California Notary Public Exam Questions

Critical commencement date
commencement date stated in the commission NOT date commission was issued or mailed
Who issues commission?
Secretary of State
When does commission become valid
After taking oath of office and bond are filed on time
Who do you file oath and bond with
county clerk
Where is a notary’s commission limited to?
State of california; not only a certain county
What kind of bond and how much needs to be filed
Surety bond for 15,000
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What is the purpose of the surety bond
reimburse members of the public that are damaged by notarial misconduct

May still be liable for damages, costs and attorney’s fees exceeding policy limits

What kind of notary publics are not allowed to perform notorial acts on their own time?
Notaries appointed by Secretart of State who serve as notary public on behalf of the state, city or county public agency
What are the restrictions of becoming a notary on a military or naval reservation
-doesnt have to be a CA resident
-cannot collect fees
-can only collect fees on the naval reservtion
With who should the oath and bond be filed
county clerk in the county where the notary holds her principal place of business
How much time and who must a notary notify of an address change?
Notify Secretary of State by certified mail within 30 days of changing residence or business address
Fine for failing to notify of address change:
What are the two duties to respond to written requests
1-respond in 30 days to written requests for information
2-respond in time specified when certified copies of journal are requested
Can an employer request that fees be turned over to employer?
How many journals can a notary keep
Who can request photostatic copies of a notary’s journal?
-any member of the general public can request to see their line item in the journal
What must the request include when requesting copies of a notorial journal
-Name of properties
-type of document
-month and year the act occurred
Maximum fee per page of copy requests
How long does the notary have to respond to requests for copies of the journal
15 days
Does an employer have to permit their employer, employer’s auditor or agent to inspect journal
Who has to be present when showing employer journal
the notary public
How long does notary have to notify the Secretary of state of journal being taken by peave officer
10 days
How long goes notary have to notify secretary of state of lost, stolen or misplaced
How long after expiration does notary public have to return journal
30 days
What items does notary seal have to include
-words Notary Public
-notary’s name
-commission expiration date
-county where oath and bond were filed
-commission number
-sequential ID number for seal
When may someone use an embosser seal
if it is also inked
When is a seal not required
acknowledgements on a CA subdivision map since the material used for maps isnt compatible with inks
What is included in the acknowledgment of the map
-county where notary’s commission is
-expiration date
-signature goes above or adjacent to all this
What must happen if Seal’s impression is not clear
It should not be fixed. Should instead attach a seperate notorial certificate
How long does notary have to notify SoS of lost stolen or damaged seals?
Who is able to destroy the notary’s seal
The notary public or his representative
Can a notary notarize a document written in foreign language they are not familiar with?
What is the procedure / requirement for notarizing a document in another language that notary isnt familiar with
-Notary must be able to communicate with the signer
-swear or affirm the contents of affidavit
Can an interpreter be used?
NO. Should refer customer to another notary if they cannot communicate
What is the journal entry for a document in a foreign language that the notary cannot identify
“Document in a foreign language”
What consititutes satisfactory evidence
1- paper identification documents meeting certain reqs
2-oath of single credible witness
3-oath of two credible witnesses
What kinds of paper documents qualify as proper identification
-DMV license
-US passport
-Passport issued by foreign county
-drivers licensees issued in Canada or Mexico (NOT ID CARDS FROM THESE COUNTRIES MUST BE DRIVERS LICENSE)
-Military ID
-Inmate ID card if still in custody
-CA state/county/city employee ID card
When should a notary use a credible witness
-when there are not other ways to identify the signer
Who needs to know who in order to use credible witness?
Notary public must PERSONALLY know the credible witness. The credible witness must personally know the signer. Credible witness must present proper ID
What must a notary do after identifying a credible witness?
Administer an oath or affirmation to the credible witness who establishes the identity of the signer
What must the credible witness swear to under oath
-signer is the person named in the document
-credible witness personally knows signer
-it would be difficult or impossible for signer to get another form of ID
-credible witness does not have financial interest in the document and is not named in the document
Who needs to know who in the case of needing two credible witnesses
-Both credible witnesses need to know the signer
-Notary does not need to know either of the credible witnesses
What needs to be entered into notarial journal at the time of notarization
-date and time the notary performed the service
-Type of act performed
-character of instrument sworn, affirmed, acknowledged or proved
-Signature of each person whose signature is being notarized
-whether the identity of signer was based on satisfactory evidence
-fee charged
-right hand thumbprint if document was title related OR for power of attorney
How must a notary record the signature of multiple documents
-separate line items for each document notarized
What must be recorded for each piece of identification that satisfies satisfactory evidence
-Type of ID
-Government agency that issued ID
-serial number or ID number
-date ID was issued or expires
Whose ID should be recorded in the case of one or two credible witnesses
both witnesses identification is needed
What sorts of real estate documents do not require a thumbprint
reconveyance documents, decree of foreclosure, nonjudicial foreclosure
What is an acknowledgment
notarial certificate attached to a document when notary confirms the identity of the singer and the singer acknowledges being the signer of the document
What does notary certify under penalty of perjury with certificate of acknowledgment?
-signer personally appeared
-identity of the signer
-signer acknowledged signing the document
For an acknowledgement, does the document need to be signed in front of the notary?
When is a notary allowed to complete an out of state acknowledgment that will be used in another state or territory. What should be done if this person has to certify the signers role?
When the notary doesnt have to confirm the signers representational status within a corporation/business.

