Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Notary Public?

A notary public is a public official commissioned by the Secretary of State to administer oaths and affirmations, witness signatures, and perform other duties as permitted by state law. Notaries are most commonly called upon to act as the official, unbiased witness to the identity and signature of the person who comes before the notary for a specific purpose.

Common Documents requiring a Notary Public:

  • Powers of Attorney
  • Jurat
  • Financial Documents 
  • DMV Documents
  • Wills/Trusts
  • Guardianship's
  • Affidavits
  • Medical Release
  • Partnerships
  • Certification of Power of Attorney
  • Acknowledgement/Affirmation
  • Passport & Visa Authentications
  • Personal Legal Documents
  • Apostille Authentication
  • Deeds
  • Real Estate
  • Minor Traveling Internationally
  • Pension

Identification Needed?

(A) paper identification documents or (B) the oath of single credible witness or (C) the oaths of two credible witnesses under penalty of perjury, as specified below:

A. Paper Identification Documents

Identity of the signer can be established by the notary public reasonable reliance on the presentation of any one of the following documents, if the identification document is current or has been issued within five years.

1. An identification card or driver license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles

2. A United States passport

3. Other California-approved identification card, consisting of any one of the following, provided that it also contains a photograph, description of the person, signature of the person and an identifying number and is current or was issued within 5 years:

(a) A valid consular identification document issued by a consulate from the applicant's country of citizenship, or a valid passport from the applicant's country of citizenship

(b) A driver license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue driver license

(c) An identification card issued by another state

(d) A United States military identification card with the required photograph, description of  the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number. (Some military identification  cards do not contain all the required information.)

(e) An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody; or any form of inmate identification issued by a sheriff's department, if the inmate is in custody in a local detention facility

(f) An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county in California

(e) An identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government

B. Oath of a Single Credible Witness. The identity of the signer can be established by the oath of a single credible witness whom the notary public personally knows.  The notary public must establish the identity of the credible witness by

the presentation of paper identification documents as set forth above. Under oath, the credible witness must swear or affirm that each of the following is true.

1.The individual appearing before the notary public as the signer of the document is the person named in the document;

2. The credible witness personally knows the signer;

3. The credible witness reasonably believes that the circumstances of the signer are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for the signer to obtain another form of identification;

4. The signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signers identity; and

5. The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed.

C. Oaths of Two Credible Witnesses

The identity of the signer can be established by the oaths of two credible witnesses whom the notary public does not personally know. The notary public first must establish the identities of the two credible witnesses by the presentation of paper identification documents as listed above. Under oath, the credible witnesses must swear or affirm under penalty of perjury to each of the things sworn to or affirmed by a single credible witness, as set forth above.

What is a "Power of Attorney"?
A Power of Attorney may be used in a myriad of legal purposes.  Quite often a family member or close friend is unable to travel to banks, government agencies, tow companies and other facilities in order to conduct a simple legal transaction.  But due to the necessity of getting it done, a power of attorney can come in handy.  You can provide a power of attorney for withdrawing money from a bank account, selling property in a foreign country, to allowing someone to conduct business transactions for you.  Whatever the reason, you may need a power of attorney.

Disclaimer:  A Notary Public is not an attorney and is prohibited by law from rendering any kind of legal advice of any nature during or in conjunction with a Notarial Act. If you have any questions, please consult an attorney PRIOR to any notarization.

Central Valley Mobile Notary is not affiliated with the Secretary of State of California, any local or state government agency. The office of the External link opens in new tab or windowSecretary of State of California in Sacramento is the main office that issues California Authentication Apostilles & certifications for documents to be used abroad.