A California Notary was asked to notarize a document from Taiwan. The document didn’t have California Notary Acknowledgment Wording or California Notary Acknowledgment Verbiage. So, the notary said, “No problem, I’ll just add a California Acknowledgment Certificate”. That was easy. The notary followed legal procedure for California notarizations. The document was sent to its custodian in Taiwan who rejected the document. The message was that the stamp needs to be on the document.
So, the California Notary Public informed his client that he cannot legally stamp the document without the corresponding Notary Verbiage which must be California Acknowledgment Verbiage or California Acknowledgment Wording. The client said, “Is it really necessary? People do this all the time!” The notary stated that the law was the law and that he wasn’t going to break it for another person’s convenience or why bother having notaries at all?
So, the California Notary emailed the Acknowledgment boiler plate wording template to his client who emailed it to his contact in Taiwan. The document came back with the wording at the bottom of the page. The notary notarized it, and all was well!
A New California Notary Law
A new law regarding California notaries went into effect on January 1, 2012. One of three main changes to California notary law in 2012 is that a subscribing witness may not sign a Power of Attorney in California in a case where a signer is too frail or unwell to appear before a notary. In other words, it is now clearly mandated that a person giving someone else Power of Attorney in California must be well enough to appear personally before a California notary. There are situations in which an actual signer can’t appear before the notary and a subscribing witness may be used, but this is not as strong as having a California notary take an acknowledgement, and ought not to be allowed in most situations. In matters involving finance and property, California previously made clear that important documents such as mortgages and securities may not be signed by a subscribing witness; instead, the acknowledgment must be taken by the notary with the proper signer present. In 2012, California has now wisely added POA to the list of documents that may not be signed by a subscribing witness.
The second of the changes to California notary law in 2012 setsforth the rule that only California notaries who work for the financial institution concerned may demand payment or accept payment on “foreign bills of exchange” for the institution –and only these California notaries may protest for nonpayment. The third change in the law makes clear that these notaries who work for financial institutions will of course no longer be paid a fee for such services—as an independent notary would have been. The world of banking has its own notaries for all occasions, California notary law reminds us.
(1) A new 2012 California notary law – subscribing witnesses may no longer sign Power of Attorney in certain cases.
(2) Important documents such as Mortgages & Securities may not be signed by subscribing witnesses.
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California notary issues
California Acknowledgment and Jurat Information
Power of Attorney Signings
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To see current 2011 & 2012 California Acknowledgment wording information and California Jurat verbiage information, just visit:
California Acknowledgments & California Jurats
Notary laws are often based on antiquated social customs and laws. Many notary laws in Louisiana are based on the old Spanish and French laws which make it extremely different from the rest of the United States. Louisiana is sort of a foreign country controlled by our government. The language is English, but the laws are not. California notary law used to have some old rules too for identifying a signer.
In olden times, people lived in smaller communities, traveled less, and had less access to the outside world. In those days you knew your neighbors and knew them well. California notary laws and laws in many states allowed a notary to use personal knowledge of an individual as a way to identify them for a notarization. But, in 2011 with people flying all around, and nobody really knowing anyone, you can not really use personal knowledge as an identifying technique anymore. People don’t even know their wives and children that well these days! After 9/11, the laws changed in many states. It took a few years for the state governments to react, but standards for identification were raised. You can still identify signers using credible witnesses which I feel is false identification. The credible witnesses don’t really usually know the signer that well, and have to be reminded of the signer’s name in many cases. The most common form of identification is a driver’s license, state ID card, or password.
In any case, California notary laws for identifying a signer for an acknowledged signature are tougher now that personal knowledge is not allowed. But, signers also need to be identified for Jurats which never used to be the case. In the last few years, the California notary wording or California notary Verbiage for Acknowledgment and Jurat forms has changed a little bit as well.
Oaths and Affirmations in California have now become a merged act. You just choose whether you want it to be an affirmation or oath in the paperwork.
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Notary Public 101 – basic notary acts including Acknowledgments
Notary Acknowledgment Information
Can a California notary be a witness?