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October 17, 2017

Notary Public 101 — Basic Notary Vocabulary

Return to the table of contents of Notary Public 101.

BASIC NOTARY TERMS
We will hold you responsible for these. You might also like our complete glossary of Notarial terms.

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Affiant
An Affiant is a person who will swear under Oath and is commonly used to refer to someone who is signing an Affidavit. A Defiant is a person who swears under a tunnel when he loses the AM reception of a basketball game he bet on.

Affix
When you attach something to another thing that is considered affixing. But, in the Notary profession when you stamp something with your seal that is also called Affixing. If you forget to stamp a document you notarized and title finds out, you will really be in affix (a third usage of the word.) When you attach someone with another person, that’s called fixing up.

Agent
Someone who has received special powers from a Power of Attorney signing is called an Agent or Attorney in Fact and also referred in the document as a Grantee. Someone who’s received special powers to go fight crime is called a superhero.

Apostille
An Apostille is a Notary procedure or act that involves both the Notary and the Secretary of State where the Secretary of State officially verifies that the Notary used in a transaction is indeed a real and current Notary in good standing. This procedure is used when sending certain documents outside the country and Authentications are also used to send to other particular counties. If you’re a real and current notary who gave up your seat on the subway for an elderly person, you’re good, standing, in good standing.

Attorney in Fact
The person who receives Power of Attorney is called an Attorney in Fact or Agent. When this person signs on behalf of the principal they sign: John Smith, as Attorney in Fact for Sharon Smith. There are other versions for how to sign as an Attorney in Fact. The person who receives power of X-Ray Vision is called Clark Kent.

Borrower
The borrower is mistakenly referred to as a “client” or “customer” by newer Notaries. The borrower of a cup of sugar is mistakenly called “neighborly.” The signing company regards the title company as their customer while the signer of the loan is called the borrower in oral language. Please also distinguish between a loan signing notary who supervises the signer and is not himself a signer although many Notaries refer to themselves as signers as a professional designation. The Notary Signing Agent is a signing facilitator, not an actual signing in real terms. The borrower can also be referred to as a Mortgagor who borrows from the Mortgagee (the Lender).

Certificate
A Notary Certificate could be a loose piece of paper attached to a Notarized document. (An unattached loose piece of a** would rather be called promiscuous.) A Jurat could be on a loose certificate where the Affiant writes a statement that they will swear to and sign in the presence of the Notary. Not all Notary acts use a certificate such as purely verbal acts such as Oaths and Affirmations and in some states Witnessing. Please understand that although a Jurat uses an Oath as part of the act, that an Oath by itself does not use a certificate. Some also swear that Donald Trump is a true copy of The Annoying Orange.

Copy Certification by Document Custodian
Some states allow for document copy certifications to be an official Notary Act. Some states only allow for a certified copy of a Power of Attorney. However, the Copy Certification by Document Custodian is an unofficial copy certificate and a glorified Jurat with special additional verbiage where the document custodian swears to the fact that the copy is a true copy of the original document.

Grantee
A Grantee is a term used to refer to someone who has been given something such as Power of Attorney agent privileges. The actual Power of Attorney document uses this term to describe the future Attorney in Fact or Agent.

Grantor
A Grantor is a term used to describe someone who has given Power of Attorney privileges by naming an individual as Attorney in Fact or Agent in a Power of Attorney document. A take it for granted-er is a term used to describe someone who knows his wife will throw his dirty laundry in the hamper.

Principal
The main signer of a document could be refered to as a principal. This is the Grantor in a Power of Attorney signing although the two terms are not synonomous. A Principal is also a term used in a Proof of Execution signing and is the person who signs the document. Another proof of execution: Kim Sung Un’s uncle’s tombstone.

Subscribing Witness
A witness who watches someone sign is called a subscribing witness. A witness who watches somebody else’s Netflix is called a non-subscribing witness. The Signature by X procedure uses a subscribing witness who is also commonly referred to as a credible witness meaning a witness who can be trusted. Proofs of Execution use a subscribing witness as well to appear before the Notary Public on behalf of the principal who is the person who signed the document. The Signature by Ex procedure is commonly referred to as divorce papers.

Venue
The venue is the part of the Notary certificate generally near the top that is used to state the state and county. All states have a venue somewhere in the top third of the certificate for all Notary acts that use a certificate such as Acknowledgments, Jurats, Proofs of Execution, etc. A venue is also the place where the notarization takes place. If you change the venue, does that mean you get up from your chair and go to a different address or does it mean you cross out and initial the venue in the Acknowledgment form. I’ll leave that to your imagination. The venue in my brain that conjured up that question is now closed.

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