Notary Verbiage « Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice –

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

January 22, 2014

We caught a bunch of frauds using notary verbiage

For most notaries, Notary verbiage is a cause for annoyance or confusion. Due to the poor quality of notary education in most states, notaries simply don’t know how to cross out the is/are and the unused “s” in signature(s) in the boiler plate notary wording. You can easily catch an amateur notary in the act or after the fact simply by looking at their cross outs. You can look at their journal of notarial acts and see if they are taking liberties or making omissions there too.

My notary seal impression was used fraudulently once. No, the notary seal was not stolen (don’t panic), it was just xeroxed with a high quality xerox machine onto another document that needed to be notarized in a hurry. The crime was actually done by a young lady working at a Title Company who made little circles to dot her i’s. Very post high school and ditsy if you ask me. The signature didn’t look at all like mine. But, besides all of these other stupidities, their fraud was easy to catch because they didn’t do their cross-outs in the Notary verbiage section! Additionally, they didn’t use an embosser to emboss every single page with a raise impression which cannot be xeroxed — which is exactly why I used it. If they had been more sophisticated frauds, my embosser would have been my only recourse to prove them guilty.

To my good fortune (or bad luck) I was never called into court to act as a witness. I don’t believe that the bad guys were seriously punished. Maybe they were reprimanded and promised never to do it again. A Title company could get completely shut down for that type of fraud if the right authorities ever found out. Don’t they value their future? Maybe not!

So, the moral of the story for you guys is to take your Notary verbiage seriously. That is what makes your profession a profession, and your ability to handle Notary wording defines your level of expertise.

(1) Due to the poor quality of notary education, notaries often don’t know how to cross out is/are, (ies), etc.
(2) A young lady who worked in title and made cute circles to dot her i’s Xeroxed my notary seal!
(3) Take your notary verbiage seriously, it might be the only thing that distinguishes you from a fraud!
(4) My notary seal was used fraudulently once! It was Xeroxed!

You might also like:

The Notary, The Mafia & the FedEx Drop Box

Fraud & Forgery related to the notary profession


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!

You might also like:

Jurat wording step by step

Notary verbiage varies from state to state


October 24, 2013

Notary Verbiage Explained

Notary Verbiage

Notary wording or notary verbiage varies from state to state. Each different type of notary act has its own type of notary verbiage. There is Jurat verbiage, Acknowledgment verbiage, and wording for many other types of notary acts as well. Jurat verbiage can vary from state to state, but the basic requirements are that the signer appeared before the notary on a particular date. The words subscribed and sworn to before me are always included in some shape or form. The top of the form should have a venue which includes the state and county. The signature of the notary is a requirement as well. Most states leave room for a notary stamp or seal as well although that can really vary.

State of California
County of San Francisco

Subscribed and sworn to before me on 10-02-2003 by John Doe.

Signature of notary Notary Seal

Printed Name of Notary

Above is a very typical type of Jurat verbiage. It is not official California notary verbiage. I made it up, but it resembles the verbiage in all states to a lesser or greater degree. You can use Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, or any other state’s Jurat Verbiage in California so long as the wording is not substantially different from California Notary Verbiage.


Many states have notary verbiage that includes words to cross out. You might see a he/she/they. In that case, just cross out two or the three options. If a single man appeared before you the notary to be notarized, just cross out the she and they.

Here is some sample Acknowledgment wording. It is not real, but you can visit the notary website of any state in the USA to see what the real wording looks like.

State of Texas County of Dallas
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)


Please keep mind that there are notarial certificates for each type of notary act. It is common to staple a Jurat certificate to a document that is having a jurat notarization done. It is a requirement to staple the loose certificate to the document otherwise it could be fraudulently attached to another document.

Learn the specifics of notary verbiage for various notary acts in your state by visiting the find a notary page on and clicking on the name of your state. Or just visit your state’s notary division.

(1) See official Jurat & Acknowledgment Certificate Verbiage with a tutorial explaining what everything means.

You might also like:

Boiler plate wording he/she/they

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage


July 6, 2013

Notary Verbiage varies from state to state

Notary verbiage varies from state to state. We have a lot of information about this if you visit the Find a Notary page on, or the state specific pages of our blog.

Basically, each state has various notary acts that they allow. Each notary act has standardized “boiler-plate” notary wording or notary verbiage for each act.

