Advice and answers from the Notarize Team

There are a few different types of notarization we can provide for you. These are referred to as “notarial acts”. Many documents already include notarial wording. If your document does not have notarial wording, your notary can provide you with an additional “notarial certificate” page for your document, which will include the required notarial wording. 

Our notaries are not able to provide legal advice, nor are they allowed to advise you on the type of notarial act needed. For your convenience, we can provide you with the following general definitions.

Notarial Acts:

Acknowledgment:

In an acknowledgment, the notary validates the signer’s identity and the signer confirms to the notary that the signature is his or her signature.  (Usually the signer signs the document in front of the notary.)  The notary also asks the signer to confirm that he or she understands the document and is signing it freely and without coercion.  An Acknowledgment is the most common notarial act.

Jurat:  

A Jurat is used when a document must have the truthfulness of its contents confirmed under oath.  To complete a jurat, the notary validates the signer’s identity and then places the signer under oath. The signer swears or affirms that the statements in the document are true of his or her personal knowledge and then signs the document in front of the notary.   

Oath/Affirmation:

 An oath or affirmation is a spoken promise that you are swearing or affirming to uphold. This might include an oath of office or an oath before testifying in court or at a deposition. Ordinarily the only oaths or affirmations used by our notaries on Notarize’s website are those which involve confirming the truth of a document’s contents (see Jurat, above).  

Copy Certification:

 In a copy certification, a notary is presented with a copy of a document, compares it to the original, and determines that the copy (or a specified extract) is accurate and complete.  On the Notarize platform, we also confirm your identity, just as with other forms of notarization, to confirm the integrity of the transaction. Our notaries cannot certify copies of various public records such as court documents and “vital” records, such as birth, death or marriage certificates. Certified documents of such records must be issued by courts or the public offices that maintain them.  Some jurisdictions do not authorize their notaries to perform copy certifications at all. Please check with your intended recipient to confirm that they will accept a notarized certified copy.

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