While you are busy trying to get the last bit of paperwork in order, you may overlook one small but vital part of the process: the validity of your notary. It is too easy to focus on the next phase of the legal process, whether it is a marriage, home sale or purchase, or passport. Unfortunately there are people who will take advantage of this blind spot and turn it into a profit for themselves. With the growing need of notary signatures, the number of people willing to commit this fraud is also on the rise.
Fraudulent notaries are able to lull their victims into a false sense of security because of the desire to just get the signature and go. If not renewed, a person’s license can expire, making the signature invalid. It is also possible that a person who works in the same building as a notary “borrowed” the seal for your document, so make sure you have checked out your notary before getting the final signature and seal
Looking into the validity of a notary is a quick and easy process that can save you time and money. Every state has its own licensing system for tracking licensed notaries, including California. Taking a few minutes to visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/ will give you the information you need to check whether the notary you had in mind has a current license in California. You can also contact your local City Hall if you do not know of any notaries and need a list of people who are licensed in your area. No matter how pressed for time you are, verifying the authenticity of your notary will save you time and money later.