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July 6, 2013

Notary Verbiage varies from state to state

Filed under: Notary Acts & Certificates — admin @ 9:00 am

Notary verbiage varies from state to state. We have a lot of information about this if you visit the Find a Notary page on 123notary.com, or the state specific pages of our blog.

Basically, each state has various notary acts that they allow. Each notary act has standardized “boiler-plate” notary wording or notary verbiage for each act.

For example, California notary acknowledgment forms have a standardized notary verbiage that they follow. Notaries can buy a pad of acknowledgment forms and attach them to documents that they are notarizing.

Sometimes notaries are given out of state notary verbiage and expected to perform a notary act when the notary wording is not the same as their state’s. What should they do? Most states allow out of state notary wording PROVIDING that the wording is not substantially different from their state’s notary verbiage.

Jurats in each state have particular Jurat notary verbiage or Jurat verbiage as well. The Jurat wording can vary from state to state.

Notary verbiage for Oaths is typically left to the notary which is a mistake, considering that notaries receive no thorough training on administering formal Oaths.

Find a great notary on 123notary.com that can perform any type of notary act allowed in their state. They will know the notary verbiage or notary wording for their state as well!

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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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April 23, 2012

Sending loose certificates is illegal

Sending loose certificates is illegal! 

People who work at Title companies are notorious for breaking the law in so many ways.  Here are some common types of fraud that happen at Title companies daily:
(1) Many will deliberately and shamelessly forge initials when the borrower forgets to initial.  I’m not sure how bad of a crime this is, but I recommend against any type of forgery — no matter what! 
(2) Most will unstaple documents that have been stapled which makes the completed certificate which is attached (a legal requirement), no longer attached (illegal) and hence a loose certificate (gulp). I have had multiple Title companies complain to me that they didn’t like the industrial staples I used since they were so hard to unstaple.  They don’t have a legal right to unstaple those notarized documents because the certificate must stay attached.  Part of the problem with unattaching certificates, is that they could get reattached to some OTHER document creating confusion, havoc, and hence having a document notarized without having it presented to a notary public and going through the procedure and journal entry.
(3) Many will ask a notary to send them a loose certificate if a document needs to be notarized again for some reason. Sometimes the seal was smudgy, or perhaps they needed to replace the document and get a new certificate for the new document with a new date.  If you are a “loose notary” who has a loose interpretation of notary law in your state, you might be breaking the law!
 
It all starts out with a pad of loose certificates!
You start out with our pad of loose acknowledgment certificates and jurat certificates.  Any serious notary will have this type of pad on hand as if their life depends on it.  Sure, the certificates are loose now, but that is okay, since they haven’t been filled out or stamped yet!  When you notarize a signature(s) on a document(s), you have the signer(s) signer the instrument, and then you have them sign your official journal of notarial acts.  Then, you fill out the certificate wording embedded in the document, or if that boiler plate wording isn’t there, you can add a certificate form which has the identical, or hopefully very similar boiler plate wording.  You fill out the form, cross you s’s, and dot your t’s, etc.  The minute you sign the certificate, and affix your official notary seal, then you may NOT let that certificate out of your site until it is ATTACHED to the corresponding document. It is illegal to unattach a certificate from a document, and very unkosher to unattach the staple for a notarized multipage document. What are your intentions?  Are you going to swap pages after the fact?  I can smell fraud a mile away!
 
What should you the notary do when asked to send a loose certificate?
It’s easy.  Someone at a Title company says they need a new Jurat certificate for the Affidavit of Domicile you notarized for them a week ago otherwise their loan won’t go through (pressure technique).  They want you to mail the loose certificate to them!  Tell them:
 
“No problem, just send me the document and the original certificate — I’ll shred the old certificate and add a new one… You can not have two certificates for the same document. The signer already signed the journal for this particular transaction and doesn’t need to sign it again for a certificate which is to be dated the same date they signed the journal.”
 
And they will say:

“Oh, come on, why does this have to be so difficult. That takes extra time and money.  Why can’t you just (break the law) and send us what we want (and risk your commission and risk being sent to jail or being fined perhaps more than $1000) for our convenience?”
 
And then you should say:

“If you need notaries to routinely break the law for your pleasure, you should ask your notaries some prescreening questions.  Ask them if they are willing to break the law on a whim (your whim) and risk their commission and perhaps some jail time for your convenience. Ask them if they mind risking going to jail to save you from having to wait an additional 24 hours for a loose certificate… if they say ‘sure’, then they are the notary for you!”
 
