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April 3, 2018

Using the correct Notarial Certificate for an Apostille:

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:17 am

At our office in Downtown Los Angeles — A1 Live Scan & Notary Services – we get to correctly renotarize many notarized documents that the SOS rejects doing an Apostille because the wrong notarial certificate was used by a Notary.

Let’s first start with what is an Apostille?
An Apostille authenticates the Notary Public as a valid and licensed Notary to a foreign government or agency. The foreign entity relies on the SOS to make sure that the document being sent to them was in fact notarized by a currently licensed notary in good standing.

Next the question is what type of Notarial Certificate do you attach to a document being taken to the SOS for an Apostille?

First and foremost, ask the singer and explain the differences between the 3 commonly used certificates – All Purpose Acknowledgment, Jurat and Copy Certification by Document Custodian.

If the signer is not sure, go over the preprinted language on the document with the signer if there is notarial wording. In most cases even if there is notarial wording, it would not comply with California Notary Laws. So then look at the existing language and if it has “affirmations”, “oaths” or “swearing as to the truth of the contents”, use a Jurat.

If the language does not have an Oath but merely says the person appeared in front of you and acknowledged signing the document, then use a California All-Purpose Acknowledgment.

The third type of Notarization for an Apostille is when a signer brings a document such as College transcripts, Degree Certificates, Passport copy, letters from third parties. These documents are already signed by the issuer and there is no notarial wording. In this case, you use a certificate called, “Copy Certification by Document Custodian” to notarize the document by the person who brings it to you even if it is not that person’s document. Hence the name “…by Document Custodian”.

Hope this clarifies the confusion surrounding certificates used for an Apostille.

You might also like:

Apostille – general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21419

Index of posts about Notary acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20280

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November 13, 2016

Notary Verbiage & Notary Wording

Notary verbiage is a fancy way of saying Notary wording. Notary verbiage is legally required on all notarizations that are in writing. Oaths and Affirmations might not contain any written proof of the transaction other than in the Notary journal. The Notary form where the Notary wording is documented or written is called a Notary Certificate. A Notary Certificate would be a separate piece of paper where official state Notary wording is written or it could be the official notary wording embedded at the end of a legal document after the signature section.

Notary verbiage varies from state to state
You need to make sure that the Notary wording you are using is prescribed for your state. Each state has different wording, and you can look up that wording on Google by using terms such as, “New Jersey Acknowledgment Verbiage.” You need to specify which type of Notary act you want to know the wording for. Acknowledgments and Jurats are the two most common forms of Notary acts, although some states allow for certified copies of powers of attorney and other specialized notary acts.

Out of State Notary wording causes confusion
If you are a California Notary Public notarizing a deed with Florida Notary wording, you are allowed to Notarize the document. Notary wording on out of state documents might be a little different than what your state’s official Notary verbiage is. But, so long as it is not substantially different it is allowed. That means that so long as there are no differences in meaning behind the words in the Notary verbiage then it is okay. Most Acknowledgment sections claim that the signer appeared before the Notary on a particular date and acknowledged that they in fact signed the instrument (document).

International Wording
Out of state notary wording has never caused a problem in my personal Notary career of eight years. However, international requirements can cause a huge nightmare. It is common for overseas document custodians (the entity who will record or hold on to the document after it is notarized) to have requirements which are not only “not done” in the United States, but could be illegal. It is common for Chinese organizations to want an American Notary to put a stamp on a blank piece of paper with no Notarial wording which is completely illegal. In such a case, you have to explain to the signer that you are required by law to staple a notary certificate to the document being Notarized, fill it out completely, and then stamp it to complete the Notarization. Most states also require the signer to be identified and sign a journal.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT CERTIFICATE WORDING FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

(1) The Venue

Q. What is a Venue?
A. The venue comes at the top of a Notary certificate and documents the state and states the county.

State of California
County of Los Angeles

Certificate verbiage will contain a venue which is a section at the top of the notary certificate which includes the state and county where the notarization took place, and a signature section at the bottom which is where you put your signature and Notary seal impression. It is possible that a preprinted venue will have the wrong state which is a problem. If there is wrong information in the venue, you either have to do a cross out, or start with a brand new form. Most venues pre-print the state, but leave a blank where the county is to be inscribed. A prudent Notary will make sure all forms get filled out correctly with no cross outs as that is very unprofessional, especially on documents such as Deeds or Power of Attorney which are likely to be recorded by the county or some other organization.

