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December 5, 2016

Affidavit of Support

What is an Affidavit of Support?
The Affidavit of Support is a common immigration document. This document needs to be notarized with a Jurat (a common Notary act which involves a sworn oath.) The purpose of this document is typically for one family member to promise to the government that they will financially take care of the individual who they are trying to bring to the United States.

Where can I learn about Affidavits of Support?
For official information about this document, please consult an Immigration Attorney or the Department of Immigration. Please do not ask immigration questions to a notary as they are not authorized to answer these types of specialized questions unless they have some type of official authorization.

How do you notarize an Affidavit of Support?
Please make sure you have the document in your hand, and fully understand it before calling a Notary. The Notary will have you swear under Oath and sign in front of him/her. Next, the Notary will will in the Jurat certificate verbiage (notary wording) in the form and stamp the document in at least one place. When I was a Notary, Affidavits of Support required two stamps. There is also a problem that the document doesn’t leave ample room for the Notary Seal, so try to squeeze it in or attach a separate Jurat form if the client chooses for you to do so.

My personal experience with Affidavits of Support.
I had fun notarizing Affidavits of Support. I had lots of clients from around the world who treated me to tamales, dim sum, Thai coffee, and other international treats. Notarizing for Chinese people is the best as they are much more likely to feed you than other nationalities — plus, I love Chinese food.

What are some other commonly Notarized immigration documents?
The Affidavit of Citizenship is a commonly notarized immigration document. The Affiant commonly drafts his/her own statement and then has the Notary notarize the statement which normally includes a sworn Oath and normally requires the signer to sign in the presence of the Notary.

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You might also like:

Affidavit of Citizenship
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2028

Modern Family: An Affidavit of citizenship & affidavit of domicile Notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10989

Affidavit of Support & Direct communication with the signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=affidavit-of-support

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November 5, 2016

Affidavit of Citizenship

Filed under: Affidavits — Tags: — admin @ 9:52 am

What is an Affidavit of Citizenship?
The Affidavit of Citizenship is a common legal form that is required by immigration services in some cases. Many people need to get an Affidavit of Citizenship Notarized. This document is normally notarized using the Notary act called a Jurat which requires a sworn oath.

Terminology:

Jurat — a type of Notarization that involves a Sworn Oath where the Notary must sign before the Notary Public.
Affiant — the person or individual who swears under Oath perhaps before a Judge or Notary Public.
Affirmation — For those who do not believe in swearing under Oath, many states allow them to Affirm that information is correct while under Oath.
Oath — a solemn Notary act where the signer (who is also the Affiant) raises their right hand and swears under Oath to the truthfulness of the document, or just makes up their own Oath wording for a particular official purpose or commission.
Affidavit — a document (perhaps a legal document) which requires an Affiant to swear under Oath before a Notary to have it notarized.

Drafting an Affidavit of Citizenship
Most Notaries are not authorized to draft legal documents. It is prudent to contact an Attorney or or someone authorized to draft documents. If you appear before a Notary and ask for a notarized Affidavit of Citizenship, the Notary will ask you to present the document to him/her. If you don’t have a document and expect the Notary to write it, you are wasting the Notary’s time. It might not even be legal for a Notary to draft such a document as they are not an Attorney in most cases. So, have a professional draft up a quick document for you, perhaps at a low-cost legal center. After the document is complete — then contact a notary.

Notarizing an Affidavit of Citizenship
A sample wording for an Affidavit of Citizenship might be —

“I, Joe Smith solemnly swear that I am a citizen of the United States of America, so help me God.”
Signature of Affiant _____________________

The Notary could attach a Jurat certificate to the document with this statement. The Notary would ask the signer to raise his/her right hand and swear under Oath to the truthfulness of the statement. Then the Notary would fill in the Jurat form, sign it, and stamp it with his/her official Notary Seal. The Notary needs to be paid whatever the state regulated Notary fee is for a Jurat. Additionally, many Notaries engage in traveling Notary work and should be paid a travel fee, plus waiting time if applicable.

