here to find out more. [link to prepare for a signing]

The basics that you need for completing a signing include:

  • You should already know most of everything on your loan documents (payment, interest, etc.). This appointment is to verify everything.
  • A current government-issued ID card with your photo. It cannot be expired.
    • An example of this is a California driver’s license or passport.
    • The notary will be taking a picture or a copy of your ID (this will be sent with your documents)
  • The notary will likely call you to confirm a few things
    • The date, time, and location
    • Are there any special parking areas or gate access
    • Confirm the signers and spelling on the docs
    • Again, they should confirm they have proper unexpired IDs available
  • Remember, this process, depending on what loan is being done, can take anywhere from 15 to 2 hours. Make sure you have adequate time to complete your signing.

What form do I need?

This is another one of those tricky things. In the state of California, notaries cannot tell you if you need an Acknowledgment or Jurat. It’s illegal for us to do so.

Click here to learn more.

If you still don’t know which form you need, go to the person requesting the notarization. They should be able to tell you what is required.

What should I expect during a signing?

(This question will be answered in a blog post due to there being a lot of information)

Do I need to bring an ID?

The answer is YES.

There are a few acceptable forms of ID one can have, and it needs to have a government-issued, unexpired identification. A notary in California can no longer go off personal knowledge.

The most common IDs are a current driver’s license or passport.

Can you notarize without an ID?

No. If you lack the proper form of identification, the notary will not complete the signing. Notaries must always identify the signer that is in front of them by an unexpired Government-issued ID or with a credible identifying witness

Additionally, notaries (again, I’m biased in CA) cannot rely on personal knowledge to do a signing.

For example, just because a notary has known someone for 30 years, they must still provide an unexpired Government-issued ID (or a credible identifying witness) to the notary.

Can you notarize the document as a favor, as I cannot be there in person?


This is one of the quickest ways a notary can lose their commission and deal with expensive lawsuits. Signers must always be present in front of the notary.

Can you change the date of the notarized document?


Doing this is illegal and could cost the notary their commission and civil and criminal penalties.

Often, documents are time-sensitive and must be notarized by a specific date. This means notaries are often asked to post-date or back-date a document.

How long will this take me?

This depends on what work you need to be completed and how many parties there will be.

Generally, I would plan for 15 minutes for a basic notarization. To speed up the process, ensure you have everything you need for the signing.

If we are doing a loan signing, those take anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour.

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