(2) The body of an Acknowledgment.
Below the venue, the acknowledgment certificate will state that on such a date, a particular person or several named people personally appeared before a Notary Public and acknowledge that they signed the corresponding document. The wording will also include the fact that the signer was positively identified or perhaps known to the notary (some states allow for personal knowledge of a signer at a notarization.)

(3) The bottom of an Acknowledgment
Locus Sigilli is a lovely Latin term means the location of the stamp. At the bottom of the Notary certificate form is where the signature of the Notary goes and also where the stamp goes. Most Notaries use an inked Notary Seal while others use a non-inked Notary embosser in addition to prove authenticity of the notarization as it is possible to emboss all of the pages of the document to prove that pages were not swapped after the fact.

(4) Examples

Example of a Florida Acknowledgment Certificate

STATE OF FLORIDA

COUNTY OF BROWARD

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this ___________ (date), by __________ (name), who is personally known to me or who has produced _____________ (type of identification) as identification.

______________________________

Notary Public

Printed Name:__________________

My Commission Expires:

____________________

Commission #_________

California Acknowledgment Wording

State of California
County of Los Angeles

On 7-21-2016 before me , Joe Smith Notary Public, personally appeared Sam Sarno
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 acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument
the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) 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 _______________
Description of Attached Document
Title or Type of Document: _______ Number of Pages: ________
Document Date: _____ Other: _____________

Crossing out verbiage is required
On an Acknowledgment form, the boiler plate wording in the middle of the form requires cross-outs. Normally on legal forms you don’t want to cross out anything, but these cross-outs establish whether you are dealing with an individual signer, a male, female, group, etc.
If you look at the California Acknowledgment wording above, you will notice the term “Person(s)”. If it is a single person, then cross out the (s). The term name(s) — if there is only one name then cross out the (s). If you are doing a name affidavit, you might have a single person and six or seven names in which case do not cross out the (s). Then there is the he/she/they wording which can be complicated if you are notarizing someone of ambiguous gender or for Siamese twins.

Jurat Wording
Jurat wording is substantially different from Acknowledgment wording in that the Jurat requires the signer to sign in the presence of a Notary and swear under Oath as to the truthfulness of the document. Many states have a simplistic wording that just says,

“Subscribed and sworn to before me this __________ date of ______, (enter year) _______. ”

Other states have more elaborate wording, but the basic facts documented are the same.

Certified Copy by Document Custodian
This is a type of Jurat that is used only from time to time. Many individuals want to make a copy of a document and then have a Notary “certify” that the copy is correct. Most states don’t allow a Notary to certify this information. However, a Notary could make the photocopy him/her-self and write a note claiming that they attest to the fact that the photocopy is a true and complete copy of the original. However, the offficial Notary act that takes place is a Jurat where the signer swears under Oath that the copy is genuine. I completed many such Notary acts for college transcripts especially for foreign clients.

Read More about Notary Wording

http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=notary-wording

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

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

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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October 17, 2013

Jurat Wording Step by Step

Jurat Wording

Wording for Jurat Notarizations can vary from state to state. The main thing to understand in Jurat wording is that it must state that the signer appeared before the notary, signed the document before the notary, and swore under oath before the notary.

Additionally, Jurat wording or Jurat verbiage will indicate the date of the notarial act or transaction as well as a venue which constitutes the state and county where the notarial act took place!

