|Online Notary Course for California|
Part 3, Section 1
By taking an acknowledgment, the notary is:
These two elements must occur at the same time and in the same place.
It doesn’t matter if the document was signed that day, the day before, or the year before, the signer just needs to verbally acknowledge that he or she signed it. If the document is signed in your presence, you need not take a verbal statement of acknowledgment.
These requirements are steadfast and you must insist that each and every one be adhered to. It is your duty as a Notary Public to reasonably ensure that the person signing the document is not an imposter who is fraudulently signing under someone else’s name.
Personal appearance by the signer is crucial and you must insist on it each and every time. If the signer did not appear before you and you complete the acknowledgement anyway, you could be held liable for the execution of a fraudulent notarial certificate, and you could face severe penalties.
Before you sign the acknowledgment form, it is a good idea to make a habit of briefly reviewing the document to make sure there are no blank spaces, as you cannot notarize a document that is obviously incomplete. Also, if the document is pre-dated, the date must be on or before the date of your notarial act.
The notarial certificate must always be dated on the day of the notarial act. Never “back-date” or “future-date” a notarial certificate, no matter how much someone may want you to do so.
A California Certificate of Acknowledgment must be in the form set forth by California law. No variations to this form are allowed. If you are asked to complete a Certificate of Acknowledgment that does not use this wording, you must attach a loose Certificate of Acknowledgment that complies with the law.
CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT
State of California )
County of (where the )
On (date) before me, (your name, Notary Public), personally appeared
__(name(s) of signer(s)_____________________________________,
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 _____(your signature)_________ (Seal)
· Never, ever, sign and stamp a notarial certificate ahead of time. It may seem like a time-saver to keep certificates on hand that are already signed and stamped and ready to fill out, but if one of those certificates got into the wrong hands, your certificate could be used for fraudulent purposes and you could be held fully liable for any damages caused, as well as facing administrative actions by the Secretary of State.
Filling out the acknowledgment form is usually a very simple matter, but one that does require your full attention. A simple mistake or blank space left on the acknowledgment form could cause rejection of the entire document, which of course could cause a great deal of inconvenience, and time and money lost.
If you are
completing an acknowledgment form for a state other than California,
you may use any
If you are
presented with an acknowledgment form that is unfamiliar to you and
you are not sure if you
“scilicet”, which means “in particular” or “namely”. If you come across a notarial certificate that does not
have these letters, do not worry. This abbreviation is not required and the notarial certificate would still be
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