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California Notary Acknowledgment Form

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California Notary Acknowledgment Form

Updated August 31, 2023

A California notary acknowledgment form is a form attached to a document that is filled out by a notary public after certifying the authenticity of the signatures therein. Documents that require an acknowledgment must be presented to a notary public, at which point the notary will certify the identity of the signer(s) and establish that the individuals did not sign under duress or coercion. The commissioned officer may identify the signer(s) personally, or they may request photo identification. To avoid any legal setbacks or obstructions, signers can sign the document in front of the notary public instead of presenting a completely signed document. The notarization is accomplished once the notary performs the aforementioned duties, and signs and dates the acknowledgment form.

Laws –  § 1189

Notary Handbook – The California Notary Public Handbook is the official source for all information pertaining to commissioned officers, including laws, procedures, and guidelines.

How to Notarize in California (5 steps)

  1. Find a Notary
  2. Apear
  3. Show ID
  4. Sign
  5. Complete

1. Find a Notary

If a document requires an acknowledgment form, residents of California can use one of the following approaches to find a notary public:

2. Appear

Once a notary public has been selected, all signers must personally appear before the notary along with the original document requiring notarization; the form should be complete except for signature fields. If the desired notarial act is an acknowledgment, signatures can already be included in the document.

3. Show ID

Identification must be provided by each signer. An accepted method of identification is through personal recognition by the notary.

4. Sign

Each signer must sign all appropriate fields in the presence of the notary public. If the document has already been signed, all involved parties must declare to the notary that they have included signatures of their own free will (only applies to acknowledgments).

5. Complete

Once the notary is satisfied with the declarations and has verified the identity of each signer, they can sign, date, and seal the applicable notarial certificate.

Verify a Notary in California (8 steps)

Step 1

Visit canotary.info to start a notary public search.

california notary public search

Step 2

A simple name search can be performed by entering a first or last name. Click Search to display results.

notary search results


Step 3

If the list of results is too long, click the Advanced Search button and enter more detailed information to yield narrower results.

california notary public search fields

Step 4

Users may also search for a notary by county, city, or zip code.

california notary list of links

Step 5

Selecting the CA Notaries by County link will bring up a list of counties with the number of active notaries beside each county. Select a county to display a list of the names of all the notaries within that county.

california notary search by county

Step 6

Selecting CA Notaries by City will result in a list of all California cities. Select a city to look through the list of all active notaries.

find a california notary by city

Step 7

Similarly, the CA Notaries by Zip Code search will display a list of California Zip codes. Select a Zip code to look through the list of all active notaries within that area.

find a california notary by zip code

Step 8

County, city, and Zip code searches will bring up a list of notaries within that area. The list is displayed in order of commission expiration, starting from the farthest expiration date. Click on a notary’s name to display more detailed information.

california notary search results

How to Write (For Notary)

Step 1 – Download the form in PDF, Microsoft Word, or ODT.

Step 2 – Enter the county in which the document was acknowledged, the date on which it was acknowledged, and the names of both the notary and signer(s).

Step 3 – Notary must include their signature and seal at the bottom of the page.