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February 10, 2019

Proof of Execution

Filed under: Notary Acts & Certificates — Tags: , — admin @ 10:48 am

What is a Proof of execution? This is an unusual Notary act that few Notaries have ever done. Yet it is allowed in roughly 45 of the 50 states. A Proof of Execution is an act where a Principal signer signs a document in the presence of a Subscribing Witness. The Subscribing Witness then soon after swears under Oath before a Notary Public that the principal signer signed the document in their presence. This type of notary act is prohibited for Deeds and Powers of Attorney, but for less critical documents is allowed.

You might also like:

Proof of Execution and basic notary acts in Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Which Notary act does not require the personal appearance of the principal signer?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19668

Subscribing witnesses explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16707

Glossary Proof of Execution
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?proof-of-execution

Glossary Power of Attorney
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?power-of-attorney

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December 24, 2018

Acknowledgment FAQ

Filed under: Notary Acts & Certificates — admin @ 9:39 am

What is an Acknowledgment? Or, should I say, what is a Notary Acknowledgment or Notarized Acknowledgment? Why is it missing the “e” after “g”? Is that a typo, and should it be spelled Acknowledgement? No, it is not a typo.

Notaries commissioned in the various fifty states have a variety of Notary acts that they may perform. Some are common ones that are practices in virtually every state, although they sometimes have name variations and sometimes the rules for these acts can change slightly from state to state as well.

Common Notary acts that are almost completely universal include:

Acknowledgments — an act where the signer acknowledges having sign a document and acknowledges in the physical presence of the notary public, but does not have to sign in front of the Notary except in a handful of states (it’s complicated).

Jurats — an act where the signer or “affiant” must sign the document in the physical presence of the Notary Public as well as swear or affirm under the penalty of perjury to the truthfulness of the content of the document.

Oaths — a purely verbal act where the affiant must swear under Oath under God to the truthfulness of an oral or written statement.

Affirmations — a purely verbal act where the affiant must affirm under Oath on their honor to the truthfulness of an oral or written statement. Please note that Oaths and Affirmations are not the same act, but can be used interchangeably and carry the same legal weight and significance.

How does a signer Acknowledge their signature?
Does the signer say, “I hereby proclaim that I, the party of the first part, the signing party withstanding , have signed the foregoing instrument herein, and thereto, and therefor acknowledge the same in my capacity as an individual so-on and so forth.” The truth of the matter is that you can simply place the signed document in front of the Notary Public (in most states, exceptions apply) and ask him if he/she can notarized it with an Acknowledgment, or you can just say, “I signed this, please notarize it.”

What are the requirements for Acknowledgment wording or Acknowledgment verbiage?
All states require some sort of Acknowledgment verbiage. The requirements differ from state to state. Many states require certain components or facts to be covered in the wording while others might require exact state specific wording. It is best to ask an Attorney what wording is necessary in your case. Many Notaries do not carry pads of Acknowledgments with them (although they should) and it is up to you to make sure that notarial wording is either embedded in the document or attached on a loose certificate that is stapled to the document.

Who can perform a Notary Acknowledgment?
As a general rule, a Judge, Notary, Justice of the Peace, and perhaps a few other legal professions may execute Acknowledgments. When in doubt, ask an Attorney for a state specific answer.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
When I studied to be a Notary Public, my teacher said you Acknowledge a signature, Execute a Jurat and Administer an Oath. This is not true. The Notary is not the one who acknowledges signatures. The SIGNER acknowledges the signature and then the Notary CERTIFIES that the signer acknowledged the signature by virtue of filling out an Acknowledgment Certificate. Here are some basics on Acknowledgments.

1. The signer acknowledges having signed the particular document.

2. The signer must physically personally appear before the Notary for such an act.

3. The signer does NOT have to sign before the Notary according to most if not all states such as AK, IA, SC, SD, VT, and WV. Lenders might require the borrower to sign in the presence of the Notary, but that is a particular Lender’s standard and not necessarily a state standard or even a best practice.

