A new law known as as California Senate Bill 1050, was signed in August 2014 that requires a particular block of text, enclosed in a box, to appear at the top of all Acknowledgements, Jurats and Proofs of Execution. These three items are the names of the certificates completed by the notary public when performing a notarization. The law goes into effect January 1, 2015; and affects notaries in California only. The text in the box will read as follows:
“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.”
The wording was added to reduce fraud by making sure the general public who sees a notarial stamp doesn’t immediately assume that by being notarized, the document constitutes any additional official endorsement of authenticity. The box serves as a consumer disclosure to notify anyone reading the document that a California notary’s role is simply to act as an impartial party to verify the identity of the signer of the document. The goal of the notification is to ensure that a person who is studying a fraudulent document presented to them will not give undue consideration to a notary seal as an official endorsement of authenticity and legal correctness.
Many times a notary is asked to perform a notarization using outdated certificates. When this happens, the notary must cross off the outdated notarial certificate and add the words ‘See Attached’, then complete the correct form. This is perfectly legal, and notaries do this every week. Every state has its own laws that notaries must follow.
To read the full text of the law, click here.