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 acknowledgment form provided.
A notary certificate verifies the identity and is essential for all vital legal documents; it is often mandatory for estate forms like the power of attorney and last wills.
Do States Legally Recognize Online Notarization?
Yes, most states recognize online notarization. The only states that don’t recognize it are Massachusetts, Georgia, Delaware, Connecticut, and Georgia. Washington also doesn’t recognize it.
Notary Acknowledgment – By State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What Is a Notary Public?
A notary public is a licensed official with the authority to certify legal documents. In doing so, they are responsible for verifying only 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.
What Documents Need to Be Notarized
If your document is connected to legal matters, banking, or financial institutions, it will typically require notarization and witnessing.
Certain states have distinct legal documents, such as a Will, which necessitate specific signing protocols, including the requirement of a certain number of witnesses. The necessity of having witnesses will vary depending on the nature of the document and the jurisdiction in which it is being executed.
Common examples of documents that often undergo notarization include:
- Last Will and Testaments
- Power of Attorneys
- Quitclaim Deeds
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Mortgage Agreements.
For more information on national notaries in the United States, check the National Notary Association (NNA)
Types of Notarizations
Review the different types of certificates that a notary public can acknowledge:
- Acknowledgment: An acknowledgment is confirmed by having the person sign and confirm their identity; they then acknowledge that they signed the document willingly. It is typically used for transactions, mortgages, deeds, and trusts.
- Jurat: Jurat notarizations are required if a signer takes an oath attesting to the truthfulness of the content in the document being notarized. This is used for legal proceedings like depositions and affidavits. Understand that an affidavit could be satisfactory evidence used in a case, but to make it admissible in court, it requires notarization
- Oaths and Affirmations are solemn promises, either religious or secular, to tell the truth, or affirm the contents of a document. An oath is a solely oral sworn statement that can be used as part of a Jurat or during a legal proceeding.
- Copy Certifications involve the notary attesting to the trueness of a photocopy compared to its original document. Each of these acts carries its own weight and significance in legal processes.
What Is a Notary Acknowledgement?
A notary acknowledgment is a formal declaration by a notary that attests to the fact that a signer of a document has affirmed that they have signed the document willingly and for the purposes stated in the document.
A notary can attach the form to documents such as a power of attorney and a last will and testament. Once they sign the form, they affix a notary seal or stamp to the form to complete the notarization process.
How to Notarize a Document
Follow the following steps to fill out your notarial certificate successfully:
Step 1 – Presentation of Document
The signer has to be present in person or through a secured video conference and present the document to the notary public. A document must be fully completed before a notarization can be performed. Be sure to complete all necessary information in advance and to leave no blank spaces where fraudulent information could be inserted.
Step 2 – Identity Verification
The notary public verifies the signer’s identity, often through government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or passport.
Step 3 – Willingness and Understanding
The notary public confirms that the signer understands the contents of the document and the notarial act itself, as well as makes sure they are signing voluntarily. The notary must make sure there is no coercion involved in signing the document. Also, All parties are required to be present, and each individual signing must be of legal age (18 years old) and possess government-issued identification.
Step 4 – Document Signing
If not already signed in the notary’s presence, the signer will sign the document, or if already signed, acknowledge that the signature on the document is theirs.
Step 5 – Watch the Notary Fill Out the Acknowledgment
The notary will then complete the acknowledgment. You do not need to fill out any of these parts yourself. The notary will fill in the venue (the state and county where the notarization is taking place), the date, and your name as it appears on the identification you provided. They will also write in their own details and provide their signature and official seal to make the acknowledgment official.
Step 6 – Verify the Notary’s Work
Once the notary has completed the acknowledgment, check to ensure your name is spelled correctly and that the other information corresponds to what you have presented.
Step 7 – Keep a Record
Once the notarization is complete, you may wish to take a photograph or make a photocopy of the notarized document for your records, if allowed. Some documents may be confidential, and the notary will advise you accordingly. The notary public may also record the transaction in a notary journal, which is a record of all notarial acts performed by the notary.
Where to Get a Letter Notarized
You can locate a notary public and get a document notarized through various channels:
- Financial institutions: Most banks offer notarization as a complimentary service for their account holders. However, if you don’t have an account, you can visit major banks like TD Bank, Chase Bank, or Bank of America, where they usually provide notarization for a fee, usually around $25.
- Online directory: Find an online directory such as NotaryRotary.com.
- A business like UPS.
- Your county clerk’s office.
Notarization Laws By State
Each jurisdiction has its own state law governing notary procedures. The following is a table highlighting these laws:
|5 ILCS 312 § 6-105
|§ 1-5-610, § 1-5-603
|§ 46:14-2.1, § 52:7-19
|§ 137, § 309, § 309A
|§ 10B-41, § 10B-3
|Title 6, Chapter 121
|§ 57-2a-1 to § 57-2a-7
|§ 14 (RULONA)
Notary Acknowledgment Sample
Review a sample of our form. Download it as a PDF or Word file below:
Frequently Asked Questions
What forms of ID can a notary accept?
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.
Can I notarize a document without an acknowledgment?
No, there must be an acknowledgment or jurat attached or printed with the document itself in order for it to be properly notarized.
Can a handwritten letter be 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.
Can you notarize a document without notarial wording?
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.