Can the Affidavit of Support be in Spanish?
Official legal documents filed in the United States should be written in English unless you have written permission to write it in Spanish or another language.

Giving Legal Advice
A non-Attorney may not give legal advice. Most Notaries are not Attorneys and therefore may not give legal advice. Additionally, Notaries Public are not authorized to assist in the immigration process or give advice regarding immigration. If you have a legal quesiton or an immigration question, do not ask a Notary, rather, ask an authorized person such as an immigration official, Attorney, or perhaps someone authorized in a legal support profession at a law office if applicable.

What are some other notarized immigration documents or regular documents?
The Affidavit of Support is another commonly notarized immigration document. It states that a particular individual will take care of the sponsored individual in financial and other ways. Basically, a family member can attempt to assist another family member enter the United States by signing an Affidavit of Support. In addition to immigration documents, it is common for Notaries to notarize permission for minors to travel outside of the United States with an adult. Deeds, contracts, Power of Attorney, other types of Affidavits, Name Affidavits, Titles, and other types of documents are regularly notarized as well.

Where can I find a Notary to notarize my Affidavit of Support?
Right here on 123notary.com’s advanced search page! You can find a Spanish speaking Notary by using the language filter on the upper right corner of the search results after you have searched by zip code.

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January 20, 2015

The Signature Name Affidavit

The Signature Name Affidavit
An extension of the simple signature affidavit (this is my signature), is the signature / name / AKA affidavit. Here it becomes a little bit more complex for both the notary, and the affiant. Understanding what are probably the two most frequent uses for the form helps to jog my memory as to their importance, and how they should be processed.

Both the single name format and the multiple name formats generally use Jurat wording. As, when you think about it; an acknowledgement kinda violates the basic purpose. It would be useless. That routine notary statement “Subscribed and sworn (affirmed) before me…..” is the key. This document contains, under oath, a notary witnessed (after checking ID) signature sample. Experts can compare the “known to be authentic” sample against the signatures on the questionable documents. Both formats, if ever used, will probably see a courtroom. Always use your embosser on these.

The multiple name section has the affiant making an additional statement “I am also known as”. Generally this provides a means of processing slight variations in signatures. For example, they may miss a middle initial on one of their signatures. But only if it’s completed correctly. I am looking at a sig name aff that has first middle and last at the top. In the “also known” there is one entry preprinted, that one uses the first and last name. But, what if they sign first, init, last? That very likely situation is not covered by preprinting. However, there are a few blank lines for the astute notary to use. Printing (generally on the left), first, init, last; and having them sign on the right using those name components. Now if they sign first init last; on **ANY** document, that document (per their own sworn statement) has their legal signature. This catch might make the closing go smoothly. And, let us not forget; eliminate the need for a free correction trip!

Now for the hard part. The above paragraph was just a warm-up; prepare for some grief. There are AKA entries that raise the eyebrows of the affiant. Very few of them will object to adding or subtracting variations possible of the middle name; they will sign off on that. However, when there are one or more entries that are vastly different from the legal name there is a problem. The root of the problem will never become known to you. They want “confirmation” of the extreme variation to deal with a situation that might have started as a clerical error. This blog entry makes no attempt to deal with the issue of fraud issues related to AKA entries.

I have had affiants, often in their attorney’s office; hand add the term “have never been known as” to a line item, adding proper initialing. They then proceed to sign the rejected name. It’s their sworn statement, and their lawyer wisely wants their statement completely truthful. It is possible that the processor of the signature name affidavit just glances to see that “the boxes are full”. I don’t know the odds, but the few modified ones I notarized did not bounce back. How could they? The affiant modified the form to reflect the truth, sworn under oath.

You can’t suggest the “never been known”, unless you are an attorney. So, lacking a parachute; the affiant will sometimes refuse to sign. If possible call “upstream”, and let them work it out. When nobody was reachable, I accepted them signing only at the top. It’s a fine line between making something available to sign; and exerting influence to sway their sign, no sign decision.

