Q: So what is a Notary Public anyway, and what do they do?
A: In California, they are a public official that is commissioned by the Secretary of State, to serve the public by acting as an impartial witness for signing important documents. They authenticate signatures, positively ID signers and administer oaths to compel the truthfulness of the signer.
Q: Why are documents notarized?
A: The receiving agency can be relatively certain that the document signer is who they say they are because they have appeared before the notary and were positively identified.
A: There are 8 basic documents that are considered acceptable. They must be current OR issued within the last 5 years and must have the following elements:
1. CA driver's license or ID card - temporary cards are not acceptable
2. US passport - even though there is no physical description
3. Foreign passport - must be stamped by the Immigration Naturalization Service or the US Citizenship & Immigration Services
4. Driver's license or ID card from another US state
5. Mexican or Canadian driver's license
6. Military ID card - must have physical description
7. Inmate ID card - if inmate is in custody, includes ankle monitors
8. Employee ID card - from an agency or office of State of CA or CA County or City
Keep those docs current for a quick and easy notarization when you need it!