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California Notary - More Information
Eligibility Requirements
Application & Appointment
Term of Office
Failure to Record Appointment with County Clerk
Fingerprinting/LiveScan
Notary Public Bond
Notary Seal or Stamp
Record Book/Journal Record
Reappointment (Notary Renewals)
Education and Exam requirements
Notaries May Charge Certain Fees
Change of Name or Move Business or Residential Address
Revocation/Suspension of Commission by Secretary of State
California Notary Law



Eligibility Requirements
Renewals no more than 30 days before expiration

If the applicant does not make the 30 day cutoff – they will have to get another certificate of completion for their course and test and reply with the state.  They will also have to pay the filing fee again.

In order to qualify to become a notary public you must meet all of the following requirements:
(Government Code section 8201)

1. Be a resident of the State of California;
2. Be at least 18 years of age;
3. Satisfactorily complete a course of study approved by the Secretary of State;
4. Pass a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State;
5. Be able to read, write, and understand English; and
6. Pass a background check.

To determine if a person meets the requirements to fulfill the responsibilities of the position, a completed application shall be submitted at the examination site, then forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of State and reviewed by Secretary of State staff for qualifying information.

To assist the Secretary of State in determining the identity of an applicant and whether the applicant has been convicted of a disqualifying crime, state law requires all applicants to be fingerprinted as part of a thorough background check prior to being granted an appointment as a notary public. (Government Code section 8201.1) Information concerning the fingerprinting requirements will be mailed to candidates who pass the examination.  Commissioned notaries seeking reappointment with less than a six-month break in service are not required to have their fingerprints retaken.
Those applicants who have held a notary public commission in the past, but have had a break in their commission of more than six months, are required to have their fingerprints submitted via live scan.

8201. Qualifications to be a notary public; proof of course completion; reappointment (a) Every person appointed as notary public shall meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Be at the time of appointment a legal resident of this state, except as otherwise provided in Section 8203.1.
(2) Be not less than 18 years of age.
(3) For appointments made on or after July 1, 2005, have satisfactorily completed a six-hour course of study approved by the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 8201.2 concerning the functions and duties of a notary public.
(4) Have satisfactorily completed a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State to determine the fitness of the person to exercise the functions and duties of the office of notary public. All questions shall be based on the law of this state as set forth in the booklet of the laws of California relating to notaries public distributed by the Secretary of State.
(b) (1) Commencing July 1, 2005, each applicant for notary public shall provide satisfactory proof that he or she has completed the course of study required pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) prior to approval of his or her appointment as a notary public by the Secretary of State.
(2) Commencing July 1, 2005, an applicant for notary public who holds a California notary public commission, and who has satisfactorily completed the six-hour course of study required pursuant to paragraph (1) at least one time, shall provide satisfactory proof when applying for reappointment as a notary public that he or she has satisfactorily completed a three-hour refresher course of study prior to reappointment as a notary public by the Secretary of State.
§ 8201.1. Additional qualifications; determination; identification; fingerprints Prior to granting an appointment as a notary public, the Secretary of State shall determine that the applicant possesses the required honesty, credibility, truthfulness, and integrity to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. To assist in determining the identity of the applicant and whether the applicant has been convicted of a disqualifying crime specified in subdivision (b) of Section 8214.1, the Secretary of State shall require that applicants be fingerprinted.
§ 8201.2. Review of course of study and refresher courses for notary public; approval of education course of study, violation of regulations; civil penalties (a) Commencing January 1, 2005, the Secretary of State shall review the course of study and any refresher course proposed by any vendor to be offered pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 8201. If the course of study includes all material that a person is expected to know to satisfactorily complete the written examination required pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 8201, the Secretary of State shall approve the course of study.
(b) (1) The Secretary of State shall, by regulation, prescribe an application form and adopt a certificate of approval for the notary public education course of study proposed by a vendor.
(2) The Secretary of State may also provide a notary public education course of study.
(c) The Secretary of State shall compile a list of all persons offering an approved course of study pursuant to subdivision (a) and shall provide the list with every booklet of the laws of California relating to notaries public distributed by the Secretary of State.
(d) (1) A person who provides notary public education and violates any of the regulations adopted by the Secretary of State for approved vendors is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation and shall be required to pay restitution where appropriate.
(2) The local district attorney, city attorney, or the Attorney General may bring a civil action to recover the civil penalty prescribed pursuant to this subdivision.
8201.5. Application form; confidential nature; use of information The Secretary of State shall require an applicant for appointment and commission as a notary public to complete an application form prescribed by the Secretary of State. Information on this form filed by an applicant with the Secretary of State, except for his name and address, is confidential and no individual record shall be divulged by an official or employee having access to it to any person other than the applicant, his authorized representative, or an employee or officer of the federal government, the state government, or a local agency, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 6252 of the Government Code, acting in his official capacity. Such information shall be used by the Secretary of State for the sole purpose of carrying out the duties of this chapter.


Application & Appointment

1. Take a  6 hour (both new and renewal notaries) education course and receive a certificate of completion (which is valid for 2 years)

2. Register for an exam by contacting the CPS.  Click on the “Resources” from our California Notary Service to locate education course information: http://www.notaryofamerica.com/state.aspx?categoryID=28

3. Take with you to the exam site your completed notary public application with the Proof of Completion certificate of the mandatory education and $20

4. Applicants who pass the exam will be sent a live scan form with instructions for having their fingerprints taken for the background check (cost $32 plus rolling fee-varies by location).  Fingerprints must be taken within 1 year of the exam date. Renewing Notaries:  Renewals may be completed no more than 30 days before the current notary commission expiration date.

5. Once their application has been approved and after they have passed the background check they will be sent      a commission packet which includes – a cover letter with instructions, filing instructions, a commission      certificate, two Notary Public Oath and Certificate of Filing forms, a Certificate of Authorization to Manufacture Notary Public Seals and a list of Authorized Manufacturers of Notary Public Seals.

