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What is a Notary Public?
A notary public is a public official appointed by the California Secretary of State to be an impartial witness in the signing of important documents and to administer oaths and affirmations. Each Notary Public must pass an examination given by the State and pass a background check. Beginning in 2005, notaries were also required to complete six hours of training before receiving their commission, and renewing notaries must complete three hours of training.

What is a Certified Notary Signing Agent?
A Certified Notary Signing Agent is a Notary Public with experience in conducting real estate loan signings. A certified signing agent has passed an examination administered by an industry-recognized entity such as the National Notary Association. However, there are no federal, state, or local statutes that designate what "certification" requires or means. Notaries go through the certification process voluntarily to demonstrate their knowledge and professionalism.

Why do documents require notarization?
Notarization helps prevent fraud. A Notary Public will ensure that the signer of a document is who they claim to be. It is also important for the Notary to be sure that signers are aware of and understand what they are signing and are free from any coercion.

Can a document that contains blank spaces be notarized?
No, the document should be completed before notarization. The signer can line through the blank areas or enter N/A. This will prevent fraudulent information from being entered on the documents at a later time.

Can a fax or photocopy be notarized?
Yes, if the document has an original signature. However, copied or faxed signatures cannot be notarized. If you have a document on glossy fax paper (not plain bond), the document should be copied and then the photocopy can be notarized. The wording on glossy paper will fade over time and many public recorders will not accept those documents.

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