Mechanics liens in California are not specifically required to be notarized in order to be valid. In fact, the confusing requirement that a California mechanics lien be “verified” but it’s not required to be “notarized” has been the subject of numerous articles and FAQ answers.
A California mechanics lien release, however, should be notarized.
This means that the newly modified California notary certificate wording (that took effect January, 1 2015) should be present on California lien releases notarized in California. The wording change was implemented to decrease confusion and fraud by providing a concrete statement that the mere notarization of a document does not authenticate or endorse the contents of that document. The people unfamiliar with the duties of a notary in attesting to the identification of the signor of a document should be less likely to trust a potentially fraudulent document solely because it bears the signature and seal of a notary.
The new wording, which must appear at the top of the notary certificate, states:
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 new wording should be included in the notary certificate on California mechanics lien releases from this point forward.