For example, California notary acknowledgment forms have a standardized notary verbiage that they follow. Notaries can buy a pad of acknowledgment forms and attach them to documents that they are notarizing.

Sometimes notaries are given out of state notary verbiage and expected to perform a notary act when the notary wording is not the same as their state’s. What should they do? Most states allow out of state notary wording PROVIDING that the wording is not substantially different from their state’s notary verbiage.

Jurats in each state have particular Jurat notary verbiage or Jurat verbiage as well. The Jurat wording can vary from state to state.

Notary verbiage for Oaths is typically left to the notary which is a mistake, considering that notaries receive no thorough training on administering formal Oaths.

Find a great notary on that can perform any type of notary act allowed in their state. They will know the notary verbiage or notary wording for their state as well!


July 5, 2013

Notarizing a Name Affidavit

Most loan document packages include a name affidavit which could also be called a Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement. There are many variations for what this document is called.

Or, should I say that there are many NAME variations for what this document is called?

In any case, this document is notarized the same way that any other notarized document is notarized, EXCEPT, that the signer is signing more than once.

In the notary verbiage, there will be the word name(s) and signature(s) — typically, for a notarization of a single individual, the (s) will be crossed on in both cases. But, on the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement, the (s)’s should NOT be crossed out as a single person will have multiple name variations, and multiple signatures — one signature per name.

If the signer is a jazz musician, then the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement might get really long with all of the name variations.

Here is a sample of some of the interior notary verbiage in a California Notary Acknowledgment Certificate Form..

….. 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….


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


March 9, 2012

Verbiage for Notarization

Verbiage for notarization 

Each state has different verbiage for notarizations. Please visit  to find more information about notary verbiage in many different states.
Most notarizations are Acknowledged Signatures or Acknowledgments. Jurats are the 2nd most popular type of notarization.  You can also look up notary verbiage for particular states by visiting the state notary division of the state in question.  It might require some digging around, but you will most likely be able to find this information.
Notaries often will carry a pad of notary certificates with the appropriate state notary verbiage on it.  Many states will accept notary verbiage which is similar to their states wording just as long as it doesn’t leave out the critical information. 
For an Acknowledged signature, there needs to be a venue (state and county documented), the name of the notary, signer, the fact that the signer appeared before the notary on a particular date, and acknowledged signing a document.  There needs to be a signature of the notary, and most states require an official notary seal as well.

You might also like:

Distinguish Acknowledgments from Jurats

Common notary acts from A to Z

What is the wording for a Proof of Execution


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:

What information is in the body of an acknowledgment (March Phoninar)

Theft at a notary signing

Notarization for Thai immigrants

Notary boiler plate wording


November 22, 2011

Make your own notary certificate forms!

All the right words in all the right places
Many notaries call us and can’t find good notary forms.  We say, “You’ve been lookin’ for forms in all the wrong places, lookin for supplies in too many faces, searching the internet and looking for traces….”.  Honestly, we send many people to the NNA.  They make / sell excellent notary forms, supplies, journals, acknowledgment pads, jurat pads, bonds, etc.  But, what about the obvious alternative?  Forms are expensive, and acknowledgment pads and jurat pads are space consuming in your little notary bag, right?
Make your own
It’s not hard to typeset an acknowledgment form or Jurat form on your computer.  Just put your state notary verbiage or notary wording in the correct order, a venue, a place to sign and seal, or whatever your state requires.  You can photocopy this very cheaply at Kinko’s or wherever.  Make as many as you want.  Copying someone else’s copyrighted form is not legal, and not worth it.  You can’t copyright notary verbiage, and that works to your advantage!