My concluding advice
Don’t break the law for these rascals. They are not worth it.  You probably won’t get in trouble, but as a notary public, your position in society is to preserve integrity, and to safeguard transactions by making sure that the signer really signed the corresponding document in question.  If certificates get switched on documents due to fraud, or because you didn’t identify the document carefully enough on the certificate, then you are a liability to society and shoudn’t be a notary public. 
 
As a notary, you should be very sensitive to the fact that if you are notarizing multiple documents for a particular signer, those documents could get mixed up, and the signer could pull a fast one and reattach notary certificates from a document you really did notarize, to another similarly named document that you did not notarize. 
 
Multipage documents can be taken apart and pages switched.  Title companies ROUTINELY take apart documents as a matter of standard procedure, and if you don’t emboss every page of everything you notarize, it would be easy for someone to replace page 5 with another similar looking page 5.  Assume that people are dishonest and shady, so that you can protect the virtue and integrity of your work. Document everything to a tee, and don’t give in to pressure to do illegal notary acts even if it means losing a client. You don’t want that client anyway in the long run — trust me!

You might also like:

Signing agent best practices
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

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

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

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March 27, 2012

Notary Boiler Plate Wording

Notary Boiler-Plate Wording
 
Notary wording and notary verbiage differs from state to state.  Ohio might have one type of official notary boiler-plate wording on acknowledgment certificates while California notary wording or Florida notary wording might be completely different. 
 
If you are a notary…
To find out what official notary verbiage is in your state for particular notary acts, you should ideally have acknowledgment certificate pads, as well as jurat certificate pads.
 
If you are not a notary, but need to have a document notarized…
The official notary wording from your state MIGHT be embedded in the signature section of the document already.  If not, an experienced notary in your state MIGHT (should) have official pads for common notary acts with the notary verbiage on it.
 
Is it important to have the right boiler plate wording?
Some states require exact wording, while most states require certain key pieces of information to be included in the wording.  The important facts generally are the date of the signing, the name of the notary, the name of the signer, the fact that the signer acknowledges signing the document, the fact the the signer appeared before the notary and proved his/her identity, the signature of the notary (also confusingly called a seal), and the official seal of the notary (stamp).
 
How to fill out notary certificate wording?
Leave this to the notary.  Any notary is supposed to know how to fill out the certificate wording. If you are a single man signing a document and the notary verbiage says he/her/their, then the notary is supposed to know to cross out the her and their, although many are so uneducated that they don’t cross out anything. 
 
Notary personally known wording
Many states no longer allow a notary to use personal knowledge of a signer to identify them. However, if your state allows you to identify a signer based on the signer being personally known to you, then you can indicate that on the notary wording and in your journal (if your state requires a journal).
 
Resource materials
 
California Notary Wording / California Notary Verbiage
 
Colorado Notary Wording / Colorado Acknowledgment Wording
 
Florida Notary Wording / Florida Notary Verbiage
 
Illinois Notary Wording / Illinois Notary Verbiage
 
Michigan Notary Wording / Michigan Notary Verbiage
 
Texas Notary Wording / Texas Notary Verbiage

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March 1, 2012

Sample Affidavits & Sample Oaths

Notaries have to perform Oaths as part of their job.  But, many have no idea how to do this. If you are notarizing an Affidavit, you generally use a Jurat form, and you need an accompanying Oath. It is an infraction of notary law to omit the Oath, so don’t forget!
 
How do you word an Oath? 

Let’s say, that you have an Affidavit about some business arrangement in front of you.  You watch the signer sign the document in front of you as is required.  Then, it is Oath time… 
 
Oaths generally begin with:
“Please raise your right hand!”
“Do you solemnly swear…”  You could begin with, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
 
But, what is the purpose of the Oath about the Affidavit?  You need to have the signer swear that they understand the document, agree to the document, and will abide by the terms of the document which is usually some sort of contract.
 
When I was doing this job, my standard Oath verbiage was:
“Please raise your right hand… Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct, that you agree to it, and will abide by the terms in this document?”
 
The answer that I accept is a clear, “I do”.  I never accept grunts, or uhs, or ahs. People don’t always take Oaths seriously, but I do, or should I say, “I do!”.
 
If you are notarizing five affidavits for an individual, do one separate Oath for each notarized document or signature.
 
Good luck!

You might also like:

Notary Public Oath of Office Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2545

Notarized Affidavits Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1963

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January 31, 2012

What is Signature by X or by Mark?

What is a signature by X — What is a Signature by mark?
 