6. Purchase Notary Supplies – bond ($15,000), journal and seal.
Notary supplies, bonds, journals and stamps/seals are available here:
http://www.notaryofamerica.com/state.aspx?categoryID=28

7. File Notary Oath and Bond ($15,000) with county clerk’s office (where business is located) within 30 calendar days from the commencement date of the commission.  It is recommended that the bond and oath be filed in person.
If the applicant does not make the 30 day cutoff – they will have to get another certificate of completion for their course and test and reply with the state.  They will also have to pay the filing fee again.
For Rush Service, Please Contact Us:
 http://www.notaryofamerica.com/state.aspx?categoryID=28
http://www.notaryofamerica.com/ContactUs.aspx
E-mail: info@notaryofamerica.com
1-800-864-6395
Fax: 321-274-0119
Once all requirements have been completed:
It normally takes the Secretary of State’s office approximately 6 weeks to process a Notary’s commission after their test scores are determined – however it is not unusual for the process to take up to 12 weeks.  The Notary can check the status of their application by calling the Secretary of State, Notary Public Section, at (916) 653-3595.



Term of Office

8204.  The term of office of a notary public is for four years commencing with the date specified in the commission.

8204.1.  The Secretary of State may cancel the commission of a notary public if a check or other remittance accepted as payment for the examination, application, commission, and fingerprint fee is not paid upon presentation to the financial institution upon which the check or other remittance was drawn.  Upon receiving written notification that the item presented for payment has not been honored for payment, the Secretary of State shall first give a written notice of the applicability of this section to the notary public or the person submitting the instrument.  Thereafter, if the amount is not paid by a cashier's check or the equivalent, the Secretary of State shall give a second written notice of cancellation and the cancellation shall thereupon be effective.  This second notice shall be given at least 20 days after the first notice, and no more than 90 days after the commencement date of the commission.


Failure to Record Appointment with County Clerk
REQUIREMENTS AND TIME LIMIT FOR QUALIFYING

Once the commission has been issued, a person has 30 calendar days to take, subscribe, and file an oath of office and file a $15,000 surety bond with the county clerk’s office. The commission does not take effect until the oath and bond are filed with the county clerk’s office. The filing must take place in the county where the notary public maintains a principal place of business as shown in the application on file with the Secretary of State. If the oath and bond are not filed within the 30-calendar-day time period, the commission will not be valid, and the person commissioned may not act as a notary public until a new appointment is obtained and the person has properly qualified within the 30-calendar-day time limit. Government Code section 8213(a) permits the mailing of completed oaths and bonds to the applicable county clerk for filing of the initial oath and bond. It should be noted that exceptions to the 30-day filing requirement are not made due to mail service or county clerk mail processing delays or for any other reason. If mailing an oath and bond to the county clerk, sufficient time must be allowed by the newly appointed notary public to ensure timely filing. (Government Code sections 8212 and 8213)
8213.  (a) No later than 30 days after the beginning of the term prescribed in the commission, every person appointed a notary public shall file an official bond and an oath of office in the office of the county clerk of the county within which the person maintains a principal place of business as shown in the application submitted to the Secretary of State, and the commission shall not take effect unless this is done within the 30-day period.  A person appointed to be a notary public shall take and subscribe the oath of office either in the office of that county clerk or before another notary public in that county.  If the oath of office is taken and subscribed before a notary public, the oath and bond may be filed with the county clerk by certified mail.  Upon the filing of the oath and bond, the county clerk shall immediately transmit to the Secretary of State a certificate setting forth the fact of the filing and containing a copy of the official oath, personally signed by the notary public in the form set forth in the commission and shall immediately deliver the bond to the county recorder for recording.  The county clerk shall retain the oath of office for one year following the expiration of the term of the commission for which the oath was taken, after which the oath may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.  The copy of the oath, personally signed by the notary public, on file with the Secretary of State may at any time be read in evidence with like effect as the original oath, without further proof.
   (b) If a notary public transfers the principal place of business from one county to another, the notary public may file a new oath of office and bond, or a duplicate of the original bond with the county clerk to which the principal place of business was transferred.  If the notary public elects to make a new filing, the notary public shall, within 30 days of the filing, obtain an official seal which shall include the name of the county to which the notary public has transferred.  In a case where the notary public elects to make a new filing, the same filing and recording fees are applicable as in the case of the original filing and recording of the bond.
   (c) If a notary public submits an application for a name change to the Secretary of State, the notary public shall, within 30 days from the date an amended commission is issued, file a new oath of office and an amendment to the bond with the county clerk in which the principal place of business is located.  The amended commission with the name change shall not take effect unless the filing is completed within the 30-day period.  The amended commission with the name change takes effect the date the oath and amendment to the bond is filed with the county clerk.  If the principal place of business address was changed in the application for name change, either a new or duplicate of the original bond shall be filed with the county clerk with the amendment to the bond.  The notary public shall, within 30 days of the filing, obtain an official seal that includes the name of the notary public and the name of the county to which the notary public has transferred, if applicable.
   (d) The recording fee specified in Section 27361 of the Government Code shall be paid by the person appointed a notary public.  The fee may be paid to the county clerk who shall transmit it to the county recorder.
   (e) The county recorder shall record the bond and shall thereafter mail, unless specified to the contrary, it to the person named in the instrument and, if no person is named, to the party leaving it for recording.


Fingerprinting/LiveScan

Q. Where can I get a live scan fingerprint form?

A. You will be sent a live scan fingerprint form with instructions once you have passed the examination.

8201.1.  Prior to granting an appointment as a notary public, the Secretary of State shall determine that the applicant possesses the required honesty, credibility, truthfulness, and integrity to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.  To assist in determining the identity of the applicant and whether the applicant has been convicted of a disqualifying crime specified in subdivision (b) of Section 8214.1, the Secretary of State shall require that applicants be fingerprinted.

Notary Public
Submit Fingerprints Via Live Scan
 
________________________________________
Before submitting fingerprints via live scan, applicants must first take and pass the notary public exam. Applicants who fail the exam will NOT be required to have their fingerprints taken at this time.
Prior to granting commissions as notaries public, the Secretary of State requires that applicants complete a background check. To assist in determining the fitness of the applicants to hold the position of notary public, applicants are legally required to be fingerprinted. (See Government Code section 8201.1.)
NOTE: For applicants who have never held a valid notary commission, or for those applicants whose previous commission has been expired for more than 6 months, fingerprints must be taken at a live scan location and a background check completed before a notary public commission can be issued. For applicants who have held a valid notary commission and the commission has been expired for less than 6 months, fingerprints are not required.
Applicants who pass the notary public exam will be sent a live scan form with instructions. Applicants must have their fingerprints taken within one year of the exam date. If fingerprints are not taken within 1 year of the exam date the applicant will be required to retest.
For live scan locations and business hours see the Department of Justice's website at ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.htm or call the Notary Public Section of the Secretary of State at (916) 653-3595.
You must bring the following to the live scan site:
•    A completed live scan form.
•    A current photo identification.
•    A $32.00 fingerprint processing fee and an additional rolling fee. Please call the live scan site to verify the amount of the rolling fee.
Be sure to request a copy of your live scan form. Keep your copy of your live scan form until you receive your commission. It is not necessary to mail a copy to the Secretary of State; the information will be transmitted electronically by Department of Justice.
8212.  Every person appointed a notary public shall execute an official bond in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).  The bond shall be in the form of a bond executed by an admitted surety insurer and not a deposit in lieu of bond.

