Code Section Group

Civil Code - CIV

DIVISION 2. PROPERTY [654 - 1422]

  ( Heading of Division 2 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 13. )

PART 4. ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY [1000 - 1422]

  ( Part 4 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 4. TRANSFER [1039 - 1231]

  ( Title 4 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 4. Recording Transfers [1169 - 1220]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted 1872. )

ARTICLE 3. Proof and Acknowledgment of Instruments [1180 - 1207]
  ( Article 3 enacted 1872. )

1180.
  

The proof or acknowledgment of an instrument may be made at any place within this state before a justice, retired justice, or Clerk/Executive Officer of the Supreme Court, a justice, retired justice, or clerk of any court of appeal or judge or retired judge of a superior court, or the Secretary of the Senate or Chief Clerk of the Assembly.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 36, Sec. 3. (AB 452) Effective January 1, 2018.)

1181.
  

The proof or acknowledgment of an instrument may be made before a notary public at any place within this state, or within the county or city and county in this state in which the officer specified below was elected or appointed, before either:

(a) A clerk of a superior court.

(b) A county clerk.

(c) A court commissioner.

(d) A retired judge of a municipal or justice court.

(e) A district attorney.

(f) A clerk of a board of supervisors.

(g) A city clerk.

(h) A county counsel.

(i) A city attorney.

(j) Secretary of the Senate.

(k) Chief Clerk of the Assembly.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2003.)

1182.
  

The proof or acknowledgment of an instrument may be made without this state, but within the United States, and within the jurisdiction of the officer, before any of the following:

(1) A justice, judge, or clerk of any court of record of the United States.

(2) A justice, judge, or clerk of any court of record of any state.

(3) A commissioner appointed by the Governor or Secretary of State for that purpose.

(4) A notary public.

(5) Any other officer of the state where the acknowledgment is made authorized by its laws to take such proof or acknowledgment.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1611.)

1183.
  

The proof or acknowledgment of an instrument may be made without the United States, before any of the following:

(a) A minister, commissioner, or chargè d’affaires of the United States, resident and accredited in the country where the proof or acknowledgment is made.

(b) A consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the United States, resident in the country where the proof or acknowledgment is made.

(c) A judge of a court of record of the country where the proof or acknowledgment is made.

(d) Commissioners appointed by the Governor or Secretary of State for that purpose.

(e) A notary public.

If the proof or acknowledgment is made before a notary public, the signature of the notary public shall be proved or acknowledged (1) before a judge of a court of record of the country where the proof or acknowledgment is made, or (2) by any American diplomatic officer, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent, or (3) by an apostille (certification) affixed to the instrument pursuant to the terms of The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1017, Sec. 1.)

1183.5.
  

Any officer on active duty or performing inactive-duty training in the armed forces having the general powers of a notary public pursuant to Section 936 or 1044a of Title 10 of the United States Code (Public Law 90-632 and 101-510) and any successor statutes may perform all notarial acts for any person serving in the armed forces of the United States, wherever he or she may be, or for any spouse of a person serving in the armed forces, wherever he or she may be, or for any person eligible for legal assistance under laws and regulations of the United States, wherever he or she may be, for any person serving with, employed by, or accompanying such armed forces outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, and any person subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice outside of the United States.

Any instrument acknowledged by any such officer or any oath or affirmation made before such officer shall not be rendered invalid by the failure to state therein the place of execution or acknowledgment. No seal or authentication of the officer’s certificate of acknowledgment or of any jurat signed by him or her shall be required but the officer taking the acknowledgment shall endorse thereon or attach thereto a certificate substantially in a form authorized by the laws of this state or in the following form:

On this the ___ day of ____, 19_, before me _____, the undersigned officer, personally appeared _____ known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be (a) serving in the armed forces of the United States, (b) a spouse of a person serving in the armed forces of the United States, or (c) a person serving with, employed by, or accompanying the armed forces of the United States outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, and to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged that he or she executed the same. And the undersigned does further certify that he or she is at the date of this certificate a commissioned officer of the armed forces of the United States having the general powers of a notary public under the provisions of Section 936 or 1044a of Title 10 of the United States Code (Public Law 90-632 and 101-510).

Signature of officer, rank, branch of service and capacity in which signed.

To any affidavit subscribed and sworn to before such officer there shall be attached a jurat substantially in the following form:

Subscribed and sworn to before me on this ____ day of _______, 19__.