4. The Notary must positively identify the signer using identification documents acceptable to their state which normally include Drivers Licenses, State issued identification photo ID’s, Passports, and Military ID’s. Other ID might be accepted on a state by state basis. You can look that up in your handbook. Also, see our section on identification.

5. The Notary should ideally keep a journal entry of all Notarial acts even if their state does not require this.

6. There should be Acknowledgment wording appropriate or acceptable to your state inscribed within the document, or you can attach a loose acknowledgment form with a staple.

7. After you fill out the certificate form, you sign and stamp the page (some states allow you to write in your seal information without a stamp.) Make sure your stamp is clear and not smudgy otherwise the county recorder has the right to reject the Notarization.

8. Note — some states require the Notary to ask the signer to attest to the fact that they signed the document in their own free will. Please be aware if your state has any unusual requirements or special wording on forms.

9. A California Notary faces many restrictions as to what type of out of state forms they can use. Please check the California Notary Handbook to see what you can accept and what you can’t otherwise you could get in trouble particularly if it is a recorded document.

10. There is an optional and additional information section in Acknowledgments which helps identify the document that the certificate corresponds to. This includes the document name, document date, number of pages, and other pertinent information.

Resources

Basic Notary Acts — Acknowledgments
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Acknowledgment vs. Acknowledgement
http://grammarist.com/spelling/acknowledgment-acknowledgement/

Legal definition of Acknowledgment (does not necessarily apply to notary profession)
https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/acknowledgment

Can you send a loose Acknowledgment?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16168

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December 6, 2018

Jurat – Definition

A Jurat is a Notary act where the signer or affiant must sign and swear (or affirm), both in the presence of the Notary Public. The signer gets to choose whether they wish to swear under God under Oath or affirm on their honor — both acts are done under the penalty of perjury.

Jurats are the second most common Notary act next to Acknowledgments.

There is no prescribed Oath verbiage, however, the word swear should be used, and there should be a reference to the truthfulness of the document. The Notary could have the affiant raise their right hand and ask, “Do you solemnly swear under God and under the penalty of perjury that this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge?”

A Jurat also requires a Jurat certificate. And the certificate must confirm to state specific rules and have state specific verbiage. Verbiage differs from state to state, but the language, “Subscribed and sworn to before me by (name) on (date)” is common.

Related Links

Jurat wording step by step
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7875

What is a Jurat?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6937

Notary verbiage for Jurats
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2088

Notary Public Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20075

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Keywords
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Jurat and Oath
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California jurat sample
Can one jurat cover multiple documents?
Can a jurat be attached to a grant deed?
Do you need a thumbprint on a jurat?
Does signer need to sign a jurat?
Fixing error on a notary jurat
Example of jurat

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October 5, 2018

Index of posts about Notary Acts

Here is my index of posts about various Notary acts including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, and more.

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GENERALLY BEST ARTICLES

Notary Public 101 — Basic Notary Acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Oaths — how notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

Airline meals versus Oaths & Affirmations (very interesting and informative)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1793

Notary Public 101 — quick review pointers (includes notary act info)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19679

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AFFIRMATIONS & OATHS

Affirmations — pleasing politically correct people while offending everyone else
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19606

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

Oaths and the art of improvisation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19367

Notary perjury and Oaths
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6917

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Notary Acknowledgment Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18858

Notary loses $4000 because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

California Acknowledgment Wording explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8459

Optional information on Acknowledgment Certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4407

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OTHER

Interesting and uncommon Notary acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=483

Information about various notary procedures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2268

Which Notary act does not require the personal appearance of the signer?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19668

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September 24, 2018

Who does what in an Acknowledgment?

Notary Acknowledgments

What baffles me is that virtually none of our Notaries on our site can adequately describe any Notary act without Carmen or myself teaching them one by one. I cannot teach everyone by hand and I do not get paid for that either. So, here is my dissertation on how Acknowledgment procedure is typically misinterpreted by Notaries which can lead to legal issues.

