I created a quiz question for written quizzes about Starbucks. It is a very interesting and caffeinated question. Here it is…
A Notary goes to a signing.
The Affiant asks for an Oath on a document that is an Affidavit that reads, “I love Starbucks.”
The Notary proceeds to attach a Jurat…
and made a statement that was, “Do you solemnly affirm that you are the one who signed this document and that your name is John Smith?”
What did the Notary do wrong?
1. Ask for ID?
Many Notaries feel the Notary should ask for ID. It is true that Notaries are responsible for identifying people. However, that is not central to this question and since the document, certificate, and journal entry have not been completed or stamped, that is irrelevant at this point. Unfortunately, Notaries tend to get sidetracked on irrelevant details that are not central to situations while missing very critical points that can get them in trouble. Talking about ID at this point would be going off on a tangent, especially if that is the only thing you mentioned — although in most states you probably would have to identify the signer.
2. Create a journal entry.
Yes, you should ideally create a journal entry. But, that too is not central to the question at hand.
3. The notary used Acknowledgment wording.
I have never heard of a state that makes you take an Oath while doing an Acknowledgment except perhaps that Massachusetts wants to make sure the signer signed on their own free will and makes them make some sort of statement confirming that fact.
4. Make sure the venue has the correct information.
This document has no venue, and Oaths in all states but Florida (not completely sure about this by the way) do not have certificates. Certificates have venues, but if you don’t have a certificate, you don’t have a venue. Oaths once again typically do not have certificates, and therefore do not have venues.
1. The Notary did three things wrong
(a) The Notary added a Jurat when he was asked for an Oath. Although Jurats have Oaths or Affirmations, Oaths do not have Jurats. Humans have diabetes, but diabetes does not have humans. So, please do not assume that an Oath has a Jurat. An Oath can be done as an independent notary act, and most Notaries don’t know this because they do not read up on Notary tutorials, nor do they ever do Oaths as independent acts. In fact, most Notaries do not do Oaths as part of Jurats either — they just skip over it and assume nobody will notice, or they think that filling out the subscribed and sworn written verbiage is the actual Oath (which is not true because Oaths are verbal by definition.) An Oath is a purely verbal act, however, in Jurats there is a written documentation that accompanies and documents the verbal act.
(b) The Notary gave an Affirmation when he was asked to administer an Oath which is bad for two reasons — one, because the notary did not do what he was asked and, two, because the notary CHOSE the Notary act on behalf of the signer which you are not allowed to do. Only the signer or client can choose the Notary act. So, what the Notary did looks like it is bad service, but also illegal.
(c) The statement the notary made was about the signature and the name of the affiant, but not about the content of the document. The Affiant asked for an Oath on their document, so therefore, the Oath should be made purely on the content of the document.
“Do you solemnly swear that this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge so help you God?” — would be okay.
“Do you solemnly swear that you love Starbucks? — is paraphrasing and is okay assuming you don’t butcher the statement in any way that detracts from the logic of the statement.
“Do you solemnly swear that you love Starbucks, so help you the Starbucks Goddess.” — if you are politically correct and have multiple choice for what divine entity you want to swear to, you might be able to get away with this one. Read your state notary handbook and see if they allow swearing to the Starbucks Goddess, or as I call her — The Goddess of Caffeine.
“Please raise your right espresso…” (fill in the rest according to your imagination.)
You might also like:
Notary Starbucks – charging for waiting time while sipping Sumatra
The Starbucks Signing in the 30 point course
Airplane meals versus Notary Oaths & Affirmations