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This resource has been created to answer the top questions regarding notary public and apostille
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Mobile Notary Public
VIP Notary Services specializes in public notary services ranging from escrow and loan document signing and all other document notarization including, but not limited to:Acknowledgements, jurats / affidavits, oaths / affirmations, copy certification, signature witnessing, and all real estate related forms.
Apostille Services LA is a Professional and reliable apostille services in Los Angeles, California. We travel to you and handle the entire process. We offer same day, expedited services for acquiring an apostille stamp for your official documents.
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Please contact us to discuss your document notarization needs. VIP Notary Services in Santa Monica is always looking for opportunities to provide mobile notary public or Apostille services for any and all documents that need to be verified and/or authenticated.
Public Notary + Apostille

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Notary Public?

A notary public is an individual commissioned by the Secretary of State to perform a notarial act and is a considered a “public ministerial officer” who is an impartial agent of the state commissioned to witness notarial writings and signatures. One of the main responsibilities of a public notary is to confirm the identity of the signer of a document through personal knowledge, a credible witness and/or identification card or papers. Also, notaries public ensure the signer is under his/her own free will, and there to witness the actual signing. The overall purpose of the notary public is fraud prevention in document signatures and certification.

Who Can Notarize / Who Does Notarizing?

An individual commissioned by the state is can notarize signatures and documents and perform notarizing acts as set forth by the secretary of state of their respective state.

What is a Notary Bond?

A notary bond or notary public surety bond is designed only to provide a limited source of funds for paying claims against the notary public. For example, California law requires every notary public to file an official bond in the amount of $15,000 prior to being able to receive the notary license commission to perform notarization services. The amount and rules regarding notary bonds will differ from state to state. One added detail for California notary publics is that the surety bond must cover all 4 years that the commission is valid. (Government Code sections 8212 to 8214).

How Does Notarizing Work?

Notarizing a document or signature entails a few similar details, but will depend on your specific notarization act. For the most widely performed notary public services, you will bring the documents to be notarized to the notary (or a mobile notary will travel to you) and the commissioned public notary will: Verify the identity of the signers, confirm that the signers understand what they are signing / signing under their own free will, witness the signature(s), log the notarization act in the notary journal book; and complete a notarial certificate. In some cases, an oath or affirmation is required.

What are the Notary Public Fees / Cost?

There are some set notary public fees as set forth by each state. “Government Code section 8211 specifies the maximum fees that may be charged for notary public services. However, a notary public may decide to charge no fee or an amount that is less than the maximum amount prescribed by law.” Therefore, the cost of notary services may vary, but for the actions below, there is a maximum fee associated with each type. So, the range could be from free notary public services with $0 as the fee to those listed here. However, services other than those listed from the notary handbook of CA below may have varying prices.

Acknowledgment or proof of a deed or other instrument, to include the seal and the writing of the certificate
$15 for each signature
Administering an oath or affirmation to one person
Executing the jurat including the seal
All services rendered in connection with taking of any deposition
Additional services rendered in connection with taking of any deposition: (i.e., Administering the oath to the witness, Certificate to the deposition)
Notarize signatures on vote by mail ballot identification envelopes or other voting materials
Certifying a copy of a power of attorney under Probate Code section 4307
United States military veteran’s application or claim for a pension, allotment, allowance, compensation, insurance, or any other veterans benefit (Section 6107)
A notary public qualified and bonded as an immigration consultant may enter data, provided by the client, on immigration forms provided by a federal or state agency
$15 per individual for each set of forms
Who can Notarize/Who Does Notarizing?

An individual commissioned by the state is can notarize signatures and documents and perform notarizing acts as set forth by the secretary of state of their respective state.

When Notarizing A Document, What County Do You Use?

When notarizing a document, use the county in which the notarization is taking place (where the person/person(s) are/is present for signing. Although a public notary may have taken the oath in a specific county and their respective notary seal states a specific county, a notary public agent can perform notarization services anywhere in the state that the commission was obtained in. Therefore, they can notarize documents in any county in the state where they have a valid license to do so.

