Greetings, hope your new year is going well. Please note that this is a second mailing as some members reported not receiving the first.
There are two new laws this year that affect Notaries:
1) New wording has been added to Acknowledgment, Jurat and Subscribing Witness certificates. Effective January 1, 2015, these certificates must include the following disclaimer.
The disclaimer must be legible in an enclosed box at the top of the certificate above the venue statement.
An example of the correct notarial wording format for 2015 is taken from the California Secretary of State website:
Members have free access to the 2015 forms from our website here. Non-members can purchase a download here.
2) The penalty has been increased to $1500 for failure to fully and faithfully discharge any of the duties required as a Notary.
This penalty could apply to the following violations:
a) A notary public who completes a certificate of acknowledgment that contains statements
the notary public knows to be false.
b) the notary public will be guilty of forgery if he or she issues an acknowledgment knowing it to be false.
c) A person who falsifies the acknowledgment of a notary public may also
be guilty of forgery.
To perform a correct notarization, the SOS office reminds us to be aware of the following Notary laws:
1) The certificate of acknowledgment, including the signature of the notary public and impression of the notary public’s official seal, must be completely on one page.
2) A notary public may not stamp a document with the official seal and then sign, or sign and date the document without completing and attaching a notarial certificate.
3) Neither an acknowledgment nor a jurat can be affixed to a document that has been mailed or otherwise delivered to a notary public where the signer did not personally appear before the notary public, even if the notary public knows the signer.
4) A notary public cannot attach or complete a jurat if the signer of a document does not swear or affirm to the truth of the contents of the document. There is no prescribed wording for the oath, but an acceptable oath would be “Do you swear or affirm that the statements in this document are true?” When administering the oath, the signer and notary public traditionally each raise their right hand but this is not a legal requirement.
5) A proof of execution by a subscribing witness cannot be used in conjunction with any power of attorney, quitclaim deed, grant deed (other than a trustee’s deed or deed of reconveyance), mortgage, deed of trust, security agreement, any instrument affecting real property, or any document requiring a notary public to obtain a thumbprint from the party signing the document in the notary public’s journal.
For additional references, I’ve provided links from our California Secretary of State website to the 2015 State Handbook and Newsletter.
2015 Handbook – https://notary.cdn.sos.ca.gov/forms/notary-handbook-2015.pdf
Good luck in 2015,
CEO, Notary Public Seminars