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Compliance: Notary Public, Immigration Consultant or Notario Público: Which Witch Is Which?

Monday, January 10, 2022 4:22 PM | Anonymous

In California there multiple non-attorney professional service providers. The scope of service each professional designation offers varies as does their respective registration requirements. 

It's easy for consumers to confuse which professional can provide what services.

California Notary Public

For this reason California Notary Public are prohibited from adverting themselves a Immigration Consultants even with registered or translating their professional title in Spanish to "notario publico" or "notario".  

California Notary Publics are required to include the following in all advertisements: 

  1. This statement: "I am not an attorney and, therefore, cannot give legal advice about immigration or any other legal matters."
  2. The fees set by statute which a notary public may charge.
Government Code § 8219.5

Immigration Consultant 

Similarly an Immigration Consultant is prohibited from adverting themselves as Notary Public, Notary event when commissioned as a California Notary Public. This profession is also prohibited from using the words “licensed,” “attorney,” “lawyer,” “notario publico” or “notario.” Any implication that the Immigration Consultant is an attorney is also prohibited.

Immigration Consultants are required to include the following in all advertisements:

  1. A statement that the immigration consultant is not an attorney.

Business and Profession Code §22442.2

Notario Público

In Latin countries, like the California's neighbor Mexico, Notario Públicos are lawyers licensed. According to Mexlaw, Notarios are "selected and appointed by the Mexican state after practicing law, completing a rigorous application process, passing a stringent exam and also meeting all qualifications set by the government." 

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