Chapter 7: New Law Changes Notary Certificate Wording

CA Senate Bill 1050 was signed into law and effective January 1, 2015.   The wording for CA Certificate of Acknowledgment, Jurat and Proof of Execution will change.   Why is this important? Any document notarized in CA after Midnight December 31, 2014 must have the new wording or the document will be rejected by CA County Clerk and Recorder’s offices.  The responsibility to use the new Acknowledgment, Jurat and Proof of Execution certificates is on the Notary Public.

Beware of:

  • Online websites selling legal documents based outside of CA
  • Attorneys using outdated software programs (especially Estate Planning Attorneys that generate Living Trusts)
  • Title Companies and Real Estate Agents using outdated software programs to generate Buyers and Sellers documents
  • Financial Institutions (banks generate loan documents and Durable Power of Attorney documents with outdated software programs)
  • Government Agencies using outdated forms and the notarial set-up is printed on their documents (especially old preprinted Federal forms)
  • CA DMV forms (make sure you’re using the most current forms and not old forms)

If you’re a Notary Public in CA go to the National Notary Association website and download the new Acknowledgment, Jurat and Proof of Execution certificates before Midnight December 31, 2014.  Be prepared with the new documents and not sorry when you notarize a document improperly on January 1, 2015.

So what’s the new wording?  An enclosed box above the venue or location where the document was signed and notarized which states the following:

A notary public or other officer completing this

certificate verifies only the identity of the 

individual who signed the document to which this

certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness,

accuracy, or validity of that document.

Why was this law created?  The role of the Notary Public: “A notary public is required to certify to the identity of the signer of the document.” (Civil Code sections 1185(a), 1189, Government Code section 8202) “Identity is established if the notary public is presented with satisfactory evidence of the signers identity. (Civil Code section 1185(a))  Proper identification was covered in a previous chapter. The notary public is witnessing the signing of the document and not the truthfulness of what’s contained in the document.  With this new law in place the notary public cannot be held responsible for the contents of any document being notarized.

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