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A notary public is a person of required honesty, credibility, truthfulness and integrity, appointed by the State of California.  A notary public is an impartial witness who is commissioned by the state for taking oaths, affirmations, and performing other acts authorized by law.  Notarization is a powerful risk management tool.  A Notary public identifies signers on documents, helps them to prevent fraud and provides a valuable service for the people assisted.  

The primary function of a notary is to authenticate the identity of the signer.  A notary also verifies that the signer signed the document.  One of the functions of a notary is to administer an oath or affirmation.  In order to be appointed a notary public in California, a person must be 18 years of age, and be a legal resident of California.  However, once does not have to be a US citizen in order to be appointed a notary.

An applicant must complete a 6-hour state mandated notary course provided by an approved vendor, pass a written exam provided by the Secretary of State, as well as pass a background check.  Finally, every applicant must fill out a notary public application and disclose all arrests and convictions.  In addition, an applicant must purchase a surety bond in the amount of $15,000 from a surety company, and must be maintained for the duration of notary commission.

Although the surety bond is required by law, it does not protect a notary.  The bond is posted to protect the people against any damaging actions of a notary while performing notarial acts for the public.  The bond is not insurance for the notary.  It only protects the public from notary misconduct.

Please call attorney Antoniette Jauregui at 909-890-2350 for a free initial consultation.  

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