For California Notary Bonds and Notary Public Supplies, please click here:
http://www.notaryofamerica.com/state.aspx?categoryID=28


Notary Public Bonds

In order to provide some protection to the public, California law requires every notary public to file an official bond in the amount of $15,000. It is important to note that the notary public bond is not an insurance policy for the notary public. It is designed only to provide a limited fund for paying claims against the notary public. The notary public remains personally liable to the full extent of the damage sustained and may be required to reimburse the bonding company for sums paid by the company because of misconduct or negligence of the notary public. (Government Code sections 8212 to 8214)
It should be noted that exceptions to the 30-day filing requirement are not made due to mail service or county clerk mail processing delays or for any other reason. If mailing an oath and bond to the county clerk, sufficient time must be allowed by the newly appointed notary public to ensure timely filing. (Government Code sections 8212 and 8213)

8213.  (a) No later than 30 days after the beginning of the term prescribed in the commission, every person appointed a notary public shall file an official bond and an oath of office in the office of the county clerk of the county within which the person maintains a principal place of business as shown in the application submitted to the Secretary of State, and the commission shall not take effect unless this is done within the 30-day period.  A person appointed to be a notary public shall take and subscribe the oath of office either in the office of that county clerk or before another notary public in that county.  If the oath of office is taken and subscribed before a notary public, the oath and bond may be filed with the county clerk by certified mail.  Upon the filing of the oath and bond, the county clerk shall immediately transmit to the Secretary of State a certificate setting forth the fact of the filing and containing a copy of the official oath, personally signed by the notary public in the form set forth in the commission and shall immediately deliver the bond to the county recorder for recording.  The county clerk shall retain the oath of office for one year following the expiration of the term of the commission for which the oath was taken, after which the oath may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.  The copy of the oath, personally signed by the notary public, on file with the Secretary of State may at any time be read in evidence with like effect as the original oath, without further proof.
   (b) If a notary public transfers the principal place of business from one county to another, the notary public may file a new oath of office and bond, or a duplicate of the original bond with the county clerk to which the principal place of business was transferred.  If the notary public elects to make a new filing, the notary public shall, within 30 days of the filing, obtain an official seal which shall include the name of the county to which the notary public has transferred.  In a case where the notary public elects to make a new filing, the same filing and recording fees are applicable as in the case of the original filing and recording of the bond.
   (c) If a notary public submits an application for a name change to the Secretary of State, the notary public shall, within 30 days from the date an amended commission is issued, file a new oath of office and an amendment to the bond with the county clerk in which the principal place of business is located.  The amended commission with the name change shall not take effect unless the filing is completed within the 30-day period.  The amended commission with the name change takes effect the date the oath and amendment to the bond is filed with the county clerk.  If the principal place of business address was changed in the application for name change, either a new or duplicate of the original bond shall be filed with the county clerk with the amendment to the bond.  The notary public shall, within 30 days of the filing, obtain an official seal that includes the name of the notary public and the name of the county to which the notary public has transferred, if applicable.
   (d) The recording fee specified in Section 27361 of the Government Code shall be paid by the person appointed a notary public.  The fee may be paid to the county clerk who shall transmit it to the county recorder.
   (e) The county recorder shall record the bond and shall thereafter mail, unless specified to the contrary, it to the person named in the instrument and, if no person is named, to the party leaving it for recording.
An Errors and Omissions (E&O) policy does not replace a bond.  While a notary bond protects a notary’s customer, an errors and omissions policy, while not required by law, is highly recommended because it protects you - the notary public.   E&O pays for your legal fees and costs should you be sued in your capacity as a notary.  Unlike your state-required Notary Bond, your E&O policy does not require that you repay a claim! E&O insurance protects you by paying for financial claims and legal fees (up to policy liability limit) and financial claims including defense costs up to liability limits.

Notary Public Seal

The Notary’s seal is ordered once we receive notification from the Notary of their commission documentation from the Secretary of State’s office.  This is the same time when the Notary bond is written.  Please contact us for information at:
http://www.notaryofamerica.com/state.aspx?categoryID=28

The manufacturer shall include on the notary public seal all the required elements as provided for in Government Code Section 8207 as follows:
  • The name of the notary public;
  • The State Seal;
  • The words "Notary Public";
  • The filing county shown on the certificate of authorization;
  • The notary public commission expiration date;
  • The notary public commission number;
  • The manufacturer identification number.
The seal may be circular not over two inches in diameter, or may be rectangular not more than one inch in width by two and one-half inches in length, with a serrated or milled edged border, as shown below:
 
Notary public seals must also embody all of the following attributes:
  • Be unique to the person using it;
  • Be capable of verification;
  • Be under the sole control of the person using it; and
  • Be accepted in the same format and appearance as transmitted
Each notary public is required to have and to use a seal. The seal must be kept in a locked and secured area, under the direct and exclusive control of the notary public and must not be surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment, whether or not the employer paid for the seal, or to any other person.