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You might also like:

The Signature Name Affidavit (2016 version)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16298

Ken’s tips for the Closing Disclosure
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17116

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November 4, 2014

The Affidavit of Occupancy

An affidavit of occupancy is a simple document (sometimes notarized), that offers the borrower generally three choices. The first option (generally by making initials) is to have the property as a Primary Residence. This option typically requires the borrower to occupy the property, usually within 60 days; for a minimum of one year. The second option is to acquire the property as a second home, while maintaining a primary residence elsewhere. The third major option is to declare the property as Investment Property, not to be occupied by the borrower; but to sell or rent for rental income. It is unlikely that the borrower cannot accurately choose the correct option.

Care should be taken by the borrower to initial the correct choice. The wrong choice can result in financial and even criminal penalties at a later date. If the borrower is buying to live in, there is really no issue. However, when the intent is speculation or rental; it’s accurate disclosure or risk problems. Lower Mortgage Rates are available for owner occupied. This is why the intent to rent or speculate must be disclosed.

Affidavits of occupancy are especially relevant for small-time or independent real estate investors. If a borrower were to select “investment property” then choose to move in permanently – there probably would be no problem. Of course they would be paying a higher mortgage rate, lenders are rarely annoyed by such activity. It is the reverse, claiming to move in; getting a lower mortgage rate, then renting it out that causes problems.

Since affidavits of occupancy are not heavily regulated or governed by formal, industry-wide guidelines, they’re often originated in-house by the mortgage lenders or other real estate professionals. Thus, unlike the standardized HUD, there really is no uniform structure to the Affidavit of Occupancy. Actually it might just as well be called an Occupancy Certification, or similar. The only aspect that seems to appear with regularity is the need for the borrower to specify how they intend to utilize the property. This is generally done by initialing a specific paragraph, but some variations may call for a complete signature.

This form is a redundancy to similar assurances that appear in the Mortgage, namely, how the borrower intends to utilize the property that secures the loan. The occupancy statement contains strong language, 30 years in prison, fine of a million dollars, etc., per Title 18 US code Sec. 1001, and others. They are a separate document that the borrower cannot ignore, often notarized; and help the lender to charge a higher rate for loans that have greater risk. Typically, rental or investment property has greater risk. The difference can be half a percent that will be several thousand dollars or more over the life of the agreement.

They serve as an extra layer of protection against mortgage fraud and provide lenders with a clear chain of evidence that can be used to expose and prosecute such fraud. Whereas a homeowner might be able to make a plausible if unconvincing argument that he or she misunderstood the intent of the “occupancy question” that’s often buried within the structure of a mortgage settlement document, he or she has little chance of avoiding penalties for breaking an affidavit of occupancy. The affiants who “break” these (often) sworn statements risk being charged with mortgage fraud. At the very least the lender can demand full payment of all money due.

In processing this document care should be taken to be sure that all borrowers initial/sign the section that specifies the intended use of the property. Some lenders might require a non-obligor to also sign/initial. It’s probably a safe bet to have any signatory to the document also initial/sign the selection section.

It is the real intent of this document to curb the activities of those who wish to obtain property at a low mortgage rate for speculation or to become “little” landlords. Sometimes it takes years for the housing authorities and the lender to discover the fraud. Those false statements can and do incur harsh civil and criminal penalties. In addition to the mortgage fraud; housing violations are common. The form is simple and easy to understand. There really is nothing for the notary to “explain”. A notarized false statement is exactly that; in addition to being a crime.

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You might also like:

The Signature Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16298

Ken’s Guide to Deeds of all types
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16285

The Compliance Agreement
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15828

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January 21, 2014

Affidavit of Support and direct communication with the signer

Filed under: Affidavits — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:10 am

As a former Notary Public, my favorite type of notarization was for Affidavits of Support. It was not the actual document that I enjoyed. It was the hospitality that accompanied the job which normally included various types of Asian cuisine! I’m not particular. I like pot stickers, fried rice, and rad-na! It’s all good. To do a good job doing an Affidavit of Support Notary job, you need to know how to place your stamp in a very tight area in a form and know how to administer an Oath. But, what if your signer doesn’t know English that well?

