When a Notary Public is commissioned by the Secretary of State in California, they are given a commission to notarize documents for 4 years. One of the more common documents that Notary Public may come across in their day to day duty is the POA or DPOA (power of attorney or durable power of attorney). This is a document that maybe used for years or even indefinitely. If your power of attorney document was notarized by a Notary Public near the end of their commission term, it’s likely that at some point you may have an active and valid power of attorney document that has been stamped by a Notary who’s commission has expired. The obvious question remains, is the document still valid?
Yes, the document is valid as long as the Notary Public who completed the signature notarization was actually a bonded and active Notary Public at the time the document was stamped. If they were not bonded or were not a commissioned and active Notary Public, then they have committed fraud, but that is another issue.
The document remains valid, even though the Notary Stamp shows that the commission has expired. I have found that when documents notarized in California are sent overseas (India is one example), often times the receiving agency will reject the California notarization if the Notary’s commission has expired. Because of this, if you are sending documents overseas, you may wish to ask your Notary Public how much time remains on their current commission before utilizing their services.