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Notary Public Underwriters Blog

What Is A Notarial Certificate?

 

Your notarization of a document is not complete without a proper notarial certificate.

The notarial certificate is a written statement, signed and sealed by the notary public, certifying the facts of a notarial act. The two most common notarial acts a notary will be asked to perform are administering oaths and taking acknowledgments. Oaths and acknowledgments are two different notarial acts, therefore each will require its own certificate wording. Always check with your state’s commissioning authority to make sure you use acceptable notarial language.

 

Jurat Certificate

A jurat is a notary’s certification that he or she administered an oath or affirmation to the signer, whose signature was made in the notary’s presence. The purpose of a jurat is for a signer to swear to or affirm the truthfulness of a document’s contents. In order for a jurat to be correctly executed, the signer must sign the document in front of the notary. Documents that typically require oaths or affirmations are applications, affidavits, or any sworn statement in which the signer sets forth certain facts in writing.

 

Acknowledgment Certificate

An acknowledgment is a declaration that the signer understands the contents of the document, has signed the document, and consents to the terms and conditions stated in the document. The acknowledgment certificate is the Notary’s certification of the details of this notarial act. The signer may either sign the document prior to appearing before a notary, or in the notary’s presence. In either instance, the signer must acknowledge signing the document for its intended purpose. Acknowledgments are typically required for contracts, powers of attorney, or any type of document where a person has to agree to some particular terms of the document.

 

No Notarial Certificate

You cannot proceed with notarization unless the appropriate notarial wording is present on the document. As the notary, you are prohibited from choosing the notarial act. This choice is the signer’s to make and you may not give advice. Instead you may provide sample notarial language for a jurat and an acknowledgment, and explain the differences between these notarial acts. Once the signer has chosen the notarial act, the notary may add the appropriate notarial certificate. Notarial wording that is added to the document may be typed or written directly on the face of the document, below the signer’s signature. As an option to handwriting a certificate, certificate stamps and loose certificates are fast, convenient ways to add proper notarial language to a document.