How To Prepare For Your Appointment

1. Have An Acceptable ID:

For notarizations in the State of California, an ID must be current or have been issued sometime in the last 5 years. The ID should have the exact name, or a longer version of the name, that appears in the document being signed. If there is a suffix (i.e., Jr., III, IV, etc.), that should be reflected on both the ID and documents. The following types of identification can be used during your appointment:

  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by the California DMV
  • US Passport
  • Inmate ID card issued by the California Dept of Corrections (only if in custody)

Other types of ID are also acceptable, but these must contain a photograph of the signer, their physical description, a signature of that person, and an identifying number. They include:

  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by any US state
  • Passport issued by a foreign government
  • Driver’s license issued by a Canadian or Mexican Public Agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses
  • US Military Identification Card
  • Employee ID card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or by an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county in California

Only one form of ID is required for the appointment. But having two on hand, if available, is always better. If you do not have any of the above mentioned types of ID, please click HERE to learn about using Credible Witnesses.

2. The Document Is Complete:

The document being signed must be filled out completely with any required information before the notarization can begin. As a reminder, the section for the notary and the line for the signer’s signature can be left blank. These areas will be completed during your appointment with the notary.

If you require assistance with how to fill out any portion of your document, please seek legal counsel. A notary is not a lawyer and cannot advise you regarding how best to complete your document.

3. The Signer Is Able to Communicate Directly With The Notary:

If the signer cannot communicate directly with the notary in English, the notarization cannot go forward. The use of an interpreter is unfortunately not allowed due to the possibility of vital information being lost in translation. If you are in need of a bilingual notary, please let us know. We’ll work to locate one for you.

4. The Signer Is Willing, Ready, And Able-Minded:

The person signing the document must be of sound mind during the appointment. If a signer's competency might possibly be an issue for the appointment, either because of medication or illness, having a note on hand from a doctor certifying the signer's ability to handle their own affairs is highly recommended.

It’s also important to us that any potential signer not be pressured into signing. These are often life changing documents that are being dealt with. If the notary feels that someone is not willing or ready to sign, the notarization cannot proceed.