You can typically use out of state Jurat verbiage so long as the wording is not substantially different from the Jurat wording in your state. Check with your state’s notary law handbook to verify this point.

A Jurat form could have room for a hand written statement which the signer swears to under Oath. Or, you can attach a Jurat certificate to a document which is being notarized and stamp the certificate instead of the actual document.

Signers are typically asked to raise their right hand and swear under oath during a Jurat notarization. The notary will ask an Oath question using his/her/its own choice of wording. The signer is asked to give a clear oral affirmation to that question. Most Notaries are not well practiced in the art of administering Oaths and it is recommended that they practice giving Oaths before going out in the real world notarizing for people.

Jurats are the 2nd most common type of Notary act, Acknowledgments being the 1st most common.

You might also like:

Jurat definition and a string of other Jurat related posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=jurat

Notarizing Children
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6947

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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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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:

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

Notary Public 101 – a free notary course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Notary Verbiage & Notary Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18854

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December 30, 2019

Notary Jive Turkey

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:03 pm

A Notary gets assigned to sign a document written in Jive. But, let’s remember the movie Airplane.

I was in the supermarket and the fish market clerk and I were calling each other jive turkeys. The next thing we knew (coincidence?) the actor (now really old but still handsome) waltzed in and the fish market guy knew that this particular guy was the star in Airplane who spoke Jive and needed a translator to talk to the stewardess.

SIGNER: Hey man? Can you notarize this document my brother?

NOTARY: Hmmm, it seems to be written in Jive. I don’t speak Jive.

SIGNER: You jiving me man. It don’t matter if you jive or if you don’t jive just as long as the notarization feels right and will cut it with the recording office — you dig?

NOTARY: I dig. And one more thing. You ain’t nothin’ but a jive turkey!

SIGNER: Hey man… Ken is the one who likes turkeys, not me. I might talk some jive, but I ain’t no turkey my man.

NOTARY: All…. right… Outa sight! But, I will have to fill out the notarial wording also in jive my brother.

SIGNER: I’m afraid that that will not do… you see, certificates must be written in the language of the state. La langue d’etat for those of us who speak French — the language of love.

NOTARY: That’s French? You jiving me.

SIGNER: Au contraire, mon frere. That’s the real deal homie, over there. And you can believe that as a verified fact. Hot dog — and where!

NOTARY: Okay, you win. I will fill out the certificate in English, cause I ain’t no jive turkey! Hell no. If the certificate is filled, you must… be thrilled.

SIGNER: Amen to that brother. Now sign and weep so I can get my derriere out this place… you dig?

NOTARY: Hallelujah. There you go. One notarized document that jives with everyone.

SIGNER: I heard that. See you soon Notarial jive turkey!

NOTARY: Gobble gobble — ha.. haaaaaaa! Can’t wait until Thanksgiving when I will be the guest of honor.

You might also like:

Good Times – a trip to burger king with JJ
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22556

Kenny Rogers’ Notary Song
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22582

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November 5, 2019

How do I find a Hindi speaking Notary?

Filed under: Public Interest — Tags: — admin @ 8:38 pm

Where can I find a Notary who speaks Hindi?
Look no further. 123notary.com has many Hindi speaking Notaries on board. Just look up a Notary by zip code and then use the language filter at the top right of the site. You can enter in the name of any language such as Spanish, Japanese, Vietnamese, American Sign Language, or more! In fact, we have Hindi speaking Notaries in almost all states and metros by the dozen! Additionally, we have a search filter directly above the search results where you can check the Hindi box and find only Hindi speaking Notary service providers.

How good is their Hindi language proficiency?
On 123notary.com, we have many Notaries who speak Hindi. The degree of fluency varies from Notary to Notary as some are conversational while others are native speakers. A handful are from Hindi speaking families who grew up in America and might be excellent at conversation but not as proficient at business oriented communication. So, test your Hindi speaking Notary out over the phone to make sure they are up to your standards before hiring them!

