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SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN CALIFORNIA REGARDING NOTARY PUBLICS BECOME EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008

Significant changes in notarizational requirements and enforcement measures will become effective on January 1, 2008. The changes are set forth in AB 886, which was chaptered by the Secretary of State on October 10, 2007 - Chapter 399, Statutes of 2007. The following are among the new changes and enforcement measures.

Existing law requires a notary public, when executing various documents, to determine from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence, the existence of certain facts or identities. This bill does away with personal knowledge as a basis for identification and requires instead that this determination be made on the basis of "satisfactory evidence." Civil Code §1185(a). Satisfactory evidence is defined in Civil Code §1185(b).

Failure to obtain satisfactory evidence will now subject a notary to a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000. Civil Code §1185(b)(1)(B).

Civil Code §1189(a)(1) now requires that the certificate of acknowledgment be certified under penalty of perjury and be in the following form:

State of California )

County of Monterey )

On _________________, before me, (here insert name and title of the officer), personally appeared _____________________, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the
person(s) acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY of PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.


WITNESS my hand and official seal.


Signature __________________________
(Seal)




A notary public who willfully states as true any material fact that he or she knows to be false will now be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000. Civil Code §1189(a)(2).

When executing a jurat, personal knowledge is no longer sufficient for identification purposes. Instead, satisfactory evidence as described in Civil Code §1185 is now required. (Government Code §8202(a)).

Affidavits subscribed and sworn to before notaries will now require that the jurat be in the following form (Government Code §8202(b)):

State of California )

County of Monterey )


Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on this ___ day of _____, 20___, by ___________, proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) who appeared before me.

Seal ____________________

Signature ________________



Existing law requires a notary public to obtain a thumb print in connection with the signing of a deed, quitclaim deed, or deed of trust affecting real property. This requirement has now been extended to powers of attorney (Government Code §8206(a)(2)(G)).

A notary who fails to obtain a thumb print as required by law is now subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $2,500 (Government Code §8214.23).
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