The Five Steps
When I meet with you, there are five main steps I follow. First, we must meet in person. Second, I confirm your identity. Third, I document the notarization in my notarial journal. Fourth, I review the document. Fifth, and finally, I fill out, sign and seal the certificate.
Meet in Person
In California, we currently are not allowed to do online notarization, so we must meet in person. I am a mobile notary, and this means that I am happy to meet with you at a place of your choosing. I have conducted signings in cafes, parks, homes, work sites, and even in my car. Where we meet is entirely up to you.
This is the most important part of notarization, to confirm that you are indeed the person named on the document. This means I will examine your government-issued photo ID (i.e., driver license, passport) and make sure that you are the person described on the ID.
In my notarial journal, I take down your name, the date and time, your ID information, the type of notarization and the document title. You will also sign my journal. In some cases, I will take a fingerprint. This information is confidential and kept locked up for safekeeping.
In this step, I review the document for completeness. All this means is that I make sure all the blanks are filled in. I am not allowed to notarize a document with blank spaces. I do not read the document in this step. I only make sure that all the information is filled in. This step helps in preventing fraud, so that no one can fill in any information after the notarization has been completed.
When a notarization certificate is completed, signed and sealed, it is attached to your document and proves that it has been notarized. Once completed, the certificate contains your name, the date of the notarization, my name, my signature and my seal. This document gives a reasonable assurance to whoever receives it that all fraud-prevention measures have been conducted and that the correct person signed the document.