State notary public laws vary from state to state. One of the largest discrepancies is how to deal with foreign language documents and foreign language speakers. Some states require direct communication between the notary and the signer. That means that no translators or interpreters are allowed. Even if you know very little of the signer’s language or vice-versa, that might be enough to get through a notarization procedure.

Remember — notary appointments require very little actual communication. You need to ask if the signer understands the document. You need to instruct the signer where to sign the document and your journal. You need to be able to negotiate fees. You need to be able to administer an Oath in their language. You could easily learn to do Oaths in five languages without any linguistic talents to speak of! Just for the record, I used to give Oaths in Chinese and Spanish. I know relatively little Spanish although I can chatter for hours in Chinese with my acupuncturist.

And what if the document is written in a different language? Since an Affidavit of Support is a U.S. Immigration Document, it would be in English. But, what if your signer has some other documents in Chinese Calligraphy to have notarized? Does your state allow you to notarize those documents if you don’t know the language? And what if the signer’s signature is in Chinese Characters? OMG! Or perhaps I should say MSG!

Although some states allow the use of an interpreter, doing notary work is critical, and is a way to preserve and protect the integrity of signatures and Oaths. I personally feel that regardless of what your state laws say, be on the safe side and learn to communicate directly with whomever you notarize. After all, an unknown and/or un-certified interpreter could make a mistake which could cause a heap of trouble! Know your state’s laws before you go out on a notary job!

Tweets:
(1) As a former notary, my favorite type of notarization was for Affidavits of Support because the hospitality that accompanied.
(2) If you specialize in notarizing Affidavits of Support, you might get pot stickers, fried rice, and cash tips.
(3) How do you deal with foreign language docs & foreign language speakers w/o breaking state laws?
(4) Many states don’t allow the use of an interpreter — and this law is not open to interpretation!

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November 11, 2013

Affidavits — What do you need to know?

BLOG: Affidavits

What is an Affidavit?
An Affidavit is generally a document that has an accompanying Sworn Oath. The person who swears under Oath is the Affiant or Deponent. The person giving the Oath could be a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, Court Recorder, Commissioner of Oaths, Judge, or other type of official who has the authorization and capacity to give Sworn Oaths.

What types of Affidavits are there?
There are many types of Affidavits. Many are for business. There are various types of Affidavits used in loan signings such as Signature Affidavits, and Occupancy Affidavits. A Financial Status Affidavit is also common in loan signings. For people who want to be able to come to the United States, sometimes it is necessary for a relative or loved one to sign an Affidavit of Support. Many people who lost their passports and can’t find their Birth Certificates sign and swear to an Affidavit of Citizenship.

There are many other types of Affidavits as well!
Jurats commonly have an attestation clause at the end certifying the fact that the affiant made an Oath and the date and signatures.

Other common types of Affidavits:
Affidavit of Heirship, Affidavit of Residence, Affidavit of Name Change, Affidavit of Service, Financial Affidavit, Affidavfit of Domicile, Affidavit of Death, ID Theft Affidavit.

What types of wording can you use in an Affidavit?
You can word an Affidavit any way you like, but if it is to be used as a legal document, please consult an Attorney. Additionally, please do not ask a notary public to draft documents, because many states have restrictions as to what a notary public is allowed to do, especially if it borders on what Attorneys typically do.

How do I get an Affidavit notarized?
Please find a notary on 123notary.com! We have 7000 mobile notaries throughout the nation waiting to help you. Just visit our find a notary page in the navigation bar above!

You might also like:

Notarizing an Affidavit for an Ax Murderer in San Ysidro
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6448

Notarizing a Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4711

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July 26, 2013

Notarizing an Ax Murderer in San Ysidro

“PSST: Can you notarize an affidavit of citizenship so I can get an ID and get back in the country?” the hand whispered. Well, the voice seemed to come from the hand, which was behind the fence. It was at the border–the border between Mexico and the United States, and the hand was waving at me and snapping its fingers through the rough poles. Somewhere near San Diego I will never forget. San Ysidro.

