Frequently Asked Questions | California Notary Public

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SD Signings Notary FAQ Contents

Answers to Notary questions for California.

Notarization with expired or No ID?

California law allows for an alternative solution – the use of “two credible witnesses.” If you’re in a bind and lack a valid ID, two individuals with current government-issued IDs can step in. Learn More.

Do you provide virtual or online notary?

No, by law, in California, we are unable to provide online notary services at this time. We suggest exploring notaries within the states of Virginia, Nevada, Texas, or Florida that are available to provide online notary services. You may also want to check out sites like

Signer speaks another language? Do I need a translator?

No. A translator isn’t allowed for notary appointments. By law, the notary has to be able to communicate directly with the signer.

However,  SD Signings does have Spanish-speaking notaries available. If you need a notary who speaks a language other than English or Spanish, we can try to coordinate one for you, but it may take some time. Keep in mind that according to California guidelines, the notary must be able to communicate directly with the signer, and translators are not allowed in this instance.

If you need a notary who speaks a specific language, it’s best to search online for a notary who advertises that language ability. You can use notary directories like to find a foreign language speaker. After searching by zip code, you can further filter your options by language and other criteria.

Can you translate documents?

No. As a notary, it is against the law for us to change or draft documents, including translations. However, we can notarize a document in a foreign language even if we don’t understand it. Please see the FAQ below for more information.

If you would like to have the document translated, you can do so yourself or by a translator, and then provide us with a sworn statement stating that the translation is correct. We can then notarize that statement for you.

My Document is in a foreign language, can you notarize it?

We are able to notarize documents in any language, provided that the document is fully completed and there are no blank spaces left. However, it is important that signers can communicate with the notary in a language that both parties understand in person.

Do you accept credit card? What other forms of payment?

Yes! We accept credit card, cash, check, and most forms of common payment. We can accept credit card on site at the time of the appointment or over the phone. We also accept online payments by PayPal or credit card through our online invoices.

Why doesn’t SD Signings offer ASAP Notary Appointments?

We are a small boutique team that books up quickly. Unfortunately, it’s currently not possible for us to reorganize throughout the day, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. However, there are 4.4 million notaries in the USA, and many of them are awesome at providing same-day services! At SD Signings, our aim is to provide proactive excellence to our customers. We believe that taking the time to prepare for a great experience ahead of time is crucial to achieving the best outcomes. Our team is fully committed to our currently scheduled appointments even before our meetings. We proof-check, organize, and ensure excellence in our notary processing. Being mindful of our notaries and their families is also of utmost importance to us. If you need a notary ASAP, we recommend checking out other great services such as:

Schedule us first thing tomorrow, and we will be fresh and excited to help you! 

Is SD Signings an Approved Notary Service for loan documents?

We can accommodate loan document signings all day, every day. We can usually meet most company approval expectations. We hold high insurance policies and background certifications to satisfy vendor guidelines for these companies. There are thousands of lending institutions, if we’re not on the list, you can let your lender or escrow know that you’d like to use us. As a paying customer, you have the right to choose. There is some flexibility in this regard.

Can you Print, Deliver, Overnight, or Scan a set of documents?

Yes. Certainly! We offer a wide range of additional services to ensure that your transaction is handled efficiently and completely. Just let us know what you need. Please note that additional service charges may apply. We have large printer/copier/scanners available to handle large print jobs effectively, while ensuring that the appropriate page parameters are met.

What if a signer does not have an Active Government-issued ID for my notary appointment?

If a signer does not possess an active driver’s license, passport, or state ID, two disinterested persons who can identify the signer will suffice. These persons must identify themselves with the aforementioned IDs and affirm the identity of the signer to the notary public.

Do you have a notary that visit Jails or Detention Facilities?

We frequently visit jails, prisons, and detention facilities and are familiar with the process. We can print out scanned documents, have them signed within the facility, and promptly return them to you. Alternatively, you are welcome to meet us at the detention facility with the documents. To schedule a visit, you can book online or visit the ‘contact us’ page and send us a message for urgent signings.

How does a jail notary appointment process work?

Notaries are able to visit jails, prisons, and detention facilities either with or without a confirmed appointment. You can contact us directly or schedule an appointment online, and we’ll promptly reach out to you. Please note that as notaries, we are not authorized to provide legal documents. Once you have your document ready, you can email it to us, and we’ll take care of printing it out for the appointment. Alternatively, you can also meet us at the facility with your document.

Once we have the document, we will send a notary into the facility within 24-48 hours, typically. Your document will be signed and notarized immediately. We will also work with you to determine the best way to get the document back to you as quickly as possible.

Find more information about detention facilities here.

Can a notary help me draft documents or answer any legal questions?

