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Five Things You Need To Know About The New CA Notary Certificate Wording

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On January 1, a new California law takes effect that requires California Notaries to use new certificate wording for acknowledgments, jurats and proofs of execution.

5 Facts about the 2015 CA Certificate Law
 

Here are five important facts you need to know about the new certificate law:

  1. A new consumer notice must appear in every acknowledgment certificate attached to or included on a document to be filed in the state of California, jurat certificate and proof of execution certificate effective January 1, 2015.
  2. The wording of the consumer notice must appear exactly as prescribed in the statute and may not vary from this wording.
  3. The consumer notice must appear outlined by a box at the top of the certificate above the wording “State of California, County of _____.” The consumer notice must be legible.
  4. Formats containing the prescribed notice that meet the requirements are permitted; there is not one standard format in which the wording of the consumer disclosure must appear as long as the requirements for the notice are met.
  5. If you use a certificate that uses the outdated certificate wording after January 1, 2015, the document could be rejected, and you could be liable to any person harmed by the error and for possible action against your commission by the Secretary of State.
     

Where to Find Updated CA Certificates
 

Notaries can purchase updated California certificates from the NNA’s supplies store. Members of the NNA may download updated certificates for free online for free as a membership benefit. These 2015-compliant certificates are always available, so members can download and print them on demand. A list of answers to questions about the new certificate law is also available.

28 Comments

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Gerry

30 Dec 2014

That's not quite what the new law says. Acknowledgements and jurats completed by CA notaries must contain the new notice (with the possible exception of a different acknowledgement certificate required in another jurisdiction). Acknowledgements and jurats completed by an out-of-state notary outside of CA do not need the new notice, even if the document is to be filed in CA.

Bonnie

05 Jan 2015

Thanks for your comment, Gerry. California Notaries can also download forms from the Secretary of State office: Acknowledgments: http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/acknowledgments/ Jurats: http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/jurats/

Kelly

05 Jan 2015

Question: Although I am a CA notary, most documents I notarize are jurats, AND are for other states other than CA. Because the form being notarized is actually being filed in another state, is the additional wording still needed? Or is additional wording only needed on forms actually being filed in the state of CA?

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2015

All jurats or proofs of execution performed in California must use the exact form of the certificate as contained in statute for each of these acts.

Julie Williamson

06 Jan 2015

Shouldn't Item 5 state 'If you use a certificate that does NOT comply with the 2014 law: If you use a certificate that complies with the 2014 law after January 1, 2015, the document could be rejected, and you could be liable to any person harmed by the error and for possible action against your commission by the Secretary of State.

National Notary Association

07 Jan 2015

Hello Julie. We edited item 5 to make the phrasing clearer. We hope that helps. Thanks for the feedback!

Paula Berriz

08 Jan 2015

enewsletter does not have a https security to download free notary certificates (new ones).

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2015

Hello Paula, If you're an NNA member you may use this link in the article above to download the new certificate wording: https://www.nationalnotary.org/my-nna/member-benefits/downloadable-notary-certificate-forms

Phyllis Seger

08 Jan 2015

Is the new consumer notice required on acknowledgements, etc. where the notarial wording is included at the end of the document (in other words, a California All-Purpose Acknowlegment certificate or other notarial certificate is not attached.) If so, then the phrase "to which this certificate is attached" would not make sense. Yet the law says the consumer notice may not vary from the wording prescribed. Please advise.

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2015

Hello, The new wording is required on both pre-printed and loose CA certificate wording.

Marcia Morris

11 Jan 2015

I am just curious how we would know whether or not the documents are being filed in CA or not? Does it have to do with the property location?

National Notary Association

12 Jan 2015

Hello Marcia, It would depend if the document are being filed with a recording office or receiving agency within the state of California.

Steve Finestone

26 Jan 2015

A Jurat asks the signer to "swear, affirm etc" to the truthfulness of the document, yet the new wording states that we are ONLY verifying the identity of the individual, not the truthfulness, accuracy or validity of the document. Are we still required to have them verify the truthfulness of the document????

National Notary Association

28 Jan 2015

Hello Steve, The new required CA notice does not change how you perform the notarial act. You would still perform the jurat in the manner prescribed by state law.

Barbara

26 Jan 2015

I work for a Tribal Government. When a vehicle is delivered on the reservation, the dealership will normally bring a form, Statement of Delivery, which is to be notarized. Does this form have to include the new CA Notary Certificate Wording? Or do I have to attach a Notary Acknowledgement?

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2015

Hello, If the notarial act involved takes place in California, and is an acknowledgment to be filed in California, a jurat or a proof, the notarial certificate used will need to include the new statutory wording.

Susan

28 Jan 2015

According to your "5 Facts about the 2015 CA Certificate Law"--#1 does state that it is required on an Acknowledgement--it does not mention Jurats. It says, "A new consumer notice must appear in every acknowledgment certificate attached to or included on a document to be filed in the state of California, jurat certificate and proof of execution certificate effective January 1, 2015." Please answer yes or no, do we need new Jurats?

National Notary Association

28 Jan 2015

Hello Susan, As it states in the paragraph you just quoted, the new wording is required on all acknowledgments notarized and filed in the state of California and all jurat and proof of execution certificates notarized in California as of January 1, 2015.

Marites Cunanan

09 Feb 2015

If the signer signed the document in 2014, should I notarize the document and attach the 2015 Acknowledgement form or the 2014 form? Please advise. Thanks.

Andrea

27 Apr 2015

So to be absolutely clear... When notarizing an out of state document with a preprinted notarial certificate without the new law/wording, to be filed in another state but notarized in California... Does the California notary have to attach a loose California certificate with new law/wording?

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2015

The law has a longstanding provision in Civil Code Section 1189(c) that allows a California Notary to complete an acknowledgment certificate required by another state or jurisdiction of the United States provided the form does not require the notary to determine or certify that the signer holds a particular representative capacity or to make other determinations and certifications not allowed by California law.

Adrianna Seropian

13 Oct 2015

Does the new California verbiage at the beginning need to be in a box? Our office is getting forms rejected even though the verbiage is there but it is not inside a box.

National Notary Association

15 Oct 2015

Yes, the law requires the consumer notice wording be enclosed in a box.

Karla V

08 Nov 2015

I am currently using Jurat and Acknowledgement forms that have the new provisional wording in a box. Am I able to still use these forms or must the forms be formatted to the ones offered by the NNA? Also in my training before becoming a Notary, I understood the forms as simply Jurat/Acknowledgement are the forms to be used (with the wording of course)but I'm now wondering if instead I should use Jurat with Affiant Statement and California All-purpose Acknowledgement. What do you advise? A lot of people I've spoken too leave that part blank.

Kristin Ekvall

25 Nov 2015

i am trying to find out if I tell the notary (in CA) I am sending my document to Mexico, he does not then have to have an acknowledge or jurat attached? Thank you.

National Notary Association

30 Nov 2015

Hello. In order to have a document notarized in California, the document must have appropriate notarial certificate wording attached. CA Notaries may not notarize a document without appropriate notarial wording included. From the CA Secretary of State's 2013 Notary newsletter: “A notary public may not stamp a document with the official seal then sign, or sign and date the document without completing or attaching a notary certificate.”

Lisa

07 Sep 2016

We are in a loan transaction with another law firm and they are stating that the verbiage inside the box has to be 12 pt. font. I do not see this as a noted requirement. Can you verify, please?

National Notary Association

08 Sep 2016

Hello Lisa. No, the only formatting requirements imposed by the new law are that the consumer notice be enclosed in a box and placed at the top of the certificate before the venue. You can read the text here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB1050&search_keywords=

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