Signature of officer, rank, branch of service and capacity in which signed.

The recitals contained in any such certificate or jurat shall be prima facie evidence of the truth thereof, and any certificate of acknowledgment, oath or affirmation purporting to have been made by any commissioned officer of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard shall, notwithstanding the omission of any specific recitals therein, constitute presumptive evidence of the existence of the facts necessary to authorize such acknowledgment, oath or affirmation to be taken by the certifying officer pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 587, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)

1184.
  

When any of the officers mentioned in Sections 1180, 1181, 1182, and 1183 are authorized by a law to appoint a deputy, the acknowledgment or proof may be taken by such deputy, in the name of his principal.

(Amended by Stats. 1953, Ch. 457.)

1185.
  

(a) The acknowledgment of an instrument shall not be taken unless the officer taking it has satisfactory evidence that the person making the acknowledgment is the individual who is described in and who executed the instrument.

(b) For purposes of this section, “satisfactory evidence” means the absence of information, evidence, or other circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the person making the acknowledgment is not the individual he or she claims to be and any one of the following:

(1) (A) The oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the officer, whose identity is proven to the officer upon presentation of a document satisfying the requirements of paragraph (3) or (4), that the person making the acknowledgment is personally known to the witness and that each of the following are true:

(i) The person making the acknowledgment is the person named in the document.

(ii) The person making the acknowledgment is personally known to the witness.

(iii) That it is the reasonable belief of the witness that the circumstances of the person making the acknowledgment are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for that person to obtain another form of identification.

(iv) The person making the acknowledgment does not possess any of the identification documents named in paragraphs (3) and (4).

(v) The witness does not have a financial interest in the document being acknowledged and is not named in the document.

(B) A notary public who violates this section by failing to obtain the satisfactory evidence required by subparagraph (A) shall be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000). An action to impose this civil penalty may be brought by the Secretary of State in an administrative proceeding or a public prosecutor in superior court, and shall be enforced as a civil judgment. A public prosecutor shall inform the secretary of any civil penalty imposed under this subparagraph.

(2) The oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury of two credible witnesses, whose identities are proven to the officer upon the presentation of a document satisfying the requirements of paragraph (3) or (4), that each statement in paragraph (1) is true.

(3) Reasonable reliance on the presentation to the officer of any one of the following, if the document or other form of identification is current or has been issued within five years:

(A) An identification card or driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(B) A passport issued by the Department of State of the United States.

(C) An inmate identification card issued by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody in prison.

(D) Any form of inmate identification issued by a sheriff’s department, if the inmate is in custody in a local detention facility.

(4) Reasonable reliance on the presentation of any one of the following, provided that a document specified in subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, shall either be current or have been issued within five years and shall contain a photograph and description of the person named on it, shall be signed by the person, and shall bear a serial or other identifying number:

(A) A valid consular identification document issued by a consulate from the applicant’s country of citizenship, or a valid passport from the applicant’s country of citizenship.

(B) A driver’s license issued by a state other than California or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses.

(C) An identification card issued by a state other than California.

(D) An identification card issued by any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(E) An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or by an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county in this state.

(F) An identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government.

(c) An officer who has taken an acknowledgment pursuant to this section shall be presumed to have operated in accordance with the provisions of law.

(d) A party who files an action for damages based on the failure of the officer to establish the proper identity of the person making the acknowledgment shall have the burden of proof in establishing the negligence or misconduct of the officer.

(e) A person convicted of perjury under this section shall forfeit any financial interest in the document.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 762, Sec. 1.5. (AB 2566) Effective January 1, 2017.)

1188.
  

An officer taking the acknowledgment of an instrument shall endorse thereon or attach thereto a certificate pursuant to Section 1189.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 78, Sec. 1. (AB 464) Effective January 1, 2014.)

1189.
  

(a) (1) Any certificate of acknowledgment taken within this state shall include a notice at the top of the certificate of acknowledgment in an enclosed box stating: “A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.” This notice shall be legible.

(2) The physical format of the boxed notice at the top of the certificate of acknowledgment required pursuant to paragraph (3) is an example, for purposes of illustration and not limitation, of the physical format of a boxed notice fulfilling the requirements of paragraph (1).

(3) A certificate of acknowledgment taken within this state shall be in the following form:










A notary public or other officer completing this
certificate verifies only the identity of the
individual who signed the document to which this
certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness,
accuracy, or validity of that document.