Because of the legal requirement that the seal be photographically reproducible, the rubber stamp seal has become all but universal; however, notaries may also use an embosser seal in addition to the rubber stamp. The legal requirements for a seal are shown below. (Government Code section 8207)
1. It is photographically reproducible when it is affixed to a document.
2. It contains the State Seal and the words “Notary Public.”
3. It contains the name of the notary public as shown on the commission.
4. It contains the name of the county where the oath of office and notary public bond are on file.
5. It contains the expiration date of the notary public commission.
6. It contains the sequential identification number (commission number) assigned to the notary public as well as the identification number assigned to the manufacturer or vendor.
7. It may be circular not over two inches in diameter, or may be a rectangular form of not more than one inch in width by two and one-half inches in length, with a serrated or milled edged border.
Many documents that are acknowledged may later be recorded. A document may not be accepted by the recorder if the notary public seal is illegible. Notaries are cautioned to take care that the notary public stamp leaves a clear impression. All the elements must be easily discernible. The seal should not be placed over signatures or any printed matter on the document.
An illegible or improperly placed seal may result in rejection of the document for recordation and result in inconveniences and extra expenses for all those involved.
The law allows a condition under which a notary public may authenticate an official act without using an official notary public seal. Because subdivision maps are usually drawn on a material that will not accept standard stamp pad ink and other acceptable inks are not as readily available, acknowledgments for California subdivision map certificates may be notarized without the official seal. The notary public’s name, the county of the notary public’s principal place of business, and the commission expiration date must be typed or printed below or immediately adjacent to the notary public’s signature on the acknowledgment. (Government Code section 66436(c))

A NOTARY PUBLIC SHALL NOT USE THE OFFICIAL SEAL OR THE TITLE NOTARY
PUBLIC FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN THE RENDERING OF NOTARIAL
SERVICE. (Government Code section 8207)

A notary public is guilty of a misdemeanor if the notary public willfully fails to keep his or her notary public seal under the notary public’s direct and exclusive control or if the notary public willfully surrenders the notary public’s seal to any person not authorized to possess it.
(Government Code section 8228.1)
When the notary public commission is no longer valid, the notary public seal must be destroyed to protect the notary public from possible fraudulent use by another. (Government Code section 8207)

8207.  A notary public shall provide and keep an official seal, which shall clearly show, when embossed, stamped, impressed or affixed to a document, the name of the notary, the State Seal, the words "Notary Public," and the name of the county wherein the bond and oath of office are filed, and the date the notary public's commission expires.  The seal of every notary public commissioned on or after January 1, 1992, shall contain the sequential identification number assigned to the notary and the sequential identification number assigned to the manufacturer or vendor.  The notary public shall authenticate with the official seal all official acts.
A notary public shall not use the official notarial seal except for the purpose of carrying out the duties and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter.  A notary public shall not use the title "notary public" except for the purpose of rendering notarial service.

The seal of every notary public shall be affixed by a seal press or stamp that will print or emboss a seal which legibly reproduces under photographic methods the required elements of the seal.  The seal may be circular not over two inches in diameter, or may be a rectangular form of not more than one inch in width by two and one-half inches in length, with a serrated or milled edged border, and shall contain the information required by this section.
The seal shall be kept in a locked and secured area, under the direct and exclusive control of the notary.  Failure to secure the seal shall be cause for the Secretary of State to take administrative action against the commission held by the notary public pursuant to Section 8214.1.
The official seal of a notary public is the exclusive property of that notary public, and shall not be surrendered to an employer upon the termination of employment, whether or not the employer paid for the seal, or to any other person.  The notary, or his or her representative, shall destroy or deface the seal upon termination, resignation, or revocation of the notary's commission.
This section shall become operative on January 1, 1992.


8207.1.  The Secretary of State shall assign a sequential identification number to each notary which shall appear on the notary commission.
This section shall become operative on January 1, 1992.


8207.2.  (a) No notary seal or press stamp shall be manufactured, duplicated, sold, or offered for sale unless authorized by the Secretary of State.
    (b) The Secretary of State shall develop and implement procedures and guidelines for the issuance of notary seals on or before January 1, 1992.
   (c) The Secretary of State shall issue a permit with a sequential identification number to each manufacturer or vendor authorized to issue notary seals.  The Secretary of State may establish a fee for the issuance of the permit which shall not exceed the actual costs of issuing the permit.
   (d) The Secretary of State shall develop a certificate of authorization to purchase a notary stamp from an authorized vendor.
   (e) The certificate of authorization shall be designed to prevent forgeries  and shall contain a sequential identification number.
   (f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1992.


8207.3.  (a) The Secretary of State shall issue certificates of authorization with which a notary public can obtain an official notary seal.
   (b) A vendor or manufacturer is authorized to provide a notary with an official seal only upon presentation by the notary public of a certificate of authorization.
   (c) A vendor of official seals shall note the receipt of certificates of authorization and sequential identification numbers of certificates presented by a notary public upon a certificate of authorization.
   (d) A copy of a certificate of authorization shall be retained by a vendor and the original, which shall contain a sample impression of the seal issued to the notary public, shall be submitted to the Secretary of State for verification and recordkeeping.  The Secretary of State shall develop guidelines for submitting certificates of authorization by vendors.
   (e) Any notary whose official seal is lost, misplaced, destroyed, broken, damaged, or is rendered otherwise unworkable shall immediately mail or deliver written notice of that fact to the Secretary of State.  The Secretary of State, within five working days after receipt of the notice, if requested by a notary, shall issue a certificate of authorization which a notary may use to obtain a replacement seal.
   (f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1992.


8207.4.  (a) Any person who willfully violates any part of Section 8207.1, 8207.2, 8207.3, or 8207.4 shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for each violation, which may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney General or the district attorney or city attorney, or by a city prosecutor in any city and county.
   (b) The penalty provided by this section is not an exclusive remedy, and does not affect any other relief or remedy provided by law.
   (c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1992.



Record Book/Journal Record

A notary public is required to keep one active sequential journal at a time of all acts performed as a notary public. The journal must be kept in a locked and secured area (such as a lock box or locked desk drawer), under the direct and exclusive control of the notary public. The journal shall include the items shown below. (Government Code section 8206(a))