There are other advantages in creating your own Acknowledgment Pads / Jurat Pads / Notary forms with your state notary verbiage too.
If you create your own notary forms, and make them attractive, you can also put your notary company information and phone number at the bottom.  This is very smart branding.  Then, whenever anyone looks at how beautiful your notary forms are, they will think of you and call you too.  You could even put a company logo at the bottom of the form under the notary verbiage.   Times are tight these days, so you need every edge you can get, and this is not that much work to coordinate.
How much can you save?
Notary pads of professionally made forms can cost you $9 per notary pad more or less, plus tax and shipping.  It adds up.  If you buy in bulk, then you might get a slightly better price.  There are generally 100 certificates per pad.  How much would it cost to have 100 pieces of paper copied at a discount printing place?  If you did 500, you might be able to get away paying $10-15.  Or just print them out on your laserprinter, and print as many as you need, and when you need it.
Other forms?
I had a detailed permission to travel form for minors traveling with accompanying adults.  It was easier to do it with a form instead of writing it out for people each time. There is so much content that goes on that form.  BTW, in Florida, notaries should not offer to write documents.  The name of the child, who their parents are, who they are traveling with, when they were going, where they were going, and when they were coming back. I had signature lines for everyone and little places for thumbprints.  The feedback was that the security at the airport appreciated the thoroughness of the forms and my embosser’s impression.  Very professional!  They were probably used to handwritten confused looking letters and sick of it!
If you have a good designer, you can add designs to the paperwork.  This is for full-time mobile notaries only.  It can get expensive using designers, but you will make a great impression if you have great stationary!  Think of your Jurat pad as a stack of resumes!

(1) You can purchase notary forms from the NNA, but if you make your own you can put your biz name & Phone #.
(2) If you make your own certificate forms, you can put your business name & phone number at the bottom!
(3) I used to make my own permission to travel for minors form with blanks for dates, names & thumbprints!

You might also like:

Everything you need to know about notary journals

Notary Acknowledgment Information

The signing from hell

How many acknowledgments do we need?


June 24, 2011

Boiler plate wording – he/she/they

Filling in he/she/they

In the old days when I was doing a lot of notary work, I noticed that when I saw notary work done by some of those “other” notaries, the paperwork would sometimes be vacuous. I have long forgotten about this issue, and it didn’t come to mind, until I talked to a notary who recently signed up with us in Sacramento, California. He said, that most notaries don’t know how to fill in the notary boiler plate verbiage (boiler plate notary verbiage or notary language) on notary certificates. It’s actually a serious issue.

his & hers?
If you are notarizing the signature of a single man, then when you see a he/she/they in the notary verbiage, you simply put a line though the she and they, and the her & their in his/her/their get crossed out as well. It’s not rocket science, but many notaries were sleeping through their course. If a single person signed a document only once, then cross out the (s) in signature(s) in the notary verbiage — again it’s not nuclear physics here.

Sealing the deal?
Don’t forget to sign where it says “seal” at the bottom of the notary certificate below the notary verbiage. But, your stamp is another type of seal, and that must be used in most states. Make sure you leave a clear stamp impression. Many notaries don’t understand that county recorders record deeds and other official documents. They can reject a document if your seal is not clear enough. If that happens, you have to do the notary certificate form all over again without being paid, and might get fired by your client.

To staple or not to staple
I got tons of complaints from Title companies because I used an industrial stapler to staple multi-page documents together. I did this for legal reasons. Regular staples are not reliable. They make deformed staples, and break a lot of the time. If you are doing this for a living, you need a tool that doesn’t break. I had two industrial staples — one for home and one for my car. Neither ever broke or got jammed. But, you could not remove the staples without compromising the beauty of the document. This was part of the point. In California, notary certificate forms must be ATTACHED to the document. A staple is a real attachment and much better than a paper clip, don’t you think? Plus, to deter people from switching page three in someone’s Deed of Trust, the industrial staple makes it very obvious if someone had been tampering with the document. To my dismay, most of my Title agent clients tampered with every document I gave them and complained that I made it so difficult for them to do their tampering. What is a simple notary to do? Obey the law, or or please some crazy ladies in Title?

Send me a loose Jurat please
Have you ever gotten this request. In California, and perhaps other states, you can not just mail a sealed notary certificate (loose notary certificate) such as a jurat certificate. It has to be attached to the document, and there can only be ONE per document please. If they sent the old one back with the document, you could destroy the original and staple another in its place and it would be legal, since you already had the journal signatures. But, to just mail a loose one can get you locked up, or lose your notary commission. What are these Title companies thinking? Now I’m beginning to see why someone forged my seal. I made fraudulent activity too inconvenient for these folks, and made it impossible for them to involve me or my work in their fraud.

Question for the notaries about notarizing:  Should one please the client or please the law? You are welcome to respond to this blog entry!

You might also like:

Distinguish Acknowledgments from Jurats

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage

Common notary acts from A to Z

Must a thumbprint accompany a notarized document?