A public office, created to protect the people
By Barbara Craig, Attorney at Law – Serving Torrance and the South Bay
Almost everyone requires the services of a notary public eventually, but the full purpose of the notary public is not widely understood. Most people know that a document must be notarized when the identity of the person(s) signing it must be verified. But the other important duties of a notary public are not generally known.
Protecting the public from fraud
The role of a notary public is to help protect the public from fraud. The principle duties of the notary public include certifying that:
1. The signer(s) of a document personally appeared before the notary at the time of notarization indicated on the notary certificate, also sometimes called an acknowledgement.
2. The signer(s) were properly identified by an acceptable form of identification.
3. If the document required the signer(s) to swear or affirm the truthfulness of the statements within the document, that the signer(s) did so in the presence of the notary. In this case, the notary prepares a special type of certification, called a jurat.
Who can act as a notary public?
A notary public is someone who received state-mandated training, passed a standardized examination, and was commissioned by the California Secretary of State. The Secretary of State commissions the notary for a term of four years after the applicant passes a written examination concerning notary law and is cleared by an FBI criminal background check. The notary public must also obtain a surety bond – a form of insurance – and register with the clerk of the county in which they conduct business.
How to get a document notarized in the South Bay area
If you are in need of notary public services in the South Bay, Attorney Barbara Craig is a commissioned notary public. Notary public services are available at our office location by appointment, or in the convenience of your home or office. The fees for notary public services are as follows:
Notarized documents, per signature: $10
This is the state-regulated fee for notary public certification of documents; a notary public may not charge more than $10 per signature.
Trip fee for mobile notary service: $55
Fee assessed for travel to locations in the South Bay area, including Torrance, San Pedro, Lomita, Wilmington, Harbor City, Carson, Long Beach and nearby communities. Mobile notary service outside normal business hours may incur an additional fee.