Question Regarding First Notary Job Tomorrow

I’ve been asked to do a notary for the first time. She didn’t give me much information except that she needs to get a copy of her birth certificate. I plan on asking for more detailed information in the morning (she’s a co-worker). I take it that I will be using either an acknowledgment or jurat, but worried if I’ll know which one to use.

Can someone offer pointers on how I should approach, how to calm nervousness, etc. I am in California.

Thank you

Check your handbook -

"Certified Copies
A notary public may only certify copies of powers of attorney under Probate Code section
4307 and his or her notary public journal. (Government Code sections 8205(a)(4), 8205(b)(1),
and 8206(e))

Certified copies of birth, fetal death, death, and marriage records may be made only by the
State Registrar, by duly appointed and acting local registrars during their term of office, and
by county recorders. (Health & Safety Code section 103545)"

Follow LindaH’s advice if your coworker has made a copy his/herself, and wants you to certify it.

On the other hand, the coworker might be doing the right thing, and ordering an official copy from the place where he/she was born. Often, the order form needs to be notarized. If the person was born in California, and has obtained the latest version of the mail order request form, it will be correct for you to use, and you will be administering an oath.

If the request is going to another state, and an oath is required, remember that when you administer an oath, you must use the certificate required by California, so you will have to attach a loose certificate.

Thank you LindaH & Ashton. She may have to attach a sworn statement. I took my training some time ago, but this is my first notary. A little nervous.

Thank you again.

Monica - your handbook is your best friend. Just do NOT let anyone talk you into anything you shouldn’t do because it’s a friend, they need a favor, or in the case of many hiring parties - “all the other notaries do it” - follow your handbook and notary laws to the letter and you can’t go wrong. Bookmark the link above so you always have ready reference to your laws and procedures - both for your own reference and to show folks who question it - “no can do” is right here…

Good Luck!!


Thank you Linda. I won’t allow anyone to talk me into doing something that can get me into trouble.

You’re new so you haven’t yet realized that you are the Notary and what you do is notarize signatures on documents. You don’t ‘do a notary’, OK?


BTW - 20/20 hindsight being so good - :wink:

It’s not up to you to decide which one to use. If the proper notarial cert wording is not on the form or whatever you’'re notarizing, it’s up to the signer or the document originator/recipient to let you know what they want done. It’s UPL for you to make that decision.


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Arichter - Okay got it. I’ve got to get my head around this a bit more.

LindaH - I did read that somewhere, but just need to remember it isn’t my job to decide.


All done and it was pretty easy. Everything I needed was there. Yippie! Thanks everyone for the supportive and helpful advice.


What did it turn out to be? You didn’t have all the details originally - now EMWTK :slightly_smiling:

She was getting a copy of her birth certificate. The form required a sworn statement with the acknowledgment on the bottom. I knew she was getting a birth certificate, just didn’t have the specifics.

It’s good to get the terminology correct. The person taking an oath is called an affiant. They take an oath, you administer an oath. After they take the oath and sign, you complete a certificate, which is usually called a jurat.

The other common notarial act is an acknowledgement. The signer acknowledges to you that the signature on the document is theirs and they signed it for the purposes contained in the document. Then you complete a certificate, which doesn’t have a special Latin name; it’s just a certificate of acknowledgement.