I happened to be there as a notary. I had been called by someone I knew from San Diego State University, and was enjoying a three-day vacation at the home of this friend, in exchange for notarizing a loan document for her family. They were happy to have my help, and I was happy to leave Los Angles for a few days. I had never seen the border, so I went to see it. I was shocked that here I was, and that someone could gesture and speak right through the fence– and beg me this way to do something that I felt might be wrong, illegal, and personally dangerous. If I thought living near downtown Los Angeles was scary, this area was 100 times more frightening. The land to the North of the fence seemed peaceful…like a room where everything is in its place…a place where everything good was possible, guarded by officers who made tried to protect us from harm. The side of the fence to the South seemed like another world–smog, cigarettes, noise, and many many people who were obviously poor or looked desperate. There was nothing that even pretended to be glamorous. It was as if the real world I believed in disappeared here, and behind that fence lay a counterfeit world that was a cheap, sordid copy of the worst aspects of the world I knew, all thrown together and somehow waiting to suck the life out of my world. The man behind the fence tried to look me in the eye and hold my glance. But I didn’t walk away.

He held a black satchel in his right hand. With his left, he pushed at the fence and motioned for me to come. A citizenship affidavit? Was that all he really wanted?

“Wait–please–” he pleaded, sounding less suspicious, more emotional. “I lost my passport. I need to get back into the U.S. to go help my family in Compton. My mom is real sick…” he began. “I need a notary…Can you help me find one?”

“Do you have the paperwork?” I asked suspiciously, annoyed. I didn’t mind notarizing some documents for my friend’s family, but who was this guy–and how was he going to pay me? How was I going to find proof that he was who he was? What information would he be able to provide–and was he really someone I ought to be dealing with anyway? There was a sickening feeling in my stomach. I suddenly realized it was hot. I wanted to throw up.

Instead of walking away, I said, “I am a notary. Do you have any ID?”

The man’s face changed. There was something in his eyes that made me sorry I had told him I was a notary. Something ugly. Something frightening. Like he was going to jump out and grab everything in his way. But there was no going back now. I was a notary.

“I have a California driver’s license. I lived in Palo Also. I am from Palo Alto, California” he said, as if he had memorized that. “My family is in Compton. I have money to pay you.” He reached in his pocket, took out a roll of bills, and pushed a one-hundred dollar bill through the fence. I just looked at it.

“Show me your ID,” I told him grimly. He almost immediately pushed a driver’s license through the fence–carefully holding on to one corner tightly, as if he believed I might try to steal it. His eyes looked evil. His ID seemed real. It did say Palo Alto. “You need a second ID, ” I told him. “What else do you have?”

“I have a resident alien card, but I do not have it here. I can get it and come back whenever you say. Later today.”

“Can you get front and back copies of the two IDs? Can you do this and come back in a few hours? I can get the document printed out and meet you at the border gate.”

“Ok. I will be waiting there by 1 pm. I will bring my IDs. My name is Malo.” Great, I thought. Just great.

I wanted to just disappear and not return, but I had given my word. I printed the affidavit of citizenship–the “citizen affidavit page” as it was called on the form–and came back with my friend’s brother. What had I expected to happen at the border? This was what the border was about– getting in, getting across. Then what?

“Malo” was waiting at the guard station. I filled out all of the paperwork, and the section that says, “Subscribed and sworn before me on this day…” I applied my stamp. Then I told Malo, “Look, you need to follow the instructions on the form. You need to email this or mail it as soon as possible. Follow the instructions on this page…” In the meantime, the guards let him in with his two forms of ID and the notarized citizenship affidavit… I took the $100 and handed him $50. The words “Blood Money” flashed in my mind. “Idiot” I heard my father say. I had the feeling this had been a bad, bad choice on my part.

A few weeks later, the newspapers and Internet exploded with pictures of this man, who apparently murdered a family with three children in Compton. He had used an ax. The pictures were horrible. Only three weeks after I had notarized the affidavit of citizenship. I didn’t sleep for about a week. I felt I had used my power as notary improperly, without good judgment–just because I had been asked to, because I was frightened…not because it was right.

