Document Signing

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  The Loan Signing Specialists - Mobile Notary Service

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Notary Terms


The acknowledgment form is set forth in Section 1189 of the Civil Code. In the Acknowledgment, the notary public certifies:

1.That the signer personally appeared before the notary public on the date indicated in the county indicated.

2.To the identity of the signer.

3.That the signer acknowledged executing the document.


The second form most frequently completed by a notary public is the jurat. The jurat is identified by the wording "Subscribed and sworn to" immediately above the place where the notary public signs his/her name. In the jurat, the notary public certifies:

1.That the signer personally appeared before the notary public on the date indicated and in the county indicated.

2.That the signer signed the document in the presence of the notary public.

3.That the notary public administered the oath.

Subscribing witness

The requirements for proof of execution by a subscribing witness are as follows:

1.The subscribing witness must be placed under oath or affirmation by the notary public. (Civil Code Section 1197)

2.The subscribing witness must have been requested by the principal to get the document notarized. (Code of Civil Procedure 1935)

3.The subscribing witness must be able to say, under oath, that he or she either saw the principal sign the document or the principal acknowledged that he/she signed the document. (Code of Civil Procedure 1935)

4.The subscribing witness must sign the document. (Code of Civil Procedure 1935 and Civil Code Section 1197)

5.The subscribing witness must personally know the notary public, or if the subscribing witness does not personally know the notary, then his or her identity must be established, or proved, by a third party. That third party must personally know both the subscribing witness and the notary public. (Civil Code Section 1196) That third party is called a credible witness.

6.The subscribing witness must sign the notary's official journal. (Government Code Section 8206(a)(2)(C)

7.Since the subscribing witness must be personally known by the notary public, paper identification cannot be used in establishing the subscribing witness' identity. (Civil Code Section 1196)

Signature by mark

When the signer of an instrument cannot write (sign) his or her name, that person may sign the document by mark. (Civil Code Section 14) The requirements for signature by mark are as follows:

1.The person signing the document by mark must be identified by the notary public by either personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence. (Civil Code Section 1185)

2.The signer's mark must be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses on the document. One witness should write the person's name next to the person's mark and then the witness should sign his or her name as a witness. The witnesses are only verifying that they witnessed the individual make his or her mark on the signature line of the document. A notary public is not required to identify the two persons who witnessed the signing by mark or to have the two witnesses sign the notary's journal. Exception: If the witnesses were acting in the capacity of credible witnesses in establishing the identity of the person signing by mark, then the witnesses' signatures should be entered in the notary's journal.

Powers of Attorney

A notary public can certify copies of powers of attorney. A certified copy of a power of attorney that has been certified by a notary public has the same force and effect as the original power of attorney. (Probate Code Section 4307)

SOURCE: State of California/Notary


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Last modified: March 30, 2008

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