What is a Notary Public?

It is a position of trust, where a person is appointed by the State to witness and verify the identity of individuals who sign legal documents.

An Oath/Affirmation

An oath or affirmation is a type of attestation (or swearing) that a notary administers as part of the jurat document. This oath or affirmation binds the person to the actual oath or affirmation. The difference between an ‘oath’ and an ‘affirmation’ is that the affirmation takes out the reference to God.

A Jurat

A jurat is a notarial statement that certifies the signer’s personal appearance, witnesses the signer signing the document, administers an oath and positively identifies the signers.

Certification of a document

The certification of a document is a statement on the document that the signer makes, attesting to the fact that the document is a true copy of the original. This document is used together with the Jurat.

An Affidavit

An affidavit is a sworn statement that is put in writing then notarized. The person signing the affidavit must be present with identification and sign the document in front of the notary. This document is used together with the Jurat.

An Acknowledgment

An acknowledgment is a formal admission made in person before a proper official by someone who has executed an instrument (another official document). The signer must personally appear before the Notary Public and the signer must acknowledge having willingly signed the document. The signer is not required to sign in the presence of the notary.

Credible Witness

A credible witness is when the signer of an instrument (official document) does not have identification or is not personally known to the notary; another person (called the credible witness) knows the signer and can swear under oath as to the identity of the signer. A Credible Witness affidavit must be attached to the document to be notarized, in addition to the acknowledgment or jurat that the signer completes.

– Sample oath for the Credible Witness

“Do you solemnly swear that (signer) is the person named in the instrument; that (signer) is personally known to you; that it is your reasonable belief that the circumstances of (signer) are such that it would be difficult or impossible for him/her to obtain another form of identification and that you do not have a financial interest nor are you named in the document, [so help you God]?”

I-9 Employment Verification Affidavit

Employers with out-of-state or work-at-home employees are required to verify the identity of their employees in compliance with the Department of Homeland Security. Employers have to ensure that the people they employ are authorized to work in the United States. The notary acts as an authorized representative of the employer. When acting as an authorized representative they do not use their notary seal but will examine the documents to make sure they are genuine.

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