Why Proper Language Is Important in Notarized Documents

Notary certificates in California now require a consumer notice, according to First Tuesday Journal, or they can get rejected by your county recorder. This new law went into effect on January 1, 2015. Here are additional details every business attorney should be aware of.

Notarized Document

Certificate Notice The notice should be placed in a box at the top of the certificate with the following required language: "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." Without this language, there is a 30 percent risk of rejection, according to a Notary Bulletin survey.

Purpose of the Notice The reason for this notice is to offer fraud protection as a notary attempts to ensure that whoever signs the document is the same person who is identified in the document. It is designed to confirm that the individual approves of the document and is not signing against their will. At the same time, the new notice warns that a notary doesn't guarantee the document's accuracy or validity.

Analysis of Notice Effects Nearly all respondents in the Notary Bulletin survey claimed they've rejected documents due to a missing notice. About three quarters said the notice was placed incorrectly on the document or it did not appear in a separate box. While 37 percent were unable to read the notice, 13 percent observed a handwritten notice on the document. While each business attorney may have a unique opinion on how documents are presented, the issue is also complicated by the fact that each of California's 58 counties have their own nuances about notice requirements. That's why the safest policy is to make sure forms come from a trusted source.


Keating and Lyden

Keating & Lyden LLC was founded by attorneys-at-law, Robert J. Keating, and Thomas P. Lyden and is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Bellingham, Washington. The attorneys specialize in providing legal advice in real estate matters to businesses and individuals pertaining to real estate management and operation including: tenancy in common agreements, partition agreements, real estate financing, homeowner’s associations and land use issues. They also provide the highest quality legal services to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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