Please check your state notary rules to see what is allowed in your state.  Many states allow for people to sign by x, or sign by mark. This procedure is generally only for very frail and elderly people who are bedridden.  We have a number of posts about this topic, and we invite you to view these posts to learn about the details regarding how to get a notary for a bedridden signer, and what the procedure is.
 
Please see these posts for details:
 
Signature by X from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=203
 
Dragging the person’s arm – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=610
 
A tale of four notaries in hospitals – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463
 
Hospital notary jobs from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76
 
 
 
Please note that you need 2 subscribing witnesses for a signature by mark.  Also, the signer of the X needs to be able to sign the X without someone moving their arm for them which is sometimes a challenge.  This type of signing normally happens in a hospital room or nursing home where the signer is bedridden.

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December 19, 2011

2013 Notary Wording for Jurats and Acknowledgments

2012 & 2013 Notary Jurat Wording / 2012 & 2013 Notary Acknowledgment Wording
 
Notary verbiage and notary wording for Jurat and Acknowledgment certificates is different across state boundaries and also changes over time.  If you want to see current 2013 notary verbiage for notary certificates, we have information for various states.
 
Information about Notary verbiage for:
Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Texas  We will have information for more states in the future.
 
Please check your state’s notary division’s website for more information about notary verbiage on certificates if your state wasn’t mentioned on our list.

In the future, we might have Acknowledgment and Jurat information for:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

You might also like:

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

Notary Boiler Plate Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2432

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

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November 26, 2011

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage

Notary Certificates,  Notary Verbiage & Notary Wording

Notary terminology is sometimes confusing, so there are a few things to remember.  There are different types of common notarizations.  Acknowledgments and Jurats require certificate wording (notary wording), and Oaths and Affirmations could be purely verbal.  A Jurat requires that an Oath or Affirmation accompany the signing and certificate wording (notary wording, notary verbiage).  An Acknowledgment is purely paperwork in most cases, however, I have seen even an Acknowledged signature have an accompanying Oath.  80% of notarizations are Acknowledged signatures, while roughly 19% are Jurats, and the remaining 1% would be a mixture of other types of less common notary acts.
 
Acknowledged Signatures
The 2011 & 2012 notary certificate for an acknowledged signature includes a venue (documentation of county & state), the name of the notary, the name of the signer, the fact that the signer appeared before the notary and acknowledged signing a particular document.  The current notary verbiage on this form should include the date of the signing, and the signature and official seal of the notary as well.  The actual notary verbiage differs from state to state.  California notary verbiage is a bit different than Ohio notary verbiage.  Also, Ohio has different types of acknowledgments such as corporate acknowledgments and an attorney in fact acknowledgment.  You should ideally research your state’s notary verbiage to see what it is.  If you visit our find a notary page, there are links to states, and on the state pages, you can find a lot of information about acknowledgments and jurats in those states.  We have detailed information for Florida, Illinois, Michigan, California, Arizona, Ohio, and a few other states as well.
 
Jurat Signatures
The notary certificate for a jurat signature / oath has changed in many states. It is/was normal to have a venue, and then say, “Subscribed and sworn to before me (name of notary) by (name of signer) on (date).”  Then there would be a signature of the notary, and a place for the official notary seal.  Jurat verbiage also can differ from state to state so please look it up on google. 
 
Certificate forms.
Notary certificates can be notary wording / notary verbiage that is embedded on the last page of a document, or sometimes within a document if there are intermediary signatures.  If the notarial wording is NOT included, you must add a loose certificate and attach it to the document (by stapling). 
 
Filling out the forms.
Many notaries don’t understand how to fill out notary wording on certificate forms.  Let’s say a guy named Paul Solomon is the signer.  If the form says,
 
(note: this is not real Florida notary wording — I am making it up for educational purposes)
In real life, the Florida notary certificate is much simpler than this, but in other states there are cross outs that the notary needs to make. 
 
State of Florida
County of Brevard
On 8-11-2010 before me John Doe, notary public, the foregoing document was acknowledged before me by Paul Solomon, who acknowledges signing the document in his/her/their capacity(ies).
 
(notary seal)
 
In this example, it is the notary’s job to cross out the “her” and “their”, and the “ies” in capacities.  More than half of notarizations that I have seen were done by notaries who omitted to do the cross-outs.

You might also like:

What information is in the body of an acknowledgment (March Phoninar)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4390

Notary boiler plate wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2432

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November 24, 2011

How do I get an Apostille or Authentication?

Where do I get an Apostille?
Apostilles are usually obtainable from a State Notary Division or a Secretary of State’s Office.  Due to budget cuts, Secretary of State Offices are not always closeby, so it can be labor intensive to get to them.
 