QUESTION — What is an Acknowledgment?

WRONG ANSWERS
1. The signer verifies that the document is correct
2. The Notary verifies that the document is correct
3. The Notary must witness the document being signed (only a few states require this)
4. The Notary acknowledges that the signer signed
5. “You” acknowledge the signature — who is “you?” Is it the Notary or the signer? Ambiguous and therefore not correct.
6. The signer must swear to the truthfulness of th document. (you must be thinking of a Jurat.

NOTE
Some states such as Massachusetts have laws regarding signing under duress and require the signer to state, claim or swear (not sure which) that they signed a notarized document on their own free will. I do not know state Notary laws and you have to be responsible for knowing the laws of the state(s) you are commissioned in. Please do not confuse swearing that you signed a document on your own free will with swearing to the truthfulness of the document, because one of those two Oaths does not constitute or substitute the other as they are two separate and unique practices.

RIGHT ANSWER
An Acknowledgment is a Notary act where a signer appears before a Notary Public, and acknowledges (sometimes nonverbally which is convoluted but true) that they signed a particular instrument (document) by virtue of the fact that they say, “please notarize this.” The Notary then identifies the signer normally by virtue of a current government photo ID, credible witnesses, or sometimes personal knowledge. The Notary does NOT verify if the document is correct. The Notary checks to make sure the signature on the document matches the signature in the ID and Notary journal. All three should match. The Notary then certifies that the signer appear before him/her, was positively identified, and that the signer Acknowledged signing the document. The Notary does not acknowledge or verify anything other than the fact that the signature matches their ID and the Notary journal (common misconception). The verb for the action of the Notary could be construed as “certifying” by virtue of the fact that the Notary’s job is to fill out an Acknowledgment “certificate” form for the Notary act.

1. The signer APPEARS before the Notary.
2. The signer ACKNOWLEDGES having signed a document (past tense, does not have to sign before the Notary.)
3. The Notary checks the signer’s IDENTIFICATION, or uses credible witnesses, or personal knowledge depending on state laws where you are.
4. The Notary has the signer sign a JOURNAL ENTRY. Not all states require a journal but you should keep on for legal reasons.
5. The Notary COMPARES the signature on the document, journal and ID for consistency.
6. The Notary fills out an Acknowledgment Certificate certifying that:
(a) The signer personally appeared
(b) Was proven to be the person named in the document
(c) The signer acknowledged having signed the document.

Once again, the signer does not verify the document is true. The signer does not verify signing the document, they ACKNOWLEDGE having signed the document. The document (in most states) can be signed prior to appearing before the Notary. The Notary does not verify the document is true.

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You might also like:

The new acknowledgment form for transgender people
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19658

Notary Acknowledgment Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18858

Notary Public 101’s guide to Notary Acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

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September 9, 2018

Index of posts about Notary Certificates

Here is a quick index of our posts about notary certificates. I hope it is useful. They are in order of how useful the posts are rather than chronological order.

Notary Public 101 — certificates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19502

10 tight points on loose certificates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15449

Do you notarize loose certificates as a Notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10372

What is a venue in a Notary certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8454

What forms should a Notary keep in his/her bag?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20011

Optional information in acknowledgment certificates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4407

Sending loose certificates in the mail is illegal.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

Notary Certificate Wording section by section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18915

Signing Agent Best Practices 63 Points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

Notary Certificates, Wording & Notary Verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1834

Make your own Notary certificate forms.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1759

Notary Acknowledgment Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18858

Can you send a loose acknowledgment, you should hear the answers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16168

Marcy Attaches a certificate (educational comedy)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14447

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August 30, 2018

Notary Public Information


Notary Public


If you would like general information about the Notary world, read this! There are many things to know about the Notary world from how to become a Notary, how to find one, and the particular types of jobs and Notary acts Notaries do (or commit.) We will try to elaborate on all of this information below.