How is anyone to know what someone will do after the documents are notarized?

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July 5, 2013

Notarizing a Name Affidavit

Most loan document packages include a name affidavit which could also be called a Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement. There are many variations for what this document is called.

Or, should I say that there are many NAME variations for what this document is called?

In any case, this document is notarized the same way that any other notarized document is notarized, EXCEPT, that the signer is signing more than once.

In the notary verbiage, there will be the word name(s) and signature(s) — typically, for a notarization of a single individual, the (s) will be crossed on in both cases. But, on the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement, the (s)’s should NOT be crossed out as a single person will have multiple name variations, and multiple signatures — one signature per name.

If the signer is a jazz musician, then the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement might get really long with all of the name variations.

Here is a sample of some of the interior notary verbiage in a California Notary Acknowledgment Certificate Form..

….. On _________ before me, ________________________________________,
(name of notary public )
personally appeared _____________________________________________
who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and who acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in their authorized capacity(ies), and by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument….

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September 17, 2012

Sample Notarized Affidavit

Here is a quick sample notarized affidavit.
I apologize that I am not able to scan a copy of a realistic signature or notary seal for legal reasons, so please accept my unrealistic looking signature and notarial stamp (seal)
 
I, John Doe authorize Mary Spencer to type of business documents for my company XYZ Associates. She is to have work completed by 5pm Pacific Standard Time daily, and will be paid half price for late work.  Mary is to work in our office and travel to locations to visit clients upon request.  Either party has the right to disolve this agreement at any time in writing.  A letter stating that you want to discontinue this relationship  and agreement will terminate and nullify this agreement.
 
 
 
______________________
John Doe
 
 
______________________
Mary Spencer
 
 
State of Nevada
County of Clark
 
Subscribed and sworn to ( or affirmed ) before me on
this 20th day of March, 2012 by

John Doe and Mary Spencer, proved to me on the basis
of satisfactory evidence to be the persons who appeared before me.
 
Larry Doe, notary public
——————————————-
Signature of Notary
 
——————————————-
|   Larry Doe                        |
|   Notary Public                   |
|   County of Nye, Nevada     |   (official notary seal)
|   Exp. 3-21-2012                |         
|________________________|

Please see our glossary’s article on affidavits

Tweets:
(1) Sample Notarized Affidavit verbiage including notary certificate & Oath wording.

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Notarized affidavits information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1963

Affidavits of Support
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2316

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December 3, 2011

Notarized Affidavits Information

Notarized Affidavits

There are many types of Affidavits that show up before notaries throughout the country. Commonly notarized Affidavits include: Affidavits of Citizenship, Affidavits of Support, Business Affidavits, Affidavit of Occupancy, Signature Affidavits, and Affidavit of Financial Status. The main thing to understand about Affidavits, is that they are normally notarized using a Jurat certificate. However, the notary is not allowed to choose or recommend a particular type of certificate for the signer or client. However, it is not a crime to say that people “usually” use a Jurat when doing this type of notarization as long as you clarify that you are not advising them. Affidavits normally contain sworn statements In any case, affidavits usually contain a sworn statement or a Jurat certificate which by definition contains a sworn statement. The signer is supposed to sign in the presence of a notary, and then raise his/her/their right hand and swear under oath that they consider the contents of the document to be true and correct, and that they will abide by the conditions in the affidavit (if there are any). I am generalizing what the oath should be about. It is up to the notary to make up an Oath, so make something up that makes sense under the circumstances. What is an affiant? An affiant is the person who swears under oath to the contents of an Affidavit. Administer an Oath Just for the record, a notary is a person who is in charge of various notary acts including administering an Oath. You might also use the word “give” in association with giving an oath, although it is more normal to use the term “administer”.

Sample Oath for a Notarized Affidavit
Q. Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct, and that you agree to abide by the terms in this Affidavit?
A. I do.

Where can I find a notary to notarize an affidavit?
Just visit the advanced search page of www.123notary.com and you can find many choices of notaries in your area anywhere in the United States.

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