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October 7, 2011

Notary Acknowledgment Information

Notary Acknowledgment Information 

The most common notarial act is an Acknowledgment.  Other common notary acts include Jurats, Oaths, and Copy Certification of documents.  Notary law and current notary wording vary from state to state, but certain laws are fairly standard. 
The signer of an acknowledged signature may sign the document BEFORE seeing the notary. The point of having a notary acknowledgment is to prove that you acknowledge signing a particular document, and for the notary to positively identify you. 
Current Acknowledgment wording varies from state to state
Although the wording can vary, the basics include: (1) A venue that should indicate the state and the county where the notarization took place. (2) That the signer APPEARED BEFORE the notary public.  You can not have an acknowledgment unless the signer appears before the notary.  The only notary act that allows the signer not to appear before a notary is a proof of execution, and few notaries have ever completed that act.   (3) The date when the signer acknowledged the signature before the notary should be included in the verbiage. The signer could sign the document five years previous to seeing the notary, but the date the signer appeared before the notary is the date that the signature was acknowledged.  Incidentally, you could have the same signature on the same document acknowledged twice on different dates. (4) There should be wording to indicate that the signer acknowledged signing the document.  Basically, the act of coming to a notary to have an acknowledgment is considered a non-verbal acknowledgment that you signed the document. The document is refered to as an “instrument” in many states. It is also noted that the signer’s name is subscribed within the instrument meaning that the name is written in part of the document. The notary should check the signature on your identification to see if it matches too.  (5) The name of the signer and the notary must be documented in the verbiage. (6) There should be some documentation stating that the signer’s identification was proven.  Sometimes the wording, “Positively identified” is used.  The term “Satisfactory evidence” is often used to refer to a number of ways that a signer could be identified.
(7) The signature of the notary is commonly documented as the “seal” of the notary. This is not to be confused with the physical inked seal which is also a seal (confusing).   (8) Additionally, there should be a place for the notary to affix their official notary seal (stamp).  Some notaries use an embosser which is a type of seal that looks like a clamp and that can leave a raised impression in the paper with or without ink.
Acknowledgment wording should include:
(1) Venue
(2) Appeared before
(3) The date (i.e. 08-04, 2012)
(4) That the signer acknowledges signing the instrument that their name is subscribed to within
(5) Name of the signer and the notary.
(6) Proof of identity of the signer
(7) Signature (seal) of the notary
(8) A place for the notary to affix their official notary seal.
Sample Wording from California
State of California
County of Los Angeles
On 5-15-2011 before me, John Doe, notary public, personally appear Joe Barber who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and who acknowledged to me that he executed the same in his authorized capacity and by his signature(s) on the instrument the person, or entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
I certify under PENALTY of PERJURY under the laws of the state of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.
WITNESS my hand and official seal
——————————————                                        (affix stamp here)
       (Signature of Notary)
See some other pages with information about acknowledgments

Interesting and uncommon notary acts

Florida Acknowledgment Information

California Acknowledgment Information

Michigan Acknowledgment Information


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