Does a Power of Attorney Need To Be Notarized in California?

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Does a Power of Attorney Need To Be Notarized in California?

It is not easy to understand what documents need notarization. Some, including affidavits, trusts, or wills, have to be notarized. Others might need only signatures in some U.S. states.

Does a power of attorney need to be notarized in California? We provide you with the answer!

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a document you use to appoint a person to act on your behalf. There are two parties in a POA document:

  1. The principal—you or someone else who appoints another person to represent them
  2. The person who acts on your behalf and is called an:
    • Agent
    • Attorney-in-fact

The latter party has fiduciary duties. It means that an attorney-in-fact or agent has obligations under California law to:

  • Act in the interest of the principal
  • Avoid conflicts of interest

Types of Power of Attorney in California

Here are some available types of power of attorney in California:

Power of Attorney TypeWhat Is It?
DurableThis is a financial POA that remains in effect if the principal is:
  1. Incompetent
  2. Incapacitated
GeneralA general POA—also called a nondurable one—becomes void if the principal becomes incapacitated either:
  1. Mentally or
  2. Physically


A guardianship—also called a parental power of attorney—is usually a short-term POA that covers minor children’s:
  • Health
  • Education
  • Everyday care
MedicalA medical POA—also known as an advance directive—gives an agent the power of decision-making when someone cannot represent themselves
LimitedA limited POA—also called a specific POA—allows an attorney-in-fact to handle certain financial matters, including:
  • Purchasing a new vehicle
  • Selling or buying real estate
VehicleA vehicle POA—also known as DMV form REG-260—allows an agent to deal with a transfer of ownership of a:
  • Vehicle
  • Vessel
TaxTax POAs allow the agent—usually an accountant—to deal with income tax filing on behalf of another person

Does a Power of Attorney Need To Be Notarized in California?

Here are the steps you will need to take when preparing a power of attorney:

  1. Find suitable POA forms—Depending on your specific needs, you need to find the right type of these forms. You can find the appropriate one for California on the Power of Attorney website
  2. Complete the required paperwork—You need to fill out the forms, but you should not sign them as a notary public needs to witness the signing process
  3. Set up an appointment with a notary public—Look for a California notary or as one of the most reliable remote online notary service providers
  4. File the POA—Once you have signed and notarized a POA, you need to file it with the entity that validates the form, e.g., a law office or bank

As you can see from the third step above, a power of attorney needs to be notarized in the state of California.

When To Create and Revoke a Power of Attorney

You will prepare a power of attorney if you are not able to deal with certain affairs—for example, if you cannot:

  • Pay bills on your own
  • Sign your name on some documents
  • Make decisions regarding your health treatments and care

If you believe a POA is no longer necessary, you can revoke it. For this purpose, you will need to prepare a Revocation of a Power of Attorney document that needs to get notarized as well.

Pick a Suitable Notary Service

When you need to get a notary signature and acknowledgment for your power of attorney, car title, or real estate deed, you should choose a notary service that meets your requirements. You should consider the following:

Notary Service


Regular notaryYou have to go to a notary’s office once you have scheduled an appointment
Mobile notaryMobile notaries public can notarize your documents at a convenient location of your choice, e.g., your home, workplace, restaurant, hospital, jail, or airport. Make sure to check the notary fees with this type of notary in California as they charge extra travel fees
Online notaryOnline notaries perform remote online notary services quickly and efficiently

Why Should You Choose a Remote Online Notary?

You should opt for a remote online notary since you will not need to spend:

  • Additional money to get your documents notarized—as is the case with a mobile notary
  • Your energy or time:

While the state of California does not permit its notaries to perform remote online notarization (RON), you can use an out-of-state online notary. Here are some states that provide RON:

to connect with an online notary in an instant.

DoNotPay’s Remote Online Notarization Saves Time and Energy

Traditional in-office notarization can be wearisome since it requires lots of time to find a notary, schedule a meeting, and visit his or her office. You do not have to go through this process by yourself!

DoNotPay has designed the Notarize Any Document product to ensure your documents get notarized:

  • In a matter of minutes
  • Safely from the comfort of your home, which is especially significant in pandemic times

Get Your Documents Notarized in Three Steps

To access a practical and fast remote online notarization, and follow these short steps:

  1. Select our Notarize Any Document feature
  2. Upload the document you would like to have notarized
  3. Enter your email address

When you get our email, click on the provided link to choose a suitable time for your upcoming meeting with a notary public.

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