dictionaries in the san diego library

California Notary: An impartial third party, appointed by the state. A California notary is responsible for verifying the identity of a signer, administering an oath or affirmation to the truthfulness of the contents of a document, and ensuring that the signer is doing so knowingly and willfully.

General Notarization:

General Notarization: A general notarization is a term used to describe notarization of documents other than home loans and living trusts. If the document you need notarized is not a loan or living trust, then it is most likely a general notarization. If you still have questions about the type of notarization you need, please call 619 731-0878 and I’ll be happy to explain what type of notarization you need.

If you still have questions, please call  or search my San Diego notary blog.

Loan Documents: Loan document packages include important documents such as a deed, note, settlement statement, escrow documents, etc. Loan documents are typically more than 100 pages in length and require a notary with special training, called a notary signing agent. The notary signing agent is typically hired and paid through an escrow or title company, but occasionally the borrower may call and arrange the signing directly with the notary. The notary signing agent coordinates with the signers and arranges a time to meet at their home, or another convenient location. A mobile notary is often used for these types of transaction as it is more convenient for the signer to meet at their home, office or another location.

Notary Certificate: The piece of paper stamped and signed by the notary. The most common certificates are the jurat and acknowledgment. California has the strictest notary laws of any state and there are special rules for notarized documents that will be filed within the State of California. One advantage to hiring a professional notary public like The Bike Notary is that they are familiar with these specific and sometimes complicated laws and restrictions. For instance, a California Notary Public is not allowed to notarize a document which lists the signers capacity or title within the notary certificate. There is also special language that must appear on each California certificate and a notice placed inside a box above the venue, indicating that the notary only verifies the identity of the signer and not the truthfulness, accuracy or validity of that document.

Jurat: By completing a jurat, a notary verifies that the signer personally appeared before them, was administered an oath or affirmation by the notary attesting to the truthfulness of the document, and signed the document in front of the notary. Unlike an acknowledgment, a Jurat signed in the State of California must be a California Jurat and the document being notarized must be signed in front of the notary. Many notaries will skip the oath or affirmation step of the Jurat certificate which could invalidate the notarial act. This is another reason that choosing a professional San Diego notary public is so important.

Acknowledgement: By completing an acknowledgment, the notary has identified the signer and verified they have signed the document knowingly and willingly. Unlike with a jurat, the acknowledged document does not need to be signed in front of the notary and does not require an oath or affirmation. Additionally, unlike a jurat, an acknowledgment certificate which is signed in California, but being filed in another state, does not need to contain the California Acknowledgment language or the notice contained within a box above the venue. If the document to which the acknowledgment is attached will be filed in California, then it must be a California acknowledgment. Regardless of where the document will be filed, the signer must still appear before the notary to verify their identity and acknowledge that they signed the document.

Unauthorized Practice Of Law: A notary cannot give legal advice or prepare documents because these acts are considered the practice of law. A California notary public is not authorized to practice law. If a client asks the notary which form they need or details about the documents that need to be signed, the notary may not answer these questions due to this rule. Asking a notary these types of questions puts the notary in a position of liability, so the best answer is always “I’m sorry I cannot answer that questions as it is considered the unauthorized practice of law.” This is not meant to be rude, but rather to protect the notary public from liability and to comply with the laws set forth by the California Secretary of State. Since the notary is not an attorney, it is also in the best interest of the document signer to not answer such questions.

Durable Powers Of Attorney: A durable powers of attorney includes language in the document that extends the duration of your agent's authority in the event you are mentally incompetent at the time it expires. The powers of attorney remains legally enforceable until you regain mental competence. In general, a non-durable power of attorney automatically ends when you are considered incompetent. As a San Diego mobile notary, I’m often called to hospitals, extended care and other medical facilities to notarize these documents if a family member or loved one is sick or undergoing a procedure.

Grant Deed: A deed that includes some warranty of title and may include some exceptions. This deed conveys both title and some warranty of title from the grantor to the grantee. If signing loan documents, a grant deed will be included.

Trust Deed: A deed that conveys real property from a grantor to a grantee but also includes a third party such as a lender. The third party holds a lien on the property until the note is paid off.

Quitclaim Deed: A simplified deed that does not contain a warranty of title. This deed only conveys the interests of the real property from the grantor to the grantee.

Sworn Statement: Oral or written assertion of fact stated under oath, such as an affidavit.

Parental Consent To Travel: A notarized document giving permission for a minor to travel under the care of someone other than a legal guardian.

DMV Application For Duplicate Title: A notarized document used to request a copy of a vehicle title from the DMV. This is used when a the owner of the vehicle cannot find the original title. You can read more about this document in my San Diego notary blog article.

Release And Waiver: A release and waiver gives up a right, such as releasing one from liability for harm or damage that may occur from performing under a contract, or participating in an activity.

Demand Letter: A demand letter is a formal notice demanding an individual perform an alleged legal obligation such as rectifying some identified problem, paying a sum of money or acting on a contractual commitment. Most demand letters will include a deadline for action.


What is a San Diego mobile Notary?

A San Diego mobile notary offers notary public services at their client’s location of choice, providing convenience and saving their client the time and hassle associated with brick and mortar notary locations such as FedEx™, UPS™ or other shipping centers that offer notary services.

Why Do I Need A Notary Public?

Notarization helps prevent fraud by using an impartial third party, the notary, to verify the identity of the person signing. Notaries also verify that the signer is doing so knowingly and willingly. This is accomplished through the five-step notarization process. A professional San Diego notary will complete the five-step notarization process for each document notarized.