Are Notary Classes required To Be A Public Notary?

Yes, notary classes are required to become a public notary. Specifically, in California, a six hour course of study from an approved vendor is required. Once the notary public classes are completed, the proof of completion should be attached to the registration form and accompanied with the applicant to the notary exam. There is most likely an approved notary public class offerred nearby locally, but if you’d rather fulfill the requirement on the internet, there are online notary classes available. The prices for these courses will vary. Some companies advertise free online notary courses, but usually this is for a physicall course manual or other product that is in addition to the actual 6-hour course.Additionally, there is a 3 hour course, but this is for renewing public notaries that have an existing current notary commission that has not expired. These are sometimes referred to as refresher courses. If a commission has expired, a notary public agent cannot take th 3-hour course and must instead take the regular 6 hour course.For a current list of notary public course vendors, refer to your respective secretary of state’s office
[CA: http://notaryeducation.sos.ca.gov/Default.aspx]

How to Get an Apostille in California?

Authentication requests can be presented in person to the Sacramento (also by mail) or Los Angeles office locations for California Apostille services. For in-person Apostille requests, no appointment is necessary and customers are served on a “first come first serve” basis.

What is an Apostille /Authentication Certificate?

An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origins of a public document and can only be issued for documents is one country party to the Apostille Convention for use in another country who is also a party to the Hague Convention. “The California Secretary of State provides authentication of public official signatures on documents to be used outside the United States of America. An Authentication Certificate only certifies the authenticity of the signature of the official who signed the document, the capacity in which that official acted, and when appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. The Authentication Certificate does not validate the other contents of the document.” Common Apostille documents include, but not limited to: company bylaws and articles of incorporation, power of attorney, diplomas, transcripts, letters relating to degrees, marital status, references and job certifications, home studies, deeds of assignments, distributorship agreements, papers for adoption purposes,…

How Much Does A California Apostille cost?

“a $20 fee for each authentication certificate and an additional $6 special handling fee for each different public official’s signature to be authenticated is required.” [Source: http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/authentication/]  Apostille service fees may apply to handle this for you such as travel and processing fees. If you need a same day or expedited Apostille, you would have to go into a regional office and wait since it’s first come first serve. Many people don’t have the time to do this and will seek the services of a certified notary public to handle the California apostille service procedure for them.

What Does it Mean To Have A Document Apostille?

Having a document apostille refers to obtaining a signature certification for a document that needs to be used abroad in a Apostille Convention or Hague Convention country.  To be considered valid, each document must be accompanied by an Apostille (authorization certificate).

How To Verify Apostille California Reference Number?

Go to: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/apostille-search/ and enter the certificate number to verify if it was issued by the California Secretary of State’s office.

Where Is The Apostille LA Office?

Many think that there is a California secretary of state apostille office.  This is partially true. The apostille authentication certificate is obtained at a California secretary of state office, but there is no designated office.  The authentication certificate is one of several services that the S.O.S office provides.

At the regional office in Los Angeles, the following services can be processed (all others must be processed in the main office in Sacramento):
- Authentication of a public official’s name (Apostille)
- Filing a domestic partnership
- Filing corporation documents

What Is An Apostille Birth Certificate? How To Get One?

An apostille for a birth certificate is a certification of the signature of the official of the department of public health on a birth certificate.  If the apostille is for a California birth certificate, then it will need to be obtained at one of the California Secretary of State offices – Los Angeles or Sacramento.

Where To Find The Best Apostille Services Near Me?

For those that would rather have a professional notary public handle their apostille certification, there are many nearby apostille services like ours.  Trust us to handle your important documents with care and respect. Our team has been successfully obtaining California apostille stamps and certificates for our clients for over a decade.  We offer mobile apostille services where we come to you and handle everything from beginning to end.