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Part B. Types of Notary Public Acts and How to  Perform the Acts 

17th February, 2022

Part B explains the most frequent and important acts in California law that a notary  public may perform. Please note, a notary public only can use the notary public’s seal for purposes described in the California Government Code and only can use the title “notary public” to render notarial services. 

(California Government Code section 8207.) 

A notary public must refuse to perform any notarial act that is not described in California law. For example, a notary public is prohibited from using the official seal and title “notary public” either on documents that  are not described in California law or without the required notarial wording

(California Government Code sections 8202, 8205 and 8207; California Civil Code section 1189).)

Doing either of these prohibited acts may cause the notary public’s commission to be revoked or suspended or application denied. 

Most notarial acts relate to another person signing or certifying a document. When a  notary public performs an act in relation to a document, the document is commonly said to be “notarized.” In fact, a notary public only notarizes the signature of the person who signed the document. However, a notary public cannot notarize his or her own signature or a transaction in which the notary public has a direct financial or beneficial interest. 

(California Government Code sections 8224 and 8224.1.)