1. Date, time and type of each official act (e.g. acknowledgment, jurat).
2. Character of every instrument sworn to, affirmed, acknowledged or proved before the notary public (e.g. deed of trust)
3. The signature of each person whose signature is being notarized.
4. A statement as to whether the identity of a person making an acknowledgment or taking an oath or affirmation was based on personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence. If identity was established by satisfactory evidence pursuant to Civil Code section 1185, then the journal shall contain the signature of the credible witness swearing or affirming to the identity of the individual or the type of identifying document, the governmental agency issuing the document, the serial or identifying number of the document, and the date of issue or expiration of the document. (e.g., driver’s license, [State] Department of Motor Vehicles, #X00000, 00/00/00.)
5. If the identity of the person making the acknowledgment or taking the oath or affirmation was established by the oaths or affirmations of two credible witnesses whose identities are proven upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence, the type of identifying documents, the identifying numbers of the documents and the dates of issuance or expiration of the documents presented by the witnesses to establish their identity. (e.g., driver’s license, [State] Department of Motor Vehicles, #X00000, 00/00/00.)
6. The fee charged for the notarial service.
7. If the document to be notarized is a deed, quitclaim deed, or deed of trust affecting real property, the notary public shall require the party signing the document to place his or her right thumbprint in the journal. If the right thumbprint is not available, then the notary public shall have the party use his or her left thumb, or any available finger and shall so indicate in the journal. If the party signing the document is physically unable to provide a thumb or fingerprint, the notary public shall so indicate in the journal and shall also provide an explanation of that physical condition.
If the sequential journal is stolen, lost, misplaced, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable, the notary public must immediately notify the Secretary of State by certified or registered mail. The notification must include the periods of journal entries, the notary public commission number, the commission expiration date, and, when applicable, a photocopy of the police report that lists the journal. (Government Code section 8206(b))
A notary public must provide a photo static copy of a line item from his or her journal when provided with a written request from any member of the public. The written request shall include the name of the parties, the type of document, and the month and year in which the document was notarized. The cost must not exceed thirty cents ($0.30) per page. (Government Code section 8206(c))
The sequential journal is the exclusive property of the notary public and shall not be surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment, whether or not the employer paid for the journal, or at any other time. The circumstances in which the notary public must relinquish the journal or permit inspection and copying of journal transactions and the procedures the notary public must follow are specified in Government Code section 8206(d).
A notary public is guilty of a misdemeanor if the notary public willfully fails to properly maintain the notary public’s journal. (Government Code section 8228.1)
Within 30 days from the date the notary public commission is no longer valid, the notary public must deliver all notarial journals, records and papers to the county clerk’s office where the oath is on file. If the notary public willfully fails or refuses to do so, the notary public is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be personally liable for damages to any person injured by that action or inaction. (Government Code section 8209) Any notarial journals, records and papers delivered to the Secretary of State will be returned to the sender.

§ 8206. Sequential journal; contents; thumbprint; loss of journal; copies of pages;
exclusive property of notary public; limitations on surrender (a) (1) A notary public shall keep one active sequential journal at a time, of all official acts performed as a notary public. The journal shall be kept in a locked and secured area, under the direct and exclusive control of the notary. Failure to secure the journal shall be cause for the Secretary of State to take administrative action against the commission held by the notary public pursuant to Section 8214.1.
(2) The journal shall be in addition to and apart from any copies of notarized documents that may be in the possession of the notary public and shall include all of the following:
(A) Date, time, and type of each official act.
(B) Character of every instrument sworn to, affirmed, acknowledged or proved before the notary.
(C) The signature of each person whose signature is being notarized.
(D) A statement as to whether the identity of a person making an acknowledgment or taking an oath or affirmation was based on personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence. If identity was established by satisfactory evidence pursuant to Section 1185 of the Civil Code, then the journal shall contain the signature of the credible witness swearing or affirming to the identity of the individual or the type of identifying document, the governmental agency issuing the document, the serial or identifying number of the document, and the date of issue or expiration of the document.
(E) If the identity of the person making the acknowledgment or taking the oath or affirmation was established by the oaths or affirmations of two credible witnesses whose identities are proven upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence, the type of identifying documents, the identifying numbers of the documents and the dates of issuance or expiration of the documents presented by the witnesses to establish their identity.
(F) The fee charged for the notarial service.
(G) If the document to be notarized is a deed, quitclaim deed, or deed of trust affecting real property, the notary public shall require the party signing the document to place his or her right thumbprint in the journal. If the right thumbprint is not available, then the notary shall have the party use his or her left thumb, or any available finger and shall so indicate in the journal. If the party signing the document is physically unable to provide a thumbprint or fingerprint, the notary shall so indicate in the journal and shall also provide an explanation of that physical condition. This paragraph shall not apply to a trustee’s deed resulting from a decree of foreclosure or a nonjudicial foreclosure pursuant to Section 2924 of the Civil Code, nor to a deed of reconveyance.
(b) If a sequential journal of official acts performed by a notary public is stolen, lost, misplaced, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable as a record of notarial acts and information, the notary public shall immediately notify the Secretary of State by certified or registered mail. The notification shall include the period of the journal entries, the notary public commission number, and the expiration date of the commission, and when applicable, a photocopy of any police report that specifies the theft of the sequential journal of official acts.
(c) Upon written request of any member of the public, which request shall include the name of the parties, the type of document, and the month and year in which notarized, the notary shall supply a photostatic copy of the line item representing the requested transaction at a cost of not more than thirty cents ($0.30) per page.
(d) The journal of notarial acts of a notary public is the exclusive property of that notary public, and shall not be surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment, whether or not the employer paid for the journal, or at any other time. The notary public shall not surrender the journal to any other person, except the county clerk, pursuant to Section 8209, or to a peace officer, as defined in Sections 830.1, 830.2, and 830.3 of the Penal Code, acting in his or her official capacity and within his or her authority, in response to a criminal search warrant signed by a magistrate and served upon the notary public by the peace officer. The notary public shall obtain a receipt for the journal, and shall notify the Secretary of State by certified mail within 10 days that the journal was relinquished to a peace officer. The notification shall include the period of the journal entries, the commission number of the notary public, the expiration date of the commission, and a photocopy of the receipt. The notary public shall obtain a new sequential journal. If the journal relinquished to a peace officer is returned to the notary public and a new journal has been obtained, the notary public shall make no new entries in the returned journal. A notary public who is an employee shall permit inspection and copying of journal transactions by a duly designated auditor or agent of the notary public’s employer, provided that the inspection and copying is done in the presence of the notary public and the transactions are directly associated with the business purposes of the employer. The notary public, upon the request of the employer, shall regularly provide copies of all transactions that are directly associated with the business purposes of the employer, but shall not be required to provide copies of any transaction that is unrelated to the employer’s business. Confidentiality and safekeeping of any copies of the journal provided to the employer shall be the responsibility of that employer. (e) The notary public shall provide the journal for examination and copying in the presence of the notary public upon receipt of a subpoena duces tecum or a court order, and shall certify those copies if requested.

Reappointments/Renewals

Q. I have completed the education and taken the exam, but my current commission doesn’t expire until another four months. When will I receive my new commission?

A. Although you have already completed the education and taken the test, your commission for reappointment will not be issued until 30 days prior to the expiration date of your current commission.