No, a notary is not qualified to provide legal advice. Our role is to simply verify your identity and willingness to sign a document or swear an oath. If you are unsure of what type of document your receiving agency requires, it’s best to reach out to them directly. For legal advice, it’s always recommended to consult with an attorney.

Do I need an Acknowledgement or Jurat?

We, as notaries, are not qualified to provide legal advice, so California state law does not allow us to choose which certificate to use. The best course of action is to contact the receiving agency of your document and ask them what type of notarial certificate they require. They know what they need for their processing.

There are two types of notarial certificates: an acknowledgment certificate and a jurat certificate. An acknowledgment certificate confirms that the signer has acknowledged that they personally signed the document in front of the notary. On the other hand, a jurat certificate affirms that the notary has received an affirmation or sworn verbal confirmation from the signer that the document is true and correct. If you’re unsure which one to use, we can explain the difference between an acknowledgment and a jurat. Just let us know.

Do your notaries visit medical health care facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes?

Yes, we frequently visit hospitals and nursing homes. We understand that these may be sensitive moments, and we want to protect everyone involved. Our main concern is ensuring that the signer of the document can hold a full conversation with our notaries for the protection of all parties. If you have any questions regarding elderly or frail signers, please read our page titled “Elderly and Fragile.”

After the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be special guidelines that need following. Notarizing documents in healthcare facilities requires special care to ensure that signers are protected. We take extra precautions, and signers must have satisfactory identification (see our appointment prep page), be in a good state of mind to make sound decisions, and not be under the influence of medications or any substances that may affect their decision-making process. Signers must also be willing to sign the documents on their own accord. Finally, if signing in a skilled nursing facility or nursing home, the site’s ombudsman must be present for the signing of any healthcare-related documents. We ask a series of questions to ensure that the signer is oriented and fully understands the nature of the documents. This is for the protection of everyone involved.

Does my document need to be completed entirely? Why can’t there be any blanks?

The California state law mandates that a document requiring a notarial act should have no blanks. This measure is taken to safeguard the signer and their intentions. If there are blanks left within a document, it leaves room for someone else to fill them in at a later time, which could completely alter the signer’s wishes or statements. Completing the document in full is essential to protect everyone involved, and California has established this law for good reason.

Do you provide notary 24/7 , after hours, early mornings, and weekends?

Yes and no. We are not a service that is readily on call. With advance notice, we will gladly schedule appointments after day time operating hours for your convenience.

Is there a fee for cancelled appointments last minute?

If you contact us 2 hours in advance, we waive any cancel fees at this time. If our notary arrives to your appointment location and the signing is cancelled, we do charge a time/travel fee starting at $85 to accommodate our notary’s time/travel and missed reservations.  

Do you provide Medallion Signature Guarantee?

No, we cannot provide a Medallion Signature Guarantee. This service involves verifying information that is outside the scope of our notarial duties. It is typically offered by the banking institution where you hold an account, as they can confirm your identity, signature, and legal authority to transfer securities. As notaries, we can verify identity, but a Medallion Signature Guarantee requires additional verification from a financial institution.

Someone already signed. Can you notarize the document if the signer isn't present or unavailable ?

No. California law requires the signer to be physically present before the notary. The notary then identifies the signer and confirms their willingness to sign the document.

Does SD Signings officiate Weddings or Provode any Marraige Licenses/Services

No. We only offer standard notary services. Marriages can typically be coordinated through the San Diego County Recorder’s Office.

You're Doing Great Things, We stand with you!

“We cannot predict the future, but we can choose who we want to be and how we will respond to it.”

Notary services are not only about us, but also about you. At some point, you will come across a critical and decisive moment in your life. It could be challenging, exciting, or filled with creativity and hope. Ultimately, it belongs to you.

The signatures and fingerprints in our record books have imagined and built the San Diego skyline, created thriving communities worldwide in previously impoverished and hopeless places, and built families while protecting legacies.

As a notary service, we serve as an ambassadors for people who move forward confidently in their decisions. We empower and protect their intentions and help them make history, change the future, and stand tall in what they believe. These are people who are committed and all in.

This work is crucial to us. We are genuine, proactive, and deliver excellence to fulfill our responsibilities. From the moment we join together on a transaction, we ensure that we provide our very best work for you. Long before we meet in person, we prepare by proof-checking paperwork and planning an incredible experience without surprises. This means your appointments are swift and secure, and we often finish them minutes before the scheduled time. Your time and plans matter to us because you have places to be in this world.

We are not robots; we are real people who deliver personalized and exceptional work. We are on your team as you change your world! You have aligned with your integrity, and now you will leave your mark, defining how you will be identified.

You are saying, “This is who I am.

Patrick Hall