What is certified signing agent?
A certified signing agent is a notary public with experience in conducting real
estate loan signings. A certified signing agent has passed an examination
administered by an industry-recognized entity. However, there are no federal,
state, or local statutes that designate what "certification" requires or means.
What is a notary public?
A notary public is a public Servant appointed by the California Secretary of
State to be an impartial witness in the signing of important documents and to
administer oaths and affirmations. Notaries help protect the public from fraud
and whose notary actions during the notary process guarantee that certain
minimum required standards have been met. Beginning in 2005, notaries must also
complete six hours of training before receiving their commission and for
renewing notaries, must complete three hours of training. Notaries must pass an
examination given by the State and pass a background check.
Does a document need to be signed in the notary's
Not necessarily. A document requiring an acknowledgment does not need to be
signed in front of the notary. The signer must confirm to the notary that he/she
did freely sign the document. A Jurat, on the other hand, DOES need to be signed
before the notary. A Jurat will contain the wording "subscribed (signed) and
sworn to before me. . ." When in doubt, wait and sign the document before the
What are the general duties of a Notary?
Notaries have two primary duties:
1. Taking Acknowledgements, which is
the most common duty of a notary. This means that the document signer personally
appears before the notary at the time of notarization. The signer either signs
the document in front of the notary or if signed prior to appearing before the
notary, acknowledges that the signature is indeed his or hers and that the
signer intends to execute the document.
2. Administring a Jurat (or taking an
affidavit): In this case the signer must personally appear before the notary,
swear an oath or affirmation to the notary regarding the truthfulness of the
contents of the document and sign the document in fronf of the notary.
Why do documents require notarization?
To prevent fraud. A notary public will ensure that the signer of a document is
who they claim to be.
Does notarization guarantee that the document is
correct (true) or legal?
NO. A notary public must verify the identity of the signer but is not
responsible for the contents of the document. Signers of the document are
responsible for the contents ,in the case of a Jurat, swear or affirm to the
truthfulness of the document.
Can a document that contains blank spaces be
No, the document should be completed before notarization. The signer or notary
may line through areas that are blank, this will prevent fraudulent information
from being entered on the documents at a later time.
Can a fax or photocopy be notarized?
Yes, if the document has an original signature. Copied or faxed signatures
cannot be notarized.