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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!

Tweets:
(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
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Notary verbiage varies from state to state
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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 123notary.com and clicking on the name of your state. Or just visit your state’s notary division.

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

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Boiler plate wording he/she/they
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Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage
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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 123notary.com, 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 123notary.com 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!

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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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December 1, 2011

Can a Georgia notary notarize a Florida property document?

Can a Georgia notary notarize a Florida property document?

Loan signings are common across the United States.  Any notary in any state can notarize almost any document within the confines of their state, but the document can be from out of state, or out of the country.  Notaries should refrain from notarizing copies of vital records, and Wills are generally avoided in many states as well.  Just as long as a Georgia Notary has their two feet in Georgia, it is okay to notarize a Florida document, or a loan signing for a property in Florida. 
 
Non-attorney Georgia Notaries are prohibited from doing loan signings for properties in Georgia, but, I don’t know any restriction for them as far as notarizing loan documents (packages that generally include Deeds of Trust, Mortgages, Grant Deeds, Quit Claim Deeds, Notes, Notice of Right to Cancel, etc.) that are from Florida, or some other state.
 
A Florida notary can also notarize documents that are to be recorded out of state.
 
One critical piece of information is that the county recorder in the state that a document is going to be recorded — have standards.  They might insist on their state’s notary wording to be on the notary certificate.  They can reject a document if the notary wording is not up to their standards, or if there is a smudgy seal, etc.  That is the job of the person who prepares the documents, and not the responsibility of the notary. A Georgia notary public, or any notary for that matter is allowed to make legal decisions for their clients which includes what type of wording to use, document drafting, or choosing the type of notarization to do, i.e. acknowledgment, jurat, protest, etc.

You might also like:

The signing and the Georgia Loan Officer
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Georgia Notary Information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3006

The Notary in Florida who updated
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2913

Notary FAQ based on search queries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2061

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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.

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Notarization for Thai immigrants
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3545

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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.
 
Branding?
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!
 
Designs?
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!

Tweets:
(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?

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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!

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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2375

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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1834

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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2392

Must a thumbprint accompany a notarized document?
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January 25, 2011

Just Say No #4

Here are some more situations where a notary should just say no. 

The signer wants someone else to appear before the notary
This is not possible.  However, a proof of execution is a very rarely used notary act where a subscribing witness can witness the principals’s signature and then bring the signed document to the notary. You can read about this procedure in our glossary. Just look up the terms subscribing witness and proof of execution.
 
Someone wants to use your seal.
Don’t let anyone use your seal. Nobody should have access to your seal or even touch your seal.  Your seal must be under lock and key when not in use.  There was one rare occassion where someone forged my seal using a photocopy machine. I was able to verify it was forged because the signature didn’t match my illegible scribble, and my “trademark” of using an embosser was also omitted.  It was obvious that it was a fraudulent act and notary seal forgery. 
 
Stamp without notary wording
If there is no notary certificate wording for a specific type of notary act, don’t affix your seal.  You can always attach a loose notary certificate to  a document, fill out the wording, and then affix your seal and signature.  The notary wording must be completed with the (s), (ies), he/she/them all appropriately configured with crossouts wherever necessary.  Over half of notaries systematically leave  he/she/them in the notary wording without crossing out the two entities that don’t apply — its hard to believe.
 
The document is not in English.
Rules may vary across state lines, but the general rule is that the notary should be able to communicate directly with the signer, and that the notary is not responsible for the content of the document unless they know that its fraudulent.
 
The signature doesn’t match the ID
If the signature on the ID is in English, and the signature on the document is in Chinese, then you have a problem.  The signature can be as messy as the signer likes, but should correspond to the signature on the ID.  The signature should include any middle initials used in the printed name inscribed in the document.
 
The signer doesn’t  know English.
Most if not all states require that the notary be able to communicate directly with the signer which serves to eliminate any serious mistakes made by incorrect translations.  If the signer speaks Tajikistani and so do you, then you are in business. Otherwise, refer them to a Tajikistani speaking notary (good luck finding one).
 
Unacceptable ID?
If a signer has an ID with a substantially different name than what is in the document, you can not accept that ID.  If the name on the ID is a shorter name variation than what is on the document, you must also decline to notarize.  Identification documents can also look forged in which case you must decline to offer any services to that person as they have proven themsevles to be a criminal.
 
If you are asked to notarize a cat.
Just say Meao!  But, you can offer to take pawprints.

Tweets:
(1) Just say no: Stamp w/o notary wording? Someone wants to use your seal? Notarize w/o personal appearance?
(2) If the name on the document doesn’t match the name on the ID? Just say no!

Related Links

South Carolina Notary Information – This is an attorney State. Non-attorney notaries must just say no to loan signings.

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Signing agent best practices
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=1803

Sending loose certificates is illegal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

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