Notary Hindi — Attorneys vs. Non-Attorneys
Please be advised that Notaries in the United States are seldom Attorneys and non-Attorney Notaries may not give legal advice. Most Notaries are also not authorized to draft legal documents. There are affordable legal support centers where they can help you draft documents. Please make sure that your document is completely drafted before contacting a Notary Public from 123notary.com.

Immigration Advice
Notaries cannot give advice about immigration matters unless they are specifically licensed to do so. For immigration questions, please contact the proper authorities.

Notarizing in Hindi?
Notaries may Notarize a document that is in Hindi, however the Notary wording would be in English for the notarization. Some states require the Notary to be able to understand the document. Other states require the Notary to be able to communicate directly with the borrower in any language they both can communicate with. Please learn the laws of your state and how they apply to notarizing foreign language documents. The actual Notary wording must be in English if it is to be notarized in any of the 50 states in the USA. Each state has their own official Acknowledgment and Jurat Notarial wording which the Notary is responsible for knowing. The Notary wording can be included at the end of the document. However, the Notary can also staple a loose certificate form to the document and affix their seal to that certificate after it has been completely filled out. Signers will be required to sign the Notary journal in states where Notary journals are used (which includes most states.)

Oaths in Hindi?
Some Notary acts such as Jurats, Oaths, or other acts that include Oaths such as swearing in credible witnesses require the Notary to administer an Oath. An Oath for an English language document or Hindi language document can be performed in the language of your choice. If the signer or affiant feels more comfortable in Hindi and the Notary knows Hindi, you can conduct your Oath in Hindi.

How can I get a Hindi language document notarized?
As stated above, some states require the Notary to understand the language of the document while others don’t. However, the language of the notarization itself would be in English. You can find a notary on 123notary who speaks Hindi to assist you in this matter. Just visit our Advanced Search page and look up a Hindi Speaking Notary by zip code!

You might also like:

How do I get a foreign language document notarized?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18788

Apostille general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21419

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>

October 26, 2019

How to find a Russian Speaking Notary

Filed under: Public Interest — admin @ 11:47 pm

Where can I find a Notary who speaks Russian?
Look no further. 123notary.com has many Russian speaking Notaries on board. Just look up a Notary by zip code and then use the language filter at the top right of the site. You can enter in the name of any language such as Spanish, Japanese, Vietnamese, American Sign Language, or more! In fact, we have Russian speaking Notaries in almost all states and metros! Additionally, we have a search filter directly above the search results where you can check the Russian box and find only Russian speaking Notary service providers.

How good is their Russian language proficiency?
On 123notary.com, we have many Notaries who speak Russian. The degree of fluency varies from Notary to Notary as some are conversational while others are native speakers. A handful are from Russian speaking families who grew up in America and might be excellent at conversation but not as proficient at business oriented communication. So, test your Russian speaking Notary out over the phone to make sure they are up to your standards before hiring them!

Notary Russian — Attorneys vs. Non-Attorneys
Please be advised that Notaries in the United States are seldom Attorneys and non-Attorney Notaries may not give legal advice. Most Notaries are also not authorized to draft legal documents. There are affordable legal support centers where they can help you draft documents. Please make sure that your document is completely drafted before contacting a Notary Public from 123notary.com.

Immigration Advice
Notaries cannot give advice about immigration matters unless they are specifically licensed to do so. For immigration questions, please contact the proper authorities.

Notarizing in Russian?
Notaries may Notarize a document that is in Russian, however the Notary wording would be in English for the notarization. Some states require the Notary to be able to understand the document. Other states require the Notary to be able to communicate directly with the borrower in any language they both can communicate with. Please learn the laws of your state and how they apply to notarizing foreign language documents. The actual Notary wording must be in English if it is to be notarized in any of the 50 states in the USA. Each state has their own official Acknowledgment and Jurat Notarial wording which the Notary is responsible for knowing. The Notary wording can be included at the end of the document. However, the Notary can also staple a loose certificate form to the document and affix their seal to that certificate after it has been completely filled out. Signers will be required to sign the Notary journal in states where Notary journals are used (which includes most states.)

