California acknowledgment wording Archives - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – Control Panel

November 7, 2013

California Acknowledgment Wording Explained

California Acknowledgment Wording Explained

The most common notary act in the United States is the Acknowledgment. Acknowledged signatures represent roughly 80% of notary acts; with Jurats comprising of most of the remainder.

Here is some sample California Acknowledgment Wording.

State of _____________
County of ____________

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.

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.

(Signature of Notary)

Please note that the top section of the certificate wording is called the venue which consists of a documentation of the state and the county. Next comes the body of the acknowledgment certification which documents the date, the name of the notary, the name of the signer who personally appeared before the notary, the fact that the signer was identified properly (they use the term satisfactory evidence to mean that the signer had ID, or was identified through the use of credible witnesses).

The most critical part of the California Acknowledgment Verbiage is that the signer acknowledges subscribing to the within instrument. This simply means that the signer claims that they signed the document. They could have signed hours, months, or years before seeing the notary — and it doesn’t matter so long as they appear before the notary to “acknowledge” that they signed the document. Additionally, the signer must sign the California Notary Journal as well.

Witness my hand and official seal is confusing California Acknowledgment verbiage. A seal, in notary verbiage, could refer to a signature or an official notary stamp (confusing). The notary must sign and affix his/her/its notary seal to the California Acknowledgment Certificate. Please note that the stamp may not be placed over any signatures or wording otherwise it voids the seal.

Please also note that there are lots of (s), is/are, he/she/they, within the text. The notary is expected (many do not do this though) to cross out the inappropriate text near the forward slashes. If you are doing a notarization for a single man, then cross out the she and they and (s) in name, unless he has more than one name being used in the notarization (which would be an interesting case).


November 23, 2011

California Acknowledgment and Jurat Information

To see current 2011 & 2012 California Acknowledgment wording  information and California Jurat verbiage  information, just visit:

California Acknowledgments & California Jurats

Notary laws are often based on antiquated social customs and laws.  Many notary laws in Louisiana are based on the old Spanish and French laws which make it extremely different from the rest of the United States.  Louisiana is sort of a foreign country controlled by our government.  The language is English, but the laws are not.  California notary law used to have some old rules too for identifying a signer
In olden times, people lived in smaller communities, traveled less, and had less access to the outside world.  In those days you knew your neighbors and knew them well.  California notary laws and laws in many states allowed a notary to use personal knowledge of an individual as a way to identify them for a notarization.  But, in 2011 with people flying all around, and nobody really knowing anyone, you can not really use personal knowledge as an identifying technique anymore.  People don’t even know their wives and children that well these days! After 9/11, the laws changed in many states.  It took a few years for the state governments to react, but standards for identification were raised.  You can still identify signers using credible witnesses which I feel is false identification. The credible witnesses don’t really usually know the signer that well, and have to be reminded of the signer’s name in many cases.  The most common form of identification is a driver’s license, state ID card, or password. 
In any case, California notary laws for identifying a signer for an acknowledged signature are tougher now that personal knowledge is not allowed.  But, signers also need to be identified for Jurats which never used to be the case.  In the last few years, the California notary wording or California notary Verbiage for Acknowledgment and Jurat forms has changed a little bit as well.
Oaths and Affirmations in California have now become a merged act.  You just choose whether you want it to be an affirmation or oath in the paperwork. 
You might also like: 

Notary Acknowledgment Information
Can a California notary be a witness?