How to Prepare For your Notary Appointment in 7 Steps

Preparing for you Notary Appointment

1. Document Responsibility
2. Valid Signer IDs
3. Name Matching: ID vs Document
4. Signer-Notary Communication
5. Complete Documents Only (No Blanks)
6. Signer Confirmation
7. Sound-Minded Signers

A Quick Overview (2 minutes)

1. Understanding your responsibility to the documents.

It is crucial for document signers to understand what they are signing, and it is their responsibility to research and seek help from professionals in advance. A notary is not a legal professional and cannot inform you about your documents, how they are processed, or their implications, as we are not qualified to do so. A notary cannot draft or help fill in documents. A notary’s role is simply to identify an individual and affirm that they have willingly signed or sworn to a statement.

2. All signers will have active government-Issued IDs.

All signers are required to have an active (not expired) government-issued picture identification at the notary appointment. It is better to bring 2 IDs. Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • State ID
  • Two witnesses with IDs

3. Identification name matches name on document exactly

To comply with California Law, the name on your ID must be the same as or match the name indicated on the document in order for a notary to identify you in that manner. If your ID provides additional name, this is ok, as the name on your document can still be identified.

Formula: Identification Name >= Document Name 

4. Signer and notary must be able to communicate

All signers must be able to speak the same language as the notary conducting the transaction. Please indicate if your signer will need a bilingual notary. During the notary appointment, any Spanish speakers will require a Spanish-speaking notary, French speakers will require a French-speaking notary, and so on.

5. Documents are completed in full and ready in advance (No Blanks on Docs)

According to California law, documents must be completely filled out before notarization. A notary cannot assist with drafting or completing documents. If you need assistance, please contact the receiving agency or an attorney.

6. Signers have reviewed and agree to the documents beforehand and feel fully comfortable with all agreements

Prior to the notary appointment, signers should be completely comfortable with the transaction. All agreements and discussions should be finalized and agreed upon beforehand. Potential signers should be willing and at ease with the situation, having thoroughly reviewed and understood the nature of the documents to be signed in advance. All signers must be willing to sign the document voluntarily.

A notary cannot proceed with the transaction if there are any indications of unwillingness, coercion, uncertainty, or duress.

7. Signers are completely of sound mind

It is common for us to receive requests for notarizing documents for sick or elderly signers. However, SD Signings will not provide notary services for disoriented, medicated, or signers with questionable capacity. We will ask a series of questions about the nature of the documents and current events to determine a person’s ability to make sound decisions for themselves. The signer should be able to answer these questions in full dialogue.

California law mandates that all signers must be of sound mind and competent to make decisions before the notary. Read on here for more information.

Schedule your notary online

Click the “Schedule Notary” button to schedule your appointment. Our calendar has availability one day in advance to give all signers and the notary enough time to be prepared for the appointment. This provides ample time to ensure that documents have been reviewed, proof-checked, and completed in their entirety.

Streamline your appointment

Sending your document to us in advance will streamline your appointment. We will have our certificates ready and can proof-check it for the best notary processing in advance. We will gladly print up to 25 b/w pages at no extra charge. The notary will bring the documents to the signing.

Streamlined single document signings usually take 5 minutes or less to complete.

Learn about everything you'll need for your notary appointment.

Email, Call or Text.

Do you have questions about your appointment or the process? Email or call. Our FAQs and other web pages have common information for most notary transactions. 

Schedule by phone: 619-442-8585