Those applicants who have held a notary public commission in the past, but have had a break in their commission of more than six months, are required to have their fingerprints submitted via live scan.

All persons appointed on or after July 1, 2005, are required to take and satisfactorily complete a six-hour course of study approved by the Secretary of State prior to appointment as a notary public. Please note that all persons being appointed, no matter how many commission terms that person has held in the past, are required to take the initial six-hour course of study.
(Government Code section 8201(a)(3) and (b)) In addition, the Secretary of State reviews and approves any course of study that includes all material that a person is expected to know to satisfactorily complete the written examination. The Secretary of State compiles a list of all persons offering an approved course of study and provides this list with the Notary Public Handbook and on the Secretary of State’s website. (Government Code section 8201.2)

Q. How soon can I take the test for reappointment if I currently hold a notary public commission?

A. It is recommended that you take the exam at least six months prior to the expiration date of your current commission if you do not want to have a break in commission terms.
Keep in mind that the test results are only valid for one year from the date of the examination. (California Code of Regulations section 20803)

Education and Exam Requirements

Notary Public Education
All persons appointed on or after July 1, 2005, are required to take and satisfactorily complete a six-hour course of study approved by the Secretary of State prior to appointment as a notary public. Please note that all persons being appointed, no matter how many commission terms that person has held in the past, are required to take the initial six-hour course of study.
(Government Code section 8201(a)(3) and (b)) In addition, the Secretary of State reviews and approves any course of study that includes all material that a person is expected to know to satisfactorily complete the written examination. The Secretary of State compiles a list of all persons offering an approved course of study and provides this list with the Notary Public Handbook and on the Secretary of State’s website. (Government Code section 8201.2)

8201.  (a) Every person appointed as notary public shall meet all of the following requirements:
   (1) Be at the time of appointment a legal resident of this state, except as otherwise provided in Section 8203.1.
   (2) Be not less than 18 years of age.
   (3) For appointments made on or after July 1, 2005, have satisfactorily completed a six-hour course of study approved by the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 8201.2 concerning the functions and duties of a notary public.
   (4) Have satisfactorily completed a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State to determine the fitness of the person to exercise the functions and duties of the office of notary public.
All questions shall be based on the law of this state as set forth in the booklet of the laws of California relating to notaries public distributed by the Secretary of State.
   (b) (1) Commencing July 1, 2005, each applicant for notary public shall provide satisfactory proof that he or she has completed the course of study required pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) prior to approval of his or her appointment as a notary public by the Secretary of State.
   (2) Commencing July 1, 2005, an applicant for notary public who holds a California notary public commission, and who has satisfactorily completed the six-hour course of study required pursuant to paragraph (1) at least one time, shall provide satisfactory proof when applying for reappointment as a notary public that he or she has satisfactorily completed a three-hour refresher course of study prior to reappointment as a notary public by the Secretary of State.


Q. How soon can I take the test for reappointment if I currently hold a notary public commission?

A. It is recommended that you take the exam at least six months prior to the expiration date of your current commission if you do not want to have a break in commission terms.
Keep in mind that the test results are only valid for one year from the date of the examination. (California Code of Regulations section 20803)

Q. I have been a notary public for over 20 years. Will I still be required to take the initial six-hour approved course of study?

A. Yes, initially everyone, including those notaries who have held previous commission terms, will be required to satisfactorily complete a six-hour course of study from an approved vendor prior to reappointment as a notary public. A list of approved vendors is available on the Secretary of State’s website or can be mailed to you upon request.
(Government Code section 8201(a)(3))

Q. Will I be required to take an approved course of study each time I apply for reappointment?

A. Yes, an applicant for notary public who holds a California notary public commission and who has completed the initial six-hour course of study from an approved vendor will be required to satisfactorily complete a three-hour refresher course of study prior to reappointment as a notary public for all subsequent terms. (Government Code section 8201(b)(2))

Q. I have taken courses in the past prior to taking the exam. Will I still be required to take the six-hour course?

A. Yes, because in the past, you were not required to take these courses prior to being appointed as a notary public and those courses were not “approved” by the Secretary of State. However, now that mandatory education is one of the qualifications you must meet in order to become a notary public, you are required to complete the approved course of study in order to qualify. (Government Code section 8201(a)(3))

Q. I have passed every notary public exam I have taken in the past. I even scored 100% on my last exam. Is there any way to skip the six-hour course and take the three-hour course instead?

A. No, the law specifically states that for appointments made on or after July 1, 2005, you must complete a six-hour course of study approved by the Secretary of State to qualify to become a notary public. (Government Code section 8201(a)(3))

Q. I have completed my approved six-hour course of study and received my Proof of Completion. What do I do with it?

A. Once you have completed your six-hour course of study from an approved vendor, staple your Proof of Completion to the application and take both with you to the exam.

Notaries May Charge Certain Fees

Government Code section 8211 specifies the maximum fees that may be charged for notary public services; however, a notary public may elect to charge no fee or an amount that is less than the maximum amount prescribed by law. The charging of a fee and the amount of the fee charged is at the discretion of the notary public or the notary public’s employer provided it does not exceed the maximum fees. The notary public is required to make an entry in the notary public journal even if no fee was charged, such as “no fee” or “0.” (Government Code section 8206)

EXCEPTIONS: 1) Pursuant to Government Code section 8203.6, no fees shall be collected by notaries appointed to military and naval reservations in accordance with 8203.1; 2) pursuant to Elections Code section 8080, no fee shall be collected by notaries for verifying any nomination document or circulator’s affidavit; and 3) pursuant to Government Code section 6107, no fee may be charged to a United States military veteran for notarization of an application or a claim for a pension, allotment, allowance, compensation, insurance, or any other veteran’s benefit.
In addition, Government Code section 6100 requires any notary public who is appointed to act for and on behalf of certain public agencies, pursuant to Government Code section 8202.5, to charge for all services and remit the fees received to the employing agency. The fee charged must still be entered in the journal.