If notary has to certify the signers role, the notary must insert the california form

What is a venue statement
statement establishes where the acknowledgment and signer personally appeared before the notary. County will always be the county where they appeared
What is a Jurat
certificate attached to a document when a person signs a document and swears under oath or affirms that the contents of the document are true and correct
What verbage does a Jurat include
sworn to or affirmed
What are synonyms for jurats?
affidavit or declaration
What does a notary certify happened when competing a Jurat
-signer personally appeared before notary public
-identity of signer was proven by satisfactory evidence
-the notary administered the oath or affirmation
-Signer signed the document IN THE PRESENCE of the notary
What does a notary need to do to perform an oath or affirmation and jurat
-confirm their identity (satisfactory evidence)
-administer oath or affirmation
-watch signer sign the affidavit
-complete journal entry
attach jurat to the affidavit or complete the jurat at the end of the affidavit
Which type of document does the notary need to be present during signing
What types of vital records can a notary not certify
-birth certs
-marriage certs
-death certs
What kind of notarization can a notary perform on vital certificates
can provide an affidavit or jurat which states that a signer has certified their own vital information by swearing to the contents of the document
What documents are needed to verify birthdate or age in jurat
certified copy of birth cert or identification card
What is a proof of execution by subscribing witness
When the principal of the document cannot personally appear before the notary, another person can appear on their behalf to prove the principal signed the document
What sort of items can the subscribing witness swear to the truth of and what can they not?
CAN: truth of the principal having signed/ proving identity

CANNOT: truth of the documents by means of proof of executiuon

Which documents are not able to be confirmed by a subscribing witness
-power of attorney
-all mortgage/title docs EXCEPT trustees deed and reconveyance
-no documents that require a thumbprint
What does a notary certify when completing proof of execution?
-subscribing witnes appeared before notary public
-the identity of the subscribing witness was established by oath or affirmation of credible witness that the notary personally knows
-credible witness presented ID
-subscribing witness proved identity of principal
What does the subscribing witness swear under oath or affirmation
-the principal is the person described in the document
-subscribing witness knows principal personally
-subscribing witness saw principal sign document or while in the presence of the principal hear the principal acknowledge signing the document
-subscribing witness was requested by the principal to sign the document as a witness
Who must know who in the case of proof of execution
Notary must know credible witness.
-credible witness must know the subscribing witness
-subscribing witness must confirm identity of principal
Can a credible witness have financial interest in the transaction
Can other formats of Proof of Execution document be acceptable
Whose name must appear after personally appeared in proof of execution
subscribing witness
whose name must appear after the words “on the oath of”
credible witness who’s proving the identity of the subscribing witness
What is a signature by mark
signature by mark occurs when a person cannot write his or her own name can acknowledge their signature by making a mark
Does the notary public need to confirm the identity of the maker of the mark
How and when does a signer acknowledge or subscribe and swear to an affidavit his or her signature on a document
By making a mark where signature should be IN THE PRESENCE of the notary
How many witnesses must observe the signer making their mark
What are duties of the two witnesses
-must sign names next to the mark
-one witness must write the name of the signer next to signature mark
What must occur in the notary’s journal when signing with a mark
Signers mark must go in the journal and should be witnessed by one person. Witness must sign his or her name next to the mark and write the name of the signer next to the mark.
Can the notary public serve as a witness for the signers journal
Does the notary have to verify the identity of the two witnesses when signing by mark? Do their signatures have to go in the journal?
NO to both. The only time the signatures need to go in the journal is if the witness is acting as a credible witness in establishing the identity of the personas signing mark
What types of documents can a notary public certify
-powers of attorney
-copies of his sequential journal or purchase of the journal
Who can certify copies of vital records
State Registrar
What must be done to certify copies of a power of attorney
-compare the document to the original
-attach notarial certificate to the copy
-complete a journal entry
What can a notary notarize on immigration docs?
signatures and dates on document
Who can advise an individual on which document or form the person can complete
only an attorney
How much can a registered and bonded immigration consultant charge for completing immigration forms?
What are the advertising limitations for a notary that is also an immigration consultant
cannot advertise that they are a notary if they also promote themselves as an immigration specialist or consultant
Advertising regulations for notaries advertising in another language
Notary must also post advertisement in English, say that they’re not an attorney and cannot give legal advice
What is a deposition?
deposition is a method of providing oral or written testimony under oath outside of a court proceeding
Who does a notary apply to for the ability to issue confidential marriage certs
county clerk
What type of notary must always charge a fee?
notary employed for or on behalf of a state, county public agency
Fee for acknowledgement
Fee for administering oath or affirmation and executing jurat
Fees for Depositions
$20 and $5 for administering oath to witness and $5 for certificate of deposition
Fee for certifying copy of power of attorney
Can notaries charge for signatures on applications for veterans benefits
Purjury vs forgery
Perjury penalty is 2, 3, 4 years
forgery is 1 year

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