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What Businesses Need To Know About The New CA Notary Wording


With California’s Notary certificate changes taking effect earlier this month, businesses are asking how the new law will affect their documents. Here are answers to three common questions from businesses.

1. Many of the documents notarized in our California office are sent out of state. Do the notarizations for these documents require the new certificate wording?

It depends. When executing a jurat or proof of execution, California Notaries must always use the certificates with the new consumer notice regardless of where the document is sent. California Notaries who take acknowledgments on documents that are filed in another state or jurisdiction may complete any acknowledgment form as may be required in that other state or jurisdiction, 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 or certifications not allowed by California law.

2. If a document is notarized in another state and sent to California to be recorded, does the notarial certificate have to include the new consumer notice?

No. With acknowledgments specifically, the statute says that any certificate of acknowledgment taken in another place will be sufficient in California if it is taken in compliance with the laws of the place where the acknowledgment is made (Civil Code Section 1189[b]). With jurats and proofs, the same principle applies although there isn’t a specific statute as for acknowledgments.

3. We have many in-house documents with older California notarial certificate wording printed on them already. Do we have to update every document with California notarial wording on it?

If the document requires a California jurat, proof of execution or acknowledgment, it must include the consumer notice. It would be easier for the Notary if you updated your forms to comply with the new consumer notice. This way, the Notary would be able to complete the form that is printed on the document. However, if you choose not to update your in-house documents, the Notary could still attach a correct certificate with the new consumer notice.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Related articles:

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


Add your comment


26 Jan 2015

Insofar as updating the wording on existing documents, couldn't a stamp be made to be affixed to the existing documents, thereby saving the expense and trouble of double efforts?

Madeline Reynolds

26 Jan 2015

If a document was notarized last year but recorded , will that document have to be updated with the new Calif. Notarial wording on it before it can be recorded?

National Notary Association

28 Jan 2015

Hello Madeline, That would depend on the requirement of the recording office. We would suggest contacting them to find out their requirements in this regard.


28 Jan 2015

I have documents coming back from the LA County Recorders that were notarized last year, but recorded in the last couple of weeks. The County Recorder wants updated Acknowledgments with the new consumer notice. Not fun! Customers are angry.

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2015

Hello SMD, We reached out to the Recorder's office regarding your situation. If you can please email us at, we can provide you with some additional information.


28 Jan 2015

Most of my documents are Certificate of Origin for shipments going to Israel. Is there someone that I can send a copy of the certificate to who could review it and advise if I could just proceed as normal. Obviously it's being used out of this jurisdiction.

National Notary Association

28 Jan 2015

Hello, We're sorry, but we can't provide legal advice on whether a receiving agency in Israel will or will not accept a certificate. For that information you would need to contact the receiving agency for information or consult with an attorney.


13 Feb 2015

Can you comment on the alignment of the new notary box. If it is placed in the correct place and in a box does it matter if it is alligned to the right, center or left?

National Notary Association

18 Feb 2015

Hi Donna, We forwarded your question to Bill Anderson, our Vice President of Legislative Affairs. He said that the alignment should not matter, but suggests aligning with the left margin as a best practice.

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