An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 07/08-49 - October 26, 2007
The statutory form of acknowledgement and the statutory form of jurat will be changed to reflect the elimination of reliance on personal knowledge when notarizing documents under Chapter 399 (Assembly Bill 886 - Runner). The only grounds to notarize a document will be verification by satisfactory evidence.
Thumbprints will also be required in a notary’s journal where the document being executed is a power of attorney. This is in addition to the current requirement of a thumbprint when notarizing deeds, quitclaim deed and deeds of trust. Notaries will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $2500 for failing to obtain the thumbprint.
Background checks for notaries will be expanded. Notary public applicants will have to submit fingerprint images and related information to the California Department of Justice for a criminal background check. The Department of Justice is required to submit the applicant’s information to the FBI for review and submission to the Secretary of State.
Also, for the first time, local peace officers and prosecutors will be able to enforce the Notaries Public Law. The new law requires a notary public to surrender the journal upon request to a peace officer investigating a criminal offense. The law sets forth numerous grounds for the Secretary of State to refuse to appoint any person as a notary public or to revoke or suspend the commission of any notary public.
Chaptered bill text: Chapter 399 (PDF)