The five-step notarization process consists of:

  • Personal appearance: In California, the person signing the document must appear in front of the notary. This is a crucial step in the prevention of fraud. Although some states are beginning to allow remote notarization, California has not adopted this policy and continues to require all notarizations be in person.
  • Review the document: The notary must review the document to make sure it is complete and that the signer has filled out any necessary information. This ensures that the document cannot be used for another person or that the document cannot be altered once the notary is gone. At this point, the notary would also look for wording that indicates the type of notarial certificate needed. If the document is being filed in the state of California, or if the notary certificate is a Jurat, the notary must use a California notarial certificate. For more information about using out of state certificates, please read my blog article on “When can a San Diego notary Use Out of State Certificates?”
  • Identify the signer: The notary must positively identify the signer, either by the use of an identification card, or by using two credible witnesses who possess proper identification. For a list of acceptable forms of identification, please keep reading below.
  • Record a journal entry: The notary journal is used as a record of all notarial acts performed by the notary. In California, a notary must record the following in their journal for each notarial act:
    • The date and time of the notarization
    • The type of notarial certificate used
    • The type of document being notarized
    • The address of the notarization
    • The name and address of the signer
    • The type of identification used
    • The ID number, issue and expiration date of the signers ID
    • The signers date of birth
    • The fee charged for notarization. California has a maximum notary fee of $15 per notarized signature
    • The signature of the signer
    • A right thumb print of the singer if the document being signed conveys real property such as a deed
  • Complete the notarial certificate: The notary will fill out the state and county in which the document was notarized, the date of the notarization, the notary’s name and title, and the signer’s name. The notary will then sign the certificate, affix their notary seal and in the case of a jurat, the notary will administer an oath or affirmation.

What Type Of Identification Can I Use?

Any of the following forms of identification, provided it contains a photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number. The identification must be current or if expired, must have been issued within the last five years.

  • California Driver’s License
  • United States Passport
  • Inmate identification card issued by the United States Passport, or any form of inmate identification issued by a sheriff?s department (call for details on using this form of ID).
  • A passport issued by a foreign government, provided that it has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
  • A driver's license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency.
  • An identification card issued by another state.
  • A United States military identification card.
  • An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county in California.
  • Two credible witnesses that personally know the signer in the case where the document signer lacks ID. The credible witnesses cannot be named in the document and cannot have financial interest in the document. Both credible witnesses must have proper identification. To learn more about using credible witnesses, read my San Diego notary blog article.

Do I Have To Personally Appear Before The Notary?

Yes, you must personally appear before the notary to verify your identity. Although some states are starting to allow remote webcam notarization, California has not yet adopted this technology. A personal appearance is step one of the five-step notarization process and is an essential role in fighting fraud. A San Diego mobile notary provides convenience to their clients by traveling to their location for this personal appearance, saving them the time and hassle of having to drive to the notary. The personal appearance is the main way in which a mobile notary adds convenience to the notarization process.

What Will I Need For My Appointment?

  • The document you would like notarized.
  • All persons that need to sign the document
  • Valid IDs for all document signers or two credible witnesses who possess proper identification. For more information on valid forms of ID, you can read my blog article titled “What Forms of ID can a San Diego Mobile Notary Accept” and you may want to watch this video on how to make sure your ID is valid.

How Long Will My Appointment Take?

Most general notarizations take about 5-10 minutes once the notary is face-to-face with the signer. Loan document and living trust notarizations are more complex and typically take between 45 and 90 minutes. You can save time associated with the notarization process by requesting a mobile notary to come to your location. If searching for a notary in downtown San Diego, the time associated with driving to the notary, looking for parking and waiting in line can add up quickly, sometimes taking up to an hour. A San Diego mobile notary can cut the time down to 10 minutes or less, making the small travel fee of a mobile notary worth the expense.

How Much Does A San Diego Mobile Notary Cost?

I offer three types of mobile notary services:

  • General Notarizations - most notarizations ordered by the general public fall into this category.
  • Loan Signings - typically ordered by escrow and title officers.
  • Trust notarizations - typically ordered by attorneys and estate planners.

For more information on notary pricing, please check my services / pricing page.

How Do I Request A Mobile Notary Public?

You can request an appointment by calling 619 731-0878 or by submitting online request for mobile notary service. If you submit a request online., I'm typically able to respond within 10-15 minutes. For faster service, please call 619 731-0878.

Can A Mobile Notary Public Give Legal Advice?

No, a notary cannot give any legal advice. This would be considered the unauthorized practice of law and is strictly forbidden. The unauthorized practice of law includes

  • Instructing a signer which notary certificate to attach to their documents.
  • Filling out or preparing documents.
  • Giving advice or opinion on the contents of a document, including loan terms, interest rates, etc.

Does Notarization Make A Document True/Legal?

No, a notarization does not make a document true/legal. Notarization is not intended to certify whether a document is legal. The purpose of notarization is to identify the signer of a document, administer oaths and affirmations to the truthfullness of a document, and ensure that the signer is doing so knowingly and willingly.

Can A San Diego Notary Prepare Documents?

No, a California notary public cannot prepare documents. This is considered the unauthorized practice of law and is strictly prohibited. You should always have your legal documents prepared by a qualified attorney before meeting with a mobile notary to ensure that your appointment goes as smoothly as possible.