_____

State of California

⎫ _____

County of

⎭ _____

_____

_____

_____

Onbefore me,

(here insert name and title of the officer),

personally appeared,

who proved to me on the basis of
satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are
subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that
he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized
capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the
instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the
person(s) acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.

Signature(Seal)

(4) A notary public who willfully states as true any material fact that he or she knows to be false shall be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000). An action to impose a civil penalty under this subdivision may be brought by the Secretary of State in an administrative proceeding or any public prosecutor in superior court, and shall be enforced as a civil judgment. A public prosecutor shall inform the secretary of any civil penalty imposed under this section.

(b) Any certificate of acknowledgment taken in another place shall be sufficient in this state if it is taken in accordance with the laws of the place where the acknowledgment is made.

(c) On documents to be filed in another state or jurisdiction of the United States, a California notary public may complete any acknowledgment form as may be required in that other state or jurisdiction on a document, provided the form does not require the notary to determine or certify that the signer holds a particular representative capacity or to make other determinations and certifications not allowed by California law.

(d) An acknowledgment provided prior to January 1, 1993, and conforming to applicable provisions of former Sections 1189, 1190, 1190a, 1190.1, 1191, and 1192, as repealed by Chapter 335 of the Statutes of 1990, shall have the same force and effect as if those sections had not been repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 197, Sec. 1. (SB 1050) Effective January 1, 2015.)

1190.
  

The certificate of acknowledgment of an instrument executed on behalf of an incorporated or unincorporated entity by a duly authorized person in the form specified in Section 1189 shall be prima facie evidence that the instrument is the duly authorized act of the entity named in the instrument and shall be conclusive evidence thereof in favor of any good faith purchaser, lessee, or encumbrancer. “Duly authorized person,” with respect to a domestic or foreign corporation, includes the president, vice president, secretary, and assistant secretary of the corporation.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1070, Sec. 3.)

1193.
  

Officers taking and certifying acknowledgments or proof of instruments for record, must authenticate their certificates by affixing thereto their signatures, followed by the names of their offices; also, their seals of office, if by the laws of the State or country where the acknowledgment or proof is taken, or by authority of which they are acting, they are required to have official seals.

(Enacted 1872.)

1195.
  

(a) Proof of the execution of an instrument, when not acknowledged, may be made by any of the following:

(1) By the party executing it, or either of them.

(2) By a subscribing witness.

(3) By other witnesses, in cases mentioned in Section 1198.

(b) (1)  Proof of the execution of a power of attorney, grant deed, mortgage, deed of trust, quitclaim deed, security agreement, or any instrument affecting real property is not permitted pursuant to Section 27287 of the Government Code, though proof of the execution of a trustee’s deed or deed of reconveyance is permitted.

(2) Proof of the execution for any instrument requiring a notary public to obtain a thumbprint from the party signing the document in the notary public’s journal is not permitted.

(c) Any certificate for proof of execution taken within this state shall include a notice at the top of the certificate for proof of execution in an enclosed box stating: “A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.” This notice shall be legible.

(d) The physical format of the boxed notice at the top of the certificate for proof of execution required pursuant to subdivision (e) is an example, for purposes of illustration and not limitation, of the physical format of a boxed notice fulfilling the requirements of subdivision (c).

(e) A certificate for proof of execution taken within this state shall be in the following form:




_____

A notary public or other officer completing this
certificate verifies only the identity of the
individual who signed the document to which this
certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness,
accuracy, or validity of that document.

State of California

ss.

_____

County of

_____


On ____ (date), before me, _____ (name and title of officer), personally appeared ____ (name of subscribing witness), proved to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument, as a witness thereto, on the oath of ____ (name of credible witness), a credible witness who is known to me and provided a satisfactory identifying document. ____ (name of subscribing witness), being by me duly sworn, said that he/she was present and saw/heard ____ (name[s] of principal[s]), the same person(s) described in and whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within or attached instrument in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies) as (a) party(ies) thereto, execute or acknowledge executing the same, and that said affiant subscribed his/her name to the within or attached instrument as a witness at the request of ____ (name[s] of principal[s]).

WITNESS my hand and official seal.

Signature (Seal)

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 197, Sec. 2. (SB 1050) Effective January 1, 2015.)

1196.
  

