Notary Home Study Course

If the form presented before you does not have proper notary wording and you are requested to perform an acknowledgment, you will need to attach a form commonly called a "loose certificate" or California All-Purpose Acknowledgment. The only instance when a notary is permitted to accept different acknowledgment wording is when the document is to be recorded in another state. The notary will usually know this by the nature of the document. If, for example, the document is a grant deed transfer of a property in Texas, then the document will obviously be recorded in Texas and the notary is permitted to use an acknowledgment from Texas even if it differs from the California acknowledment wording.

The only exception to this rule is that the wording in another state's acknowledgment may not require a notary to do something which is illegal for a California notary. As an example, you might remember our previous discussion stating that a California notary is not to require evidence of the signer's "authorized capacity". Some state's acknowedegment wording requires that the authorized capacity of a signer is proven before the notary so if you see an acknowledgment which states this requirement, simply cross it out and use a separate California All Purpose Acknowledment instead.

Most California All Purpose Acknowledment forms (also called "loose certificates") have a separate section for the notary to complete which is optional. Be sure to fill out this optional information section as well. Although not required legally, if you do need to complete an All-Purpose Acknowledgment form you should fill out as much of this section as you can because it helps to further insure against potential fraudulent activities. This is crucial when filling out a loose certificate since without your remarks indicating the referencing document, the loose certificate may be attached to any form inadvertently or because someone is trying to take advantage of the signer.