8211.  Fees charged by a notary public for the following services shall not exceed the fees prescribed by this section.
   (a) For taking an acknowledgment or proof of a deed, or other instrument, to include the seal and the writing of the certificate, the sum of ten dollars ($10) for each signature taken.
   (b) For administering an oath or affirmation to one person and executing the jurat, including the seal, the sum of ten dollars ($10).
   (c) For all services rendered in connection with the taking of any deposition, the sum of twenty dollars ($20), and in addition thereto, the sum of five dollars ($5) for administering the oath to the witness and the sum of five dollars ($5) for the certificate to the deposition.
   (d) For every protest for the nonpayment of a promissory note or for the nonpayment or nonacceptance of a bill of exchange, draft, or check, the sum of ten dollars ($10).
   (e) For serving every notice of nonpayment of a promissory note or of nonpayment or nonacceptance of a bill of exchange, order, draft, or check, the sum of five dollars ($5).
   (f) For recording every protest, the sum of five dollars ($5).
   (g) No fee may be charged to notarize signatures on absentee ballot identification envelopes or other voting materials.
   (h) For certifying a copy of a power of attorney under Section 4307 of the Probate Code the sum of ten dollars ($10).
   (i) In accordance with Section 6107, no fee may be charged to a United States military veteran for notarization of an application or a claim for a pension, allotment, allowance, compensation, insurance, or any other veteran's benefit.


Change of Name or Move Business or Residential Address

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

A notary public is required to notify the Secretary of State in writing, by certified mail, within 30 days of any change of business, mailing and/or residence address. (Government Code section 8213.5) Upon the change of a business address to a new county, a notary public may elect to file a new oath of office and bond in the new county. However, this is optional.
Once commissioned, a notary public may perform notary public services anywhere in the state. The original oath and bond must be filed in the county where the notary public maintains their principal place of business as shown in the application filed with the Secretary of State.
It is permissive as to whether or not a county transfer is filed with the new county after the original oath and bond have been filed in the original county should the notary public move.
(Government Code section 8213) There is no fee for the processing of address change notifications with the Secretary of State.
NOTE: To ensure proper processing, please include the following when submitting an address change notification: • name of the notary public exactly as it appears on the commission certificate;
• commission number and expiration date of the commission;
• whether the address change is for the business, residence, and/or for mailing purposes;
and
• new business, including business name; residence; and/or mailing address.
Please be sure the request is signed and dated by the notary public. The change of address can be submitted in letter form or, for your convenience, an address change form is available on the Secretary of State’s website or can be mailed to you upon request. Please refer to the inside front cover of this handbook for our website and mailing addresses.
Q. I have changed my business, mailing or home address, what do I do?
A. Send the Secretary of State a letter or a change of address form by certified mail within 30 days of the change. (Government Code section 8213.5)
Q. I have changed my business from one county to another, what do I do?
A. Your commission allows you to notarize throughout the State of California, regardless of where your oath and bond are on file. If the location of your business has changed, you are required to send the Secretary of State an address change via certified mail within 30 days of the change. If the address change is for your business, please include the business name in your notification. If the address change includes a change of county, you may choose to transfer your county, however a county transfer is not required.
To file a county change, you must request an oath of office form from the Secretary of State. The oath will have the name of your original county, however, you will take and file your oath of office in the new county, checking the county transfer box at the bottom of the oath form. You must also take a new bond or a duplicate of the original bond and file it together with your oath of office in the new county. A certificate of authorization to manufacture a notary public seal will be sent to you once the Secretary of State has received and processed your oath of office filed in the new county. Your stamp must reflect the county where your most recent oath and bond are filed. (Government Code sections 8213 and 8213.5)
8213.5.  A notary public shall notify the Secretary of State by certified mail within 30 days as to any change in the location or address of the principal place of business or residence.

§ 8213.5. Change in location or address of business or residence; notice A notary public shall notify the Secretary of State by certified mail within 30 days as to any change in the location or address of the principal place of business or residence.


Q. I have changed my name. What do I do?

A. Send a completed name change form to the Secretary of State and, once approved, you will be issued an amended commission that reflects your new name. You will then need to file a new oath of office and an amendment to your bond with the county clerk within 30 days from the date the amended commission was issued in order for the name change to take effect. Within 30 days of the filing, you should obtain a new seal that reflects the new name. Once the amended oath and bond are filed, you may no longer use the commission, including the stamp, that was issued in your previous name. If you fail to file your amended oath and bond within the 30-day time limit, the name change will become void and your commission will revert back to the previous name and you will be required to submit another name change application. (Government Code sections 8213 and 8213.6)

8213.6. Name changes; application; filing
If a notary public changes his or her name, the notary public shall complete an application for name change form and file that application with the Secretary of State. Information on this form shall be subject to the confidentiality provisions described in Section 8201.5. Upon approval of the name change form, the Secretary of State shall issue a commission that reflects the new name of the notary public. The term of the commission and commission number shall remain the same.



Revocation/Suspension of Commission

GROUNDS FOR DENIAL, REVOCATION, OR SUSPENSION OF
APPOINTMENT AND COMMISSION

The Secretary of State may refuse to appoint any person as notary public or may revoke or suspend the commission of a notary public for specific reasons. These reasons include but are not limited to: a substantial misstatement or omission in the application; conviction of a felony or a disqualifying criminal conviction; failure to furnish the Secretary of State with certified copies of the notary public journal when requested to do so or to provide information relating to official acts performed by the notary public; charging more than the fee prescribed by law; failure to complete the acknowledgment at the time the notary public’s seal and signature are attached to the document; executing a false certificate; failure to submit to the Secretary of State any court ordered money judgment, including restitution; failure to secure the sequential journal or the official seal; illegal advertising. (Government Code sections 8205, 8214.1, 8219.5 and 8223)
In addition, the Secretary of State may deny the notary public application or suspend the notary public commission of a person who has not complied with child or family support obligations. (Family Code section 17520)

DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES
The Secretary of State has instituted disciplinary guidelines in order to facilitate due process and to maintain consistency in reviewing applications, investigating alleged violations, and implementing administrative actions. (Government Code section 8220)
The disciplinary guidelines are designed to assist administrative law judges, in addition to assisting attorneys, notaries public, applicants, and others involved in the disciplinary process.
The disciplinary guidelines are used to determine what disciplinary action will be taken for violations of notary public law. The disciplinary guidelines are available on the Secretary of State’s website or can be mailed to you upon request. Please refer to the inside front cover of this handbook for our website and mailing addresses.