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Become a Notary Public

To become a Notary Public requires contacting your state’s Notary division. Most states have rules for who can become a Notary.

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No felons allowed!
You generally have to be free of felony convictions or of convictions of crimes that involve moral turpitude such as fraud.

Residency requirements
You should be a legal resident of the state you want to be commissioned in as a general rule, although some states allow residents of neighboring states who work in state.

No citizenship requirements
You generally do not need to be a US citizen, although you should be able to read, write and speak English well.

You need to be 18 or older in most if not all states.

State Notary Divisions Contact Info
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1941

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What do Notaries do?
Notaries can perform a short variety of Notarial acts which can differ from state to state. These acts include performing Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Proofs, and some states allow Copy Certification of Powers of Attorneys or other documents, Witnessing, Safety Deposit Openings, Protests for non-payment of bills and more. Let’s focus on understanding the more universal acts first.

Acknowledgments — A Notary Public may notarize an Acknowledged signature which is a signature that a signer acknowledged signing. This involves the signer presenting a signed document to the notary, signing the Notary’s journal, and presenting current government issued photo ID to the Notary. The rules may differ from state to state, but this is a general description. Read more…

Jurats — A Notary Public may execute a Jurat which would involve the signer or Affiant (one who swears under Oath or signs an Affidavit) to sign and swear to the document in the presence of the Notary Public. Read more…

Oaths — Notaries can administer (supervise) Oaths as well. Oaths are by definition part of the Jurat procedure for Oaths on documents. But, Oaths can also be done for remote court attendance for Florida Courts by Notaries and Oaths on oral statements. Read more…

Affirmations — Affirmations are similar to Oaths. Affirmations are also formal statements made under the legal penalty of perjury, but do not use the traditional verb “swear” or the term “under God.” In an Affirmation you affirm on your honor rather than to a higher power. Read more…

Proofs of Execution — Proofs are an unusual Notary act that cannot generally be done for important documents. But, the signer can sign in front of a subscribing witness (a person who sees them sign) and then the witness can appear before the Notary and have the Notary fill out a certificate indicating the same. Read more..

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Notary FAQ

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Q. How long is a Notary term?
A. The term for Notary Public is generally from 3 to 10 years and is up to the state. Louisiana commissions Notaries for life.

How long is a Notary term? — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4606

Q. What is a Notary’s jurisdiction?
A. Normally, a Notary can notarize in any county of the state(s) they are commissioned in. Louisiana commissions either statewide or to their home parishes plus reciprocal parishes. There are a few exceptions nationally to this rule, and military Notaries have a very different type of jurisdiction that you can look up.

Q. Can a Notary get in trouble?
A. Notaries who break the law, make errors filling out forms, or don’t keep a journal can get in big trouble with the law, and even be treated like a suspect in identity fraud if they don’t leave a good paper trail. Notaries who cause damages to parties by upholding the law can get in trouble too if they don’t clearly explain the reason why they cannot offer services.

Q. What do I need to be notarized?
A. As a general rule, a current government issued Photo-ID, and a statement or document to be notarized is all you need.

Q. How much does a Notary cost?
A. Notary fees are set by the states and Notaries can run anywhere from 25 cents to $15. You can look up Notary fees on state notary division websites. I believe that all states except North Carolina keep their information open to the public.

How much can a notary charge — http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=how-much-can-a-notary-charge

Q. How much does a Mobile Notary cost?
A. Some states have rules for how much a person can charge for travel fee. But, generally rates run from $25 to $60 for mobile fees plus the cost of the actual notarization.

Q. Can a notary notarize in a jail?
A. Yes, but you need to make sure the inmate can be identified in a way acceptable to the state where he/she is incarcerated.

Jail Notary Jobs from A to Z — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=151

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Additional Helpful Links

Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

How to become a successful Mobile Notary from scratch
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13340

Signing Agent Best Practices: 63 Points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

Notary Vocbulary in our Glossary
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/

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January 25, 2018

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?