What is an Apostille?
An Apostille CAN BE a document or certificate that is attached to a document notarized by a notary public, that is going to be sent OVERSEAS to a country that are NOT members of the HAGUE Convention. Or it can be an original document such as a Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate that contains the original seal from the state that it originated from.  In either case, the document is going to be sent overseas to places such as Mexico, Spain, Argentina, or India.
 
Some documents need to be authenticated before you can get an Apostille, while others don’t.
 
How do I get an Apostille?
You might consider contacting an EXPERIENCED notary who has been through the Apostille process many times.  There are many notaries who fit this description, but you need to know how to find them. Or, you could contact your state’s Secretary of State yourself, and drive to them, and go through this process (which is like pulling teeth) yourself.
 
Q. Can you recommend a few notaries who are experts in the Apostille Process?
A.  Yes, below there is list of notaries in various locations who know the process well.
 

San Diego, CA — Joe Ewing

 
Los Angeles, CA — Carmen Towles
 
San Francisco, CA — Glenn Turner


Sergio Musetti — Cotati, CA

 
New York City, NY — Linda Harrison
 

Oradell, NJ — Linda Harrison

 
What is an Authentication?
This certificate accompanies an Apostille.  The Authentication verifies the notary’s official seal and their signature on a notarized certificate section on a document.
 
When do I need an Authentication?
This is a tricky question.  Please contact your local County Clerk’s office, and they will give you a professional answer.

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November 22, 2011

Make your own notary certificate forms!

All the right words in all the right places
 
Many notaries call us and can’t find good notary forms.  We say, “You’ve been lookin’ for forms in all the wrong places, lookin for supplies in too many faces, searching the internet and looking for traces….”.  Honestly, we send many people to the NNA.  They make / sell excellent notary forms, supplies, journals, acknowledgment pads, jurat pads, bonds, etc.  But, what about the obvious alternative?  Forms are expensive, and acknowledgment pads and jurat pads are space consuming in your little notary bag, right?
 
Make your own
It’s not hard to typeset an acknowledgment form or Jurat form on your computer.  Just put your state notary verbiage or notary wording in the correct order, a venue, a place to sign and seal, or whatever your state requires.  You can photocopy this very cheaply at Kinko’s or wherever.  Make as many as you want.  Copying someone else’s copyrighted form is not legal, and not worth it.  You can’t copyright notary verbiage, and that works to your advantage!

There are other advantages in creating your own Acknowledgment Pads / Jurat Pads / Notary forms with your state notary verbiage too.
 
Branding?
If you create your own notary forms, and make them attractive, you can also put your notary company information and phone number at the bottom.  This is very smart branding.  Then, whenever anyone looks at how beautiful your notary forms are, they will think of you and call you too.  You could even put a company logo at the bottom of the form under the notary verbiage.   Times are tight these days, so you need every edge you can get, and this is not that much work to coordinate.
 
How much can you save?
Notary pads of professionally made forms can cost you $9 per notary pad more or less, plus tax and shipping.  It adds up.  If you buy in bulk, then you might get a slightly better price.  There are generally 100 certificates per pad.  How much would it cost to have 100 pieces of paper copied at a discount printing place?  If you did 500, you might be able to get away paying $10-15.  Or just print them out on your laserprinter, and print as many as you need, and when you need it.
 
Other forms?
I had a detailed permission to travel form for minors traveling with accompanying adults.  It was easier to do it with a form instead of writing it out for people each time. There is so much content that goes on that form.  BTW, in Florida, notaries should not offer to write documents.  The name of the child, who their parents are, who they are traveling with, when they were going, where they were going, and when they were coming back. I had signature lines for everyone and little places for thumbprints.  The feedback was that the security at the airport appreciated the thoroughness of the forms and my embosser’s impression.  Very professional!  They were probably used to handwritten confused looking letters and sick of it!
 
Designs?
If you have a good designer, you can add designs to the paperwork.  This is for full-time mobile notaries only.  It can get expensive using designers, but you will make a great impression if you have great stationary!  Think of your Jurat pad as a stack of resumes!

Tweets:
(1) You can purchase notary forms from the NNA, but if you make your own you can put your biz name & Phone #.
(2) If you make your own certificate forms, you can put your business name & phone number at the bottom!
(3) I used to make my own permission to travel for minors form with blanks for dates, names & thumbprints!

You might also like:

Everything you need to know about notary journals

Notary Acknowledgment Information

The signing from hell

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