Frequently Asked Questions
A notary public is an individual commissioned by the Secretary of State to perform a notarial act and is a considered a “public ministerial officer” who is an impartial agent of the state commissioned to witness notarial writings and signatures. One of the main responsibilities of a public notary is to confirm the identity of the signer of a document through personal knowledge, a credible witness and/or identification card or papers. Also, notaries public ensure the signer is under his/her own free will, and there to witness the actual signing. The overall purpose of the notary public is fraud prevention in document signatures and certification.
Notarizing a document or signature entails a few similar details, but will depend on your specific notarization act. For the most widely performed notary public services, you will bring the documents to be notarized to the notary (or a mobile notary will travel to you) and the commissioned public notary will: Verify the identity of the signers, confirm that the signers understand what they are signing / signing under their own free will, witness the signature(s), log the notarization act in the notary journal book; and complete a notarial certificate. In some cases, an oath or affirmation is required.
An individual commissioned by the state is can notarize signatures and documents and perform notarizing acts as set forth by the secretary of state of their repsective state.
Authentication requests can be presented in person to the Sacramento (also by mail) or Los Angeles office locations for California Apostille services. For in-person Apostille requests, no appointment is necessary and customers are served on a “first come first serve” basis.