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August 21, 2013

What is a Jurat?

Many people do not fully understand what a Jurat is. The term Jurat is loosely (and incorrectly) used to describe any notarial form. “Just mail me a Jurat” is a common request (that happens to be illegal). Never mail loose certificates. A Jurat is one of many types of notarial acts. Common notary acts include: Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Protests, and some states allow witnessing, safety box opening, Proofs of Execution and other notary acts. Notary acts and laws differ from state to state.

A Jurat is a Notary Act that typically requires the signer to be identified, although laws in the past in many states did not require the signer to be identified (believe it or not).

The distinguishing characteristic of a Jurat is that it has an accompanying Oath — AND the signer must sign the document before the Notary Public. An Acknowledged signature may be signed hours, days or years before it is notarized! The wording for the Oath is up to the notary. Unfortunately, many notaries are not very good at administering Oaths and some skip the procedure altogether (which is illegal).

You can attach Jurat wording to a document. Or, just write a quick statement that you intend to swear to on a Jurat form. But, if you need an Acknowledgment certificate, don’t ask for “A Jurat”. It is not the same thing legally. Also, please note that the notary is legally forbidden from deciding what type of notarization you need. So, if your Attorney or document custodian doesn’t tell you what type of notarization you need, please ask them before the notary shows up! Good luck!

(1) The term Jurat is loosely (and incorrectly) used to describe any notarial form.
(2) “Just mail me a Jurat,” is a common, but illegal request!
(3) A #Jurat is a notary act requiring the signer 2sign before the notary, swear & be identified.

You might also like:

Basic Notary Acts – Notary Public 101

Jurat Definition

Jurat wording step by step



  1. Typically, a Jurat uses the words “sworn to and subscribed before me”. On the other hand the Acknowledgement often says “this instrument acknowledged before me”. Of course both are notarizations and the affiant is “under oath” and fibs count in many jurisdictions as perjury. The same perjury when lying in court after responding to “Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

    Comment by Kenneth A Edelstein — August 22, 2013 @ 2:41 am

  2. Every time I administer an oath during a closing, people say they have never done it before (nor have I ever had anyone administer one to me during a closing). Sometimes they laugh or look at me like I am crazy. One woman told me it was ridiculous. I tell them it is the law, and we proceed. If everyone did it, people would be used to it, yet almost no one seems to.

    Comment by Jocelyn Waters — August 24, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

  3. If we didn’t decide if the document requires a jurat or acknowledgment, we notaries wouldn’t make any money at all . Usually, the issuing authority will tell the signer to write a letter (proof of income, residence, travel permissions, character reference etc) –––– and “just get it stamped.” Most times, the issuing authority doesn’t even know what to tell the signer regarding the kind of notarial certificate. And most signers don’t want to call the issuing authority because it will waste their minutes trying to get a human voice on their cell phones. They are not going to spend an hour trying to get through.

    Comment by Stephen Reich — August 31, 2013 @ 11:54 pm

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