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January 17, 2014

Notary Verbiage

Notary verbiage varies from state to state, but where do you get your forms? A serious notary needs to have forms with their state’s Acknowledgment verbiage and Jurat wording at a minimum. Some will go so far as to get forms for Certified Copies of Power of Attorney if their sate allows for that as well as Copy Certification by Document Custodian. Acknowledgment Wording varies across state lines, and so does Jurat verbiage. The National Notary Association sells forms for most if not all states as well as E&O insurance, bonding, journals and everything else that you could possibly need! How is that for one-stop shopping.

Out of state Notary verbiage & Notary wording
What if you are a California Notary Public and you are given a form with Texas Notary wording. Can you notarize it? If the wording is not “substantially” different, you can. The critical part is that it says the venue, the date of the notarization, who the signer(s) is/are, the fact that they appeared before you and signed the document, etc. Any state’s Notary wording will include those basic facts. The Jurat wording basically says that the document was “subscribed and sworn to before me” and then includes a date of the notary act. Basically, each different state has a different way of saying the same thing.

Out of county Notary verbiage?
If you are a California Notary Public and confronted with Taiwanese Notary wording or Chinese Notary rules, you might be in for a case of “conflict of interest”. You might be asked to stamp the document WITHOUT attaching a Jurat form and without any Notary wording whatsoever. Talk about culture shock! I remember teaching English to Chinese people. I tried to teach them the expression, “I’m out of town”. They kept saying, “Sorry, I can’t come to dinner — I’m out of city”. But, what about being “out of (the) country!” in your notary public boiler plate wording or lack of it thereof? California notaries and NY notaries get more of the international requests than any other states, so be on your notarial toes!

(1) Notary verbiage varies from state to state, make sure your forms have the correct wording!
(2) If you are a California Notary & given a form w/Texas wording, can you notarize it?
(3) The Taiwan embassy asked a CA notary to stamp a form w/o notary verbiage! Illegal for us; Legal for them!

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Jurat wording step by step

Notary verbiage varies from state to state


June 20, 2013

Optional info on Acknowledgment Certificate

So, you are a notary? But:

(1) Do you fill out your certificates thoroughly?

(2) Do you know what the optional or additional information section of the acknowledgment certificate is?

(3) Do you know what a certificate is?

(4) Do you know what the Acknowledgment wording is in your state?

(5) Do you cross out the his/her/their or (s) in capacity(s)?

Most notaries don’t do their cross outs which is illegal to skip. And the Secretary of State is too busy to catch up with all of the notaries in their respective state.

What is in the optional information section, and should it be optional?
(1) Number of pages in the document

(2) Document name

(3) Document date

(4) Capacity of signer

(5) Other signers who signed the document but, were not notarized on that notarization

(6) Right thumbprint of signer

Why is this important?
There are a lot of frauds out there. California law requires notaries to STAPLE (legally, the word used is attach) the notary certificate to the corresponding document. But, do you know how many people detach the staple? Title companies complained about my staples because they detached everything I stapled. They are inviting fraud if you ask me. It looks tampered with if they detach documents. Very sketchy. If I were the Secretary of State, I would investigate anyone who unstapled a notary document and might have them arrested for suspected fraud!

If a fraud wants to take an Acknowledgment OFF one document and attach it to another, it will be hard work if the optional information is all filled out. The number of pages would have to measure up. The document date would need to correspond. The Document name would have to be consistant as well. Most frauds would have not go that far, and might make a mistake matching all of the statistics since they were not trained well (probably). But, imagine if you submit an Acknowledgment certificate that has none of this information? You could conceivably reattach it to ANY document that the signer signed — an invitation for others to commit fraud.

Therefor, I believe that it should be required by law in all states to fill in the optional information section — hence renaming it the required additional information section. Be square and deter fraud today!

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How many acknowledgments do we need?

Notary Acknowledgment Information


March 3, 2012

Distinguish Acknowledgments from Jurats

What is the difference between an Acknowledgment and a Jurat? 

State rules differ accross state lines, so the variations in state laws make this difference more complicated.  Basically an acknowledged signature is where a signer presents a document to a notary public, claims that they signed it (this can be signed before they see the notary public even if it is ten years before, or can be signed in front of the notary public).  The signer, by presenting the document, non-verbally acknowledges signing the document.  Some type of current identification (some states allow ID that was issued five years ago whether it is still current or not) would be presented to the notary public as well.  The notary would take a journal entry, have the signer sign the journal.  Then, the notary would will out an acknowledgment certificate.  Wording for acknowledgments is significantly different than for jurats. Please visit our find a notary public page, and look up your state and see what the acknowledgment wording is for your state.
Jurats did not used to require identification, but a few years after 9/11, the majority of states now require identification for Jurats.  (1) The signer must sign the document in the presence of the notary for a Jurat and (2) swear under Oath also for a Jurat. So, those are the two big differences between a Jurat and an Acknowledgment.  Additionally, the verbiage for a Jurat is very different than Acknowledgment verbiage. Please look up Jurat wording for your state so you can see what it looks like.
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California Jurat Wording

How many acknowledgments do we need?

Common notary acts from A to Z


January 5, 2012

Can a notary sign an out of state Quit Claim Deed?

Can a notary sign an out of state Quit Claim Deed? 

One of the search terms we found in our blog stats was as follows:
Can a NY notary sign a Florida Quit Claim Deed?
Any notary in the United States can notarize a signature on a Quit Claim Deed from any state.  However, there is a catch!  Quit Claim Deeds have always used Acknowledgment verbiage / Acknowledgment wording in my experience.  Acknowledgment verbiage might differ from state to state.  So, the important point to remember is that the notary wording or notary verbiage should match the state where the document is going to be RECORDED.  If the document will be recorded in Florida, please make sure to use Florida notary verbiage.  If the document is going to be recorded in Texas, then use Texas notary verbiage. 
Another small point is that notary verbiage sometimes gets changed over time, so you need to make sure you are using 2011 or 2012 notary verbiage for the state where the document is to be recorded.  County recorders are the office that typically records deeds of various kinds.  They can sometimes be very picky.  Make sure your notary seals are very clear and not smudgy if you are submitting notarized documents to the county recorder!
(1) Notary verbiage must match the state where the document is going to be recorded
(2) Any notary in the United States can notarize a Quit Claim Deed, Grant Deed, Warranty Deed, or any type of Deed for any state

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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