Many clients are confused about what notarization is, and how it effects the legality of a document. Many people mistakenly believe that notarization makes a document legally binding, true and accurate. Notarization’s sole purpose is to confirm that the person signing the document was signed by the actual person and was identified. It does not make the contents true, accurate, or ensure that the document is “legally binding.”
Starting in the beginning of January of 2015 a new law was created requiring all California notarizations to have the following disclosure on every notary public certificate or document.
“A Notary Public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.”
The purpose of this disclaimed is to notify the public of the actual purpose of notarization and not misrepresent the purpose of notarization to people who receive notarized documents.
If you are drafting a document, and need to ensure the validity of the document, consult a lawyer for assistance. Notarization will not make your document legal, as notaries do not attest to the validity of legality of documents, only to that of signatures.