A notary acknowledgment form is used by a notary public to certify that the person signing the document in their presence is who they claim to be. The form declares that the notary witnessed the person’s signature, obtained proof of the signer’s identity, and was convinced of their willingness and mental capacity to sign the form provided.
- What is a Notary Acknowledgment Form?
- How To Write a Notary Acknowledgment Form
- How To Notarize a Document
- Tips for Writing a Notary Acknowledgment Form
- Example Notary Acknowledgment Template
- Notary Acknowledgment Form Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Notary Acknowledgment Form?
A notary acknowledgment form is a sworn statement signed by a registered notary public to certify the signer’s identity. By law, the notary public is required to view some form of government-issued photo identification to prove the signer is the person referenced in the form.
Notary acknowledgment forms can be attached to documents such as power of attorney, last will and testament, and depending on their nature, even letters. Once a notary acknowledgment form is signed, a notary seal or stamp is affixed to the form to complete the notarization process.
What is a Notary Public?
A notary public is a licensed official with authority to certify legal documents. In doing so, a notary public is responsible for verifying the identity and signature of the person signing a document before them. Keep in mind that a notary public completing a notarization form does not certify the document’s truthfulness, accuracy, or validity.
Notaries are impartial individuals of good moral character who are trained, tested, and appointed by their respective states. Each notary is required to follow a strict set of rules regarding their procedures and must keep strict records of each transaction they oversee.
Types of Notary Acknowledgments
There are two types of notaries: Acknowledgment and Jurat. The difference between the two is in the procedure used for the execution of the signatures.
In an acknowledgment certificate, the notary affirms the identity of the person signing the document. The signer usually waits to affix their signature in the presence of a notary public. The notary then provides their official signature and places their notary seal below it to confirm the integrity of the signature provided in their presence.
In some states, documents with a certificate of acknowledgment do not have to be signed before a notary. However, the notary must still confirm the signature with some form of ID.
A jurat certificate is more common in legal documents where the affiant is swearing to the truthfulness of the information contained in a document. When a jurat is required, it is most often contained as part of the document itself.
For example, if you were to draft a sworn notarized affidavit or a sworn notarized bill of sale, a jurat certification could be added as part of the document itself. A sworn signature is often needed at airports when you swear that no one has tampered with your luggage, at the motor vehicle’s office when you attest to the validity of the documents you are presenting, and at any time your signature is provided under penalty of perjury.
How To Write a Notary Acknowledgment Form
You can write a notary acknowledgment form in one of two ways.
Firstly, you can write the notary acknowledgment form on a separate page and attach it to the document you want notarized. Secondly, you can make the wording of the jurat notary acknowledgment form a part of the original document.
Whether you write your own notarized statement or prepare it using a notary form template, each form must include “notarial wording” to identify and verify the parties involved and confirm that the notary public obtained proper signatures. When notarizing a document, the wording requires you to include the following details in your written notary acknowledgment form:
Location of State and County
- Officially designate where the notarization is taking place, use county and state.
- Notarial Wording designating the document as an Acknowledgment or Jurat
- An acknowledgment confirms the person’s identity and acknowledges that they signed the document willingly.
- Jurat notarizations are required if a signer takes an oath attesting to the truthfulness of the content in the document being notarized.
Date document was notarized
- Use the format of ___ day of ________ 20___
Signer’s Name and space for signature
- Consider including their complete address to indicate you are referring to a particular person. This kind of information is often included in power of attorney forms.
- Space for Notary’s Signature
- Room for Notary Stamp or Seal
Minimum statutory requirements state that the notary’s signature must be signed by hand and in ink. The name presented must exactly match the name on the notary’s commission card that always remains on file at the appropriate county clerk. The seal must also include the expiration date of the commission. The date cannot be crossed out and replaced with another date.
For convenience, you can create a notary acknowledgment form in minutes using our free step-by-step form builder. You can also download our free notary acknowledgment form template on this page.
How To Notarize a Document
Step 1 – Prepare the document
Have the document ready by completing all necessary information ahead of the notary. A document must be fully completed before a notarization can be performed. Be sure there are no blank spaces where fraudulent information could be inserted, for example, a critical date or a specific interest rate.
Step 2 – Locate a notary public convenient to all parties
If a local notary is not available, consider using an online notary to virtually meet with all parties and officially notarize the document. Online notarizations are not legally accepted in all states so make sure to check your state laws before utilizing an online notary.
Step 3 – Be sure that you or the affiant signing the document has proper ID
You must provide government-issued photo identification and a signature for the notary to verify the identity of those who signed the document. The signer must prove their identity, and the notary must believe that they aren’t signing the document under coercion.
Step 4 – Provide to all parties copies of the original documents with the notary seal
The copies will include the notary seal, and this will help certify the notarization was performed correctly when inspected by a third party.
Where To Get a Notary Acknowledgment
- Financial Institution – If you have an account, most banks or credit unions will notarize your legal document for free. If you do not use a financial institution that performs notary services, some large banks may perform the service for a fee, often $10 per notarization. These banks include TD Bank, Bank of America, or Chase Bank.
- Local Notary Public – You may find a local Notary Public using an online directory such as 123notary.com, the American Association of Notaries, or notaryrotary.com.
- Internet/Online Notary Services – if your form can be signed online with a notary public, then you may use services like NotaryCam.com or Notarize.com. You present your information in a collaborative video session with a fully licensed notary public to verify identities, followed by an official virtual notary stamp.
- Local Business – some local businesses like the UPS Store offer services to their customers.
- County Clerk’s Office – most county clerk’s offices provide notarization services for a nominal fee if you are a county resident.
Tips for Writing a Notary Acknowledgment Form
Choose the proper certificate
When writing your notary acknowledgment form be certain you know which certificate form to use. First, it changes the type of notification, and second, the notary public cannot advise you on whether you’ve chosen the correct notarial wording.
You have two choices:
- An acknowledgment that certifies your identity and declares that you have willingly signed the form without coercion.
- A jurat, which requires you to swear or affirm that the contents of the document are true.
In situations where you are not sure which wording to use, it is possible to write in both certificate versions on one form. The notary will fill in their signature and stamp under the appropriate wording per your instructions.
Loose notary certificate
To make the notarized documents as official as possible, you should add the necessary notarial wording on the signature page. There are times when there may not be enough space on the signature page for the notary stamp and the notarial wording. In those cases, you would be allowed to use a loose or separate notary certificate form. This separate form can be stapled to the back of the original document.
You may also use a loose notary certificate if portions of the notarial wording are missing from your document. In those limited circumstances, you may ask the notary to add the wording to the document, which will be in addition to the information on the notary seal and notary signature.
Example Notary Acknowledgment Template
Below is a sample notary acknowledgment form template:
Notary Acknowledgment Form
Notary Acknowledgment Form Frequently Asked Questions
A notary can accept any current government-issued ID that has a photo and signature. Typical forms of ID are a driver’s license, a US passport, or a state-issued ID.
No, there must be an acknowledgment or jurat attached or printed with the document itself in order for it to be properly notarized.
Yes, you can notarize a handwritten notary letter provided that a notary acknowledgment form is appended either at the end of the handwritten letter or attached to the letter with the proper notarial wording included.
Yes, you can notarize a document without notarial wording, although it depends on the circumstances. You may notarize a document without pre-printed notarial wording, provided that the signer can tell you what type of notarization is needed, either an acknowledgment or jurat. You could then attach the proper certificate with the correct notarial wording in place.
If the signer is unable to tell you what is needed and you can’t locate the answer elsewhere, for example from the issuing agency, then you will likely have to refuse to perform the notarization.