The state of California consists of a diverse population of many ethnicities. But can a notary public in California notarize foreign language documents? As a general rule, California state laws allow a notary from notarizing foreign language documents. They can notarize documents even in cases where they are unable to read and write the foreign language of the documents presented.
A notary public is responsible for witnessing and identifying the signature with the person signing the documents. Their function does not include validation of the content of these foreign language documents.
If you are seeking notarization of foreign language documents, it is best to go to a notary who can read and understand your language. Use of a translator is not permitted. This is because there is a risk that the message may be lost in translation. Or that the third party may misrepresent the document to the notary.
Further, you will have to sign this document using an alphabet or characters that the notary can understand. The purpose of this is to ascertain that the name on the document is the same as what the notary is being told.
If a notary cannot refer you to another notary public familiar with the language, the notary can sign the document. Let’s take a look at the considerations observed by the notary so that you can prepare accordingly;
The notary and the signer must be able to directly communicate in one language, without the need for any third party. Thus, it is not permissible to use a translator.
According to the California state laws, direct communication is an essential requirement when notarizing any foreign language documents. This is important because it ensures that no one may misinterpret the conversation either intentionally or unintentionally.
Where the notary is unable to communicate with you, he will refer you to a notary who is familiar with your foreign language. (Reference to California Civil Code sections 1188, 1189 and 1195 read together with California Government Code sections 8202, 8205, and 8206.)
Do you have a foreign language document that needs notarization? If yes, feel free to contact the Notary Council for more information.