A witness shall be proved to be a subscribing witness by the oath of a credible witness who provides the officer with any document satisfying the requirements of paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 1185.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 67, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2009.)

1197.
  

The subscribing witness must prove that the person whose name is subscribed to the instrument as a party is the person described in it, and that such person executed it, and that the witness subcribed his name thereto as a witness.

(Enacted 1872.)

1198.
  

The execution of an instrument may be established by proof of the handwriting of the party and of a subscribing witness, if there is one, in the following cases:

1. When the parties and all the subscribing witnesses are dead; or,

2. When the parties and all the subscribing witnesses are non-residents of the State; or,

3. When the place of their residence is unknown to the party desiring the proof, and cannot be ascertained by the exercise of due diligence; or,

4. When the subscribing witness conceals himself, or cannot be found by the officer by the exercise of due diligence in attempting to serve the subpoena or attachment; or,

5. In case of the continued failure or refusal of the witness to testify, for the space of one hour, after his appearance.

(Enacted 1872.)

[1199.]
  

 Section Eleven Hundred and Ninety-nine. The evidence taken under the preceding section must satisfactorily prove to the officer the following facts:

One—The existence of one or more of the conditions mentioned therein; and,

Two—That the witness testifying knew the person whose name purports to be subscribed to the instrument as a party, and is well acquainted with his signature, and that it is genuine; and,

Three—That the witness testifying personally knew the person who subscribed the instrument as a witness, and is well acquainted with his signature, and that it is genuine; and,

Four—The place of residence of the witness.

(Amended by Code Amendments 1873-74, Ch. 612.)

1200.
  

An officer taking proof of the execution of any instrument must, in his certificate indorsed thereon or attached thereto, set forth all the matters required by law to be done or known by him, or proved before him on the proceeding, together with the names of all the witnesses examined before him, their places of residence respectively, and the substance of their testimony.

(Enacted 1872.)

1201.
  

Officers authorized to take the proof of instruments are authorized in such proceedings:

1. To administer oaths or affirmations, as prescribed in Section 2093, Code of Civil Procedure;

2. To employ and swear interpreters;

3. To issue subpoena, as prescribed in Section 1986, Code of Civil Procedure;

4. To punish for contempt, as prescribed in Sections 1991, 1993, 1994, Code of Civil Procedure.

The civil damages and forfeiture to the party aggrieved are prescribed in Section 1992, Code of Civil Procedure.

(Enacted 1872.)

1202.
  

When the acknowledgment or proof of the execution of an instrument is properly made, but defectively certified, any party interested may have an action in the superior court to obtain a judgment correcting the certificate.

(Amended by Stats. 1905, Ch. 445.)

1203.
  

Any person interested under an instrument entitled to be proved for record, may institute an action in the superior court against the proper parties to obtain a judgment proving such instrument.

(Amended by Stats. 1905, Ch. 445.)

1204.
  

A certified copy of the judgment in a proceeding instituted under either of the two preceding sections, showing the proof of the instrument, and attached thereto, entitles such instrument to record, with like effect as if acknowledged.

(Enacted 1872.)

1205.
  

The legality of the execution, acknowledgment, proof, form, or record of any conveyance or other instrument made before this Code goes into effect, executed, acknowledged, proved, or recorded is not affected by anything contained in this Chapter, but depends for its validity and legality upon the laws in force when the act was performed.

(Enacted 1872.)

1206.
  

All conveyances of real property made before this Code goes into effect, and acknowledged or proved according to the laws in force at the time of such making and acknowledgment or proof, have the same force as evidence, and may be recorded in the same manner and with the like effect, as conveyances executed and acknowledged in pursuance of this Chapter.

(Enacted 1872.)

1207.
  

Any instrument affecting the title to real property, one year after the same has been copied into the proper book of record, kept in the office of any county recorder, imparts notice of its contents to subsequent purchasers and encumbrancers, notwithstanding any defect, omission, or informality in the execution of the instrument, or in the certificate of acknowledgment thereof, or the absence of any such certificate; but nothing herein affects the rights of purchasers or encumbrancers previous to the taking effect of this act. Duly certified copies of the record of any such instrument may be read in evidence with like effect as copies of an instrument duly acknowledged and recorded; provided, when such copying in the proper book of record occurred within five years prior to the trial of the action, it is first shown that the original instrument was genuine.

(Amended by Stats. 1927, Ch. 489.)

CIVCivil Code - CIV3