Acknowledgement vs. Jurat Certificate – What's the Difference?
Acknowledgement and jurat certificates are the two most common notarial acts performed by New York notaries, yet there is much confusion about the difference between these two notarial forms for many signers.
Some notaries even find it difficult to remember which procedures apply to which each certificate!
It is importat to understand the certificates and follow the proper guidelines while performing your duties as a Notary Public.
A jurat is used when the signer is swearing to the content of the document. The notary must administer an oath or affirmation to the signer in order to complete the jurat. A jurat also requires that the signer signs in the presence of the notary. It is possible to glean this information from the jurat certificate its self. The wording states “Subscribed and sworn to before me…” – subscribed meaning “signed” and sworn meaning that an oral oath or affirmation was given. “Before me” means that both were done in the presence of the notary public.
A jurat is the official written statement by a notary public that he or she has administered and witnessed an oath or affirmation for an oath of office, or on an affidavit - that is, that a person has sworn to or affirmed the truth of information contained in a document, under penalty of perjury, whether that document is a lengthy deposition or a simple statement on an application form. The simplest form of jurat and the oath or affirmation administered by a notary are:
Jurat: "Sworn (or affirmed) to before me this ........ day of ........, 20 ......"
While completing a Jurat certificate, it must be remembered that the notary must administer an Oath or Affiration to the signer wen completing a Jurat certificate. They must administer either an Oath or Affirmatinon to the signer before the the document signer may sign the document to be notarized.
Oath: "Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this affidavit subscribed by you are correct and true?"
Affirmation: (for those signers opposed to swearing or taking an oath):
"Do you solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that the statements made by you are true and correct?"
"Do you solemnly, and truly declare that the statements made by you are true and correct under penalty of perjury?"
"Do you solemnly, state that the statements made by you are true and correct under penalty of perjury?"
An acknowledgement is used to verify the identity of the signer and to confirm that they signed the document. They are not swearing to the truthfulness or validity of the document, they are simply acknowledging that they signed the document. For an acknowledgement in the state of California, a signer is not required to sign the document in the presence of the notary public, but they are required to personally appear in front of the notary to confirm their signature.
While it is important for a notary to understand the difference between the two, California notaries public are not allowed to determine which type of certificate a signer uses. To do so would be considered practicing law without a license. A Notary can only ask the signer which form they prefer; if they don't know, the notary will refer them to the originator of the document for an answer.
"An acknowledgment is a formal [oral] declaration before an authorized public officer. It is made by a person executing [signing] an instrument who states that it was his [or her] free act and deed." That is, the person signed it without undue influence and for the purposes detailed in it. A certificate of acknowledgment is a written statement signed (and in some jurisdictions, sealed) by the notary or other authorized official that serves to prove that the acknowledgment occurred.
The form of the certificate varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but will be similar to the following:
Before me, the undersigned authority, on this ....... day of .........., personally appeared ................., to me well known to be the person who executed the foregoing instrument, and he/she acknowledged before me that he/she executed the same as his/her voluntary act and deed.
What is the difference between a Jurat and an Acknowledgment?
How do I obtain a Notary Certificate?
Jurat vs Acknowledgement
Acknowledgement vs Jurat