Most of our Notaries either don’t give Oaths or can’t give one without their cheat sheet. Some states have prescribed wording while others do not. The main thing when giving an Oath is to have them raise their right hand and swear to the truthfulness of a statement or a document.

If you don’t practice giving Oaths how will you know how to if you are put on the spot? You can experiment at home inventing Oath lyrics.

Do you solemnly swear you are a cyclops?
Do you swear you are crazy?
Do you swear that New York has bad traffic?

What I don’t understand is why it is so hard for Notaries to put together Jurat Oath verbiage from the top of their head. You need to say swear and refer to a document. Easy!

Another thing I don’t get is that I asked one guy to administer an Oath TO ME and he kept saying what he would tell THEM. I said, leave THEM out of it and just ask an Oath question to me so I can say I do, or I don’t. He kept telling me what he would tell them rather than following instructions and asking me an Oath question.

Oaths begin normally either with the phrase, “repeat after me,” or an Oath question. It is faster to ask an Oath question. Make it easy so they just say yes.

If your state has recommended wording, then memorize it. But, if you memorize an Oath without understanding the logic of what context it is used in, then it will not be very useful. You will probably use it at the wrong time.

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You might also like:

Airline meals verses Notary Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

Oaths – How Notaries completely screw them up!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

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January 11, 2018

Which Notary act does not require personal appearance of the signer?

Filed under: Notary Acts & Certificates — admin @ 12:03 pm

Most Notaries do not know their Notary acts. They cannot even name them. There is one particular notary act which is allowed in most states which does not require personal appearance of the signer.

This is a proof of execution. The proof of execution allows the signer (the principal) to sign when a subscribing witness is watching them sign. Then the subscribing witness appears before a Notary, and swears upon Oath that the principal signed the document in their presence.

This act is used when a signer is busy or not able to appear before a Notary Public. Additionally, this act is used on less than one notarization in a thousand in my estimate and most Notaries don’t even know that it exists let alone how to perform it.

Not for use on deeds. Just wanted you guys to know what this is just for your knowledge base.

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You might also like:

Notary Public 101 – Basic Notary Acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

The pros and cons of eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3672

How do you get a Power of Attorney Document
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20785

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December 26, 2017

Affirmations – Pleasing the politically correct while offending the traditional people

The politically correct movement has become so strong. We have lost our freedom of speech and are controlled in so many ways that it is upsetting. However, it applies to the Notary world too. Those who don’t believe in God or don’t want to mention God have been so adamant that Notaries had to change how they did their job in terms of Oaths and Affirmations.

What was supposed to happen was that those who did not want to swear, could choose a different yet legally equal notary act called an Affirmation to replace the Oath. However, most Notaries do not understand the rules and principles of Oaths vs. Affirmations. What many Notaries do is administer an Oath with affirmation wording which is as stupid as doing and Acknowledgment with Jurat wording or going to a urinal in a female bathroom. It doesn’t work that way.

Oaths are Oaths and Affirmations are Affirmations. They are interchangeable but you cannot mix the verbiage from one to another.If you do an Oath you swear whether that offends people or not. If you do an Affirmation you affirm or state whether that offends people or not. But, you cannot affirm during an Oath to spare people the offense. And by the way, affirming during an Oath offends me because it is wrong.

It is the customer’s choice if they want an Oath or Affirmation. As long as your state recognizes it, it is up to the client.

Many Notaries say, “I don’t do Oaths, I only do Affirmations.” That is not your choice. You have to offer all Notary procedures that your state says are on the list. It is up to the customer to choose any type of notarization your state recognizes.

So, get it straight people because I test on this stuff and I take it very seriously. In fact I’m writing a few other articles on the topic that clarify the matter.

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You might also like:

Airline meals vs. Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Should you give book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

Oaths – how Notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

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