San Diego Notary

Foreign Language

A notary public can notarize a signature on a document in a foreign language with which they are not familiar, since a notary public’s function only relates to the signature and not the contents of the document. The notary public should be able to identify the type of document being notarized for entry in the notary public’s journal. If unable to identify the type of document, the notary public must make an entry to that effect in their journal, e.g. “a document in a foreign language.” The notary public should be mindful of the completeness of the document and must not notarize the signature on the document if the document appears to be incomplete. The notary public is responsible for completing the acknowledgment or jurat form. When notarizing a signature on a document, a notary public must be able to communicate with their customer in order for the signer either to swear to or affi rm the contents of the affi davit or to acknowledge the execution of the document. An interpreter should not be used, as vital information could be lost in the translation. If a notary public is unable to communicate with a customer, the customer should be referred to a notary public who speaks the customer’s language.