California Notary Law:

Notary Public
New Acknowledgment Requirement for 2006
 
________________________________________

Assembly Bill 361 (Statutes of 2005, Chapter 295) was signed into law and makes several significant changes in current notarial law, including the amendment of Civil Code section 1189 as described below.
Effective January 1, 2006, the California certificate of acknowledgment must be in the form set forth in Civil Code section 1189, rather than "substantially" in the form set forth therein. The form set forth in Civil Code section 1189 did not change, but variations in the California form are no longer permitted. (The law regarding acknowledgments to be used with documents to be filed in other states has not changed (Civil Code § 1189(c)).
The new acknowledgment form is available in PDF file format and can be viewed, filled in and printed from your computer.
State of California County of _________
 
On __________ before me, (here insert name and title of the officer), personally appeared__________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________, personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Signature __________________________________ (Seal)







________________________________________    
 

 
 

BILL NUMBER: AB 361    CHAPTERED
    BILL TEXT

    CHAPTER  295
    FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
    APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
    PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 30, 2005
    PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 25, 2005
    AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 28, 2005
    AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 18, 2005
    AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 11, 2005
    AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 31, 2005

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Sharon Runner

                        FEBRUARY 11, 2005

   An act to amend Section 1189 of the Civil Code, to amend Section 8225 of, and to add Sections 8214.8 and 8228.1 to, the Government Code, and to amend Section 470 of the Penal Code, relating to notaries public.



    LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 361, Sharon Runner  Notaries public.
   Existing law generally sets forth the procedures for proof and acknowledgment of instruments executed before notaries public and prescribes administrative penalties and civil fines for violation of provisions that govern notaries public.
   This bill would make it a misdemeanor for a notary public to willfully fail to perform the required duties of a notary public or to willfully fail to keep the seal of the notary under his or her direct and exclusive control. The bill would require a court to revoke the commission of a notary public, upon conviction of any offense related to his or her duties, or of any felony and would require surrender to the court of the seal of the notary public, which would then be forwarded to the Secretary of State. The bill would make other related changes. By creating new crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
  The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  Section 1189 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
   1189.  (a) Any certificate of acknowledgment taken within this state shall be in the following form:



State of            )
California

County of ________  )



  On ______________________________________ before me, (here insert name and title of the officer), personally appeared ___________        , personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis       of satisfactory evidence) to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument.
  WITNESS my hand and official seal.

Signature ________________________________  (Seal)

   (b) Any certificate of acknowledgment taken in another place shall be sufficient in this state if it is taken in accordance with the laws of the place where the acknowledgment is made.
   (c) On documents to be filed in another state or jurisdiction of the United States, a California notary public may complete any acknowledgment form as may be required in that other state or jurisdiction on a document, provided the form does not require the notary to determine or certify that the signer holds a particular representative capacity or to make other determinations and certifications not allowed by California law.
   (d) An acknowledgment provided prior to January 1, 1993, and conforming to applicable provisions of former Sections 1189, 1190, 1190a, 1190.1, 1191, and 1192, as repealed by Chapter 335 of the Statutes of 1990, shall have the same force and effect as if those sections had not been repealed.
  SEC. 2.  Section 8214.8 is added to the Government Code, to read:
   8214.8.  Upon conviction of any offense in this chapter, or of Section 6203, or of any felony, of a person commissioned as a notary public, in addition to any other penalty, the court shall revoke the commission of the notary public, and shall require the notary public to surrender to the court the seal of the notary public. The court shall forward the seal, together with a certified copy of the judgment of conviction, to the Secretary of State.
  SEC. 3.  Section 8225 of the Government Code is amended to read:
   8225.  (a) Any person who solicits, coerces, or in any manner influences a notary public to perform an improper notarial act knowing that act to be an improper notarial act, including any act required of a notary public under Section 8206, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
   (b) The penalty provided by this section is not an exclusive remedy, and does not affect any other relief or remedy provided by law.
  SEC. 4.  Section 8228.1 is added to the Government Code, to read:
   8228.1.  (a) Any notary public who willfully fails to perform any duty required of a notary public under Section 8206, or who willfully fails to keep the seal of the notary public under the direct and exclusive control of the notary public, or who surrenders the seal of the notary public to any person not otherwise authorized by law to possess the seal of the notary, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
   (b) The penalty provided by this section is not an exclusive remedy, and does not affect any other relief or remedy provided by law.
  SEC. 5.  Section 470 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   470.  (a) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of another person or of a fictitious person to any of the items listed in subdivision (d) is guilty of forgery.
   (b) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, counterfeits or forges the seal or handwriting of another is guilty of forgery.
   (c) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, alters, corrupts, or falsifies any record of any will, codicil, conveyance, or other instrument, the record of which is by law evidence, or any record of any judgment of a court or the return of any officer to any process of any court, is guilty of forgery.
   (d) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits, utters, publishes, passes or attempts or offers to pass, as true and genuine, any of the following items, knowing the same to be false, altered, forged, or counterfeited, is guilty of forgery: any check, bond, bank bill, or note, cashier's check, traveler's check, money order, post note, draft, any controller's warrant for the payment of money at the treasury, county order or warrant, or request for the payment of money, receipt for money or goods, bill of exchange, promissory note, order, or any assignment of any bond, writing obligatory, or other contract for money or other property, contract, due bill for payment of money or property, receipt for money or property, passage ticket, lottery ticket or share purporting to be issued under the California State Lottery Act of 1984, trading stamp, power of attorney, certificate of ownership or other document evidencing ownership of a vehicle or undocumented vessel, or any certificate of any share, right, or interest in the stock of any corporation or association, or the delivery of goods or chattels of any kind, or for the delivery of any instrument of writing, or acquittance, release or discharge of any debt, account, suit, action, demand, or any other thing, real or personal, or any transfer or assurance of money, certificate of shares of stock, goods, chattels, or other property whatever, or any letter of attorney, or other power to receive money, or to receive or transfer certificates of shares of stock or annuities, or to let, lease, dispose of, alien, or convey any goods, chattels, lands, or tenements, or other estate, real or personal, or falsifies the acknowledgment of any notary public, or any notary public who issues an acknowledgment knowing it to be false; or any matter described in subdivision (b).
   (e) Upon a trial for forging any bill or note purporting to be the bill or note of an incorporated company or bank, or for passing, or attempting to pass, or having in possession with intent to pass, any forged bill or note, it is not necessary to prove the incorporation of the bank or company by the charter or act of incorporation, but it may be proved by general reputation; and persons of skill are competent witnesses to prove that the bill or note is forged or counterfeited.
  SEC. 6.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.