A Washington notary acknowledgment form lets a notary public confirm the legitimacy of the signing party’s signature and prevents forgery on legal documents like deeds, mortgages, and affidavits. It not only authenticates the signer’s identity and intent, but it also acts as a deterrent for individuals attempting fraud.
A notary public can use an acknowledgment form to affirm a pre-signed document or verify an unsigned one. They must have satisfactory evidence to prove that the signing party is who they claim to be and are signing their name voluntarily. Once a notary public confirms these conditions, they can finalize the form by signing their name and adding their seal.
Statute: RCW Title 42, Chapter 42.45.
Form of Acknowledgement: Forms of acknowledgment must abide by the sample in RCW § 42.45.140, meaning your acknowledgment should include the county and date of acknowledgment and whether the acknowledgment is for an individual or in a representative capacity.
Notary Term of Commission: Four years (WAC § 308-30-050).
Notary Handbook: The Washington Department of Licensing has a Notary Public Handbook containing information on notarial procedures and the licensing/renewal processes.
Is Online Notarization Legal in Washington?
Yes. Thanks to the adoption of Senate Bill 5641 in 2019, notaries can authenticate a signing party’s signature via audio-video communication. The notary must acquire at least two proofs of identity when conducting remote notarization. They should also produce a recording of the act and retain it for at least ten years.
How to Notarize
Step 1 – Locate a Notary
Locate an in-person or remote notary. If you prefer to notarize a document from the comfort of your home, you can look for a remote notary on websites like 123notary.com.
If you prefer to go in person, research financial institutions in your area, including banks and credit unions. Bank of the Pacific has several locations throughout Washington. You can also look at more nationally known banks, like Chase Bank.
Step 2 – Bring Your Document
Step 3 – Attend Your Appointment
Attend your notary appointment. According to RCW § 42.45.170, a notary public doesn’t have to charge fees for notarial acts. However, the director can establish maximum fees that a notary public can charge, so you should prepare to pay for the services.
Step 4 – Present Your ID
Present your ID in the form of a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued nondriver ID card (RCW § 42.45.050). The notary can also have personal knowledge of the signing party so the signing party doesn’t have to present an ID.
Step 5 – Sign the Form
Provide your signature voluntarily in the notary’s presence. If you’ve already signed the document before your appointment, attest that it’s yours.
How to Verify a Notary
- Visit the Washington State Department of Licensing’s License Lookup tool.
- Choose one of the following options: “Search for Licensee using a License Number” or “Advanced Search with License Details.”
- Select “Notary Public” from the dropdown list of professions.
- Type in the license number if you selected the first option in step two. Type in the notary’s additional details if you selected the second option in step two.
- Analyze the search results to learn more about the notary’s status.
How to Write (for Notary)
- Download a notary acknowledgment form in PDF or Word format.
- Write the county name.
- Include the date you’re acknowledging the signing party.
- Document your name and the signing party’s name.
- Explain which document you’re acknowledging.
- Account for who the signing party is signing for.
- Sign your name.
- Write your name in print and include your seal, license number, and commission expiration date.