Oaths in Russian?
Some Notary acts such as Jurats, Oaths, or other acts that include Oaths such as swearing in credible witnesses require the Notary to administer an Oath. An Oath for an English language document or Russian language document can be performed in the language of your choice. If the signer or affiant feels more comfortable in Russian and the Notary knows Russian, you can conduct your Oath in Russian.

How can I get a Russian language document notarized?
As stated above, some states require the Notary to understand the language of the document while others don’t. However, the language of the notarization itself would be in English. You can find a notary on 123notary who speaks Russian to assist you in this matter. Just visit our Advanced Search page and look up a Russian Speaking Notary by zip code!

You might also like:

How do I get a foreign language document notarized?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18788

Apostille general information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21419

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>

March 17, 2019

How do I find a German speaking Notary Public?

Filed under: Public Interest — Tags: — admin @ 9:57 am

Where can I find a Notary who speaks German?
Look no further. 123notary.com has a few German speaking Notaries on board. Just look up a Notary by zip code and then use the language filter at the top right of the site. You can enter in the name of any language such as German, Spanish, Japanese, Vietnamese, American Sign Language, or more! We used to have a Notary named German who spoke Spanish. In fact, we have German speaking Notaries in almost all states! Additionally, we have a search filter directly abovetto the right of the search results where you can enter the word German and find only German speaking Notary service providers.

How good is their German language proficiency?
On 123notary.com, we have many Notaries who speak German. The degree of fluency varies from Notary to Notary as some are conversational while others are native speakers. A handful are from German speaking families who grew up in America and might be excellent at conversation but not as proficient at business oriented communication. So, test your German speaking Notary out over the phone to make sure they are up to your standards before hiring them!

Notary German — Attorneys vs. Non-Attorneys
Please be advised that Notaries in the United States are seldom Attorneys and non-Attorney Notaries may not give legal advice. Most Notaries are also not authorized to draft legal documents. There are affordable legal support centers where they can help you draft documents. Please make sure that your document is completely drafted before contacting a Notary Public from 123notary.com.

Immigration Advice
Notaries cannot give advice about immigration matters unless they are specifically licensed to do so. For immigration questions, please contact the proper authorities.

Notarizing in German?
Notaries may Notarize a document that is in German, however the Notary wording would be in English for the notarization. Some states require the Notary to be able to understand the document. Other states require the Notary to be able to communicate directly with the borrower in any language they both can communicate with. Please learn the laws of your state and how they apply to notarizing foreign language documents. The actual Notary wording must be in English if it is to be notarized in any of the 50 states in the USA. Each state has their own official Acknowledgment and Jurat Notarial wording which the Notary is responsible for knowing. The Notary wording can be included at the end of the document. However, the Notary can also staple a loose certificate form to the document and affix their seal to that certificate after it has been completely filled out. Signers will be required to sign the Notary journal in states where Notary journals are used (which includes most states.)

Oaths in German?
Some Notary acts such as Jurats, Oaths, or other acts that include Oaths such as swearing in credible witnesses require the Notary to administer an Oath. An Oath for an English language document or German language document can be performed in the language of your choice. If the signer or affiant feels more comfortable in German and the Notary knows German, you can conduct your Oath in German.

How can I get a German language document notarized?
As stated above, some states require the Notary to understand the language of the document while others don’t. However, the language of the notarization itself would be in English. You can find a notary on 123notary who speaks German to assist you in this matter. Just visit our Advanced Search page and look up a German Speaking Notary by zip code!

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Find a Notary — who provides 24 hour service on 123notary!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4635

Power of Attorney Notarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=power-of-attorney

How do I get a foreign language document notarized?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18788

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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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