Notary Forms

Notary Public forms are generally brief and to the point, making the transaction clear for the signer and others who have access to the document. States may vary slightly in wording or requirements for notary forms. Here are the basics forms used by notaries.

The Acknowledgement form typically states that a certain instrument was signed by the person who is identified by the notary. The Notary Public seal and signature completes this acknowledgment. Basic requirements are that the person identified signs in the presence of the notary and affirms that the signer is not being pressured to sign the document. Here’s where knowing your state law is so important. Some states may allow notarization of a document presented already signed but other states do not allow this.

The Jurat form uses the words “sworn” or “affirmed” because the notary administers a verbal oath to the signer. To complete this process, the signer must appear before the notary to sign and take the oath. California changed the wording of its Jurat form in 2005 which caught some notaries by surprise. Without the correct Jurat form, in any state, a document could be rejected for legal use. Procedures can change in any state and Notary Publics are fully responsible for knowing any changes in their state laws.

Certifying a Copy needs a statement that the document is a “true, correct and complete copy” which is “in possession of (named person)” and the date. The notary either makes the photocopy of the original document or looks carefully to see that the copy is a true copy of the original. After verifying the signer’s identity, the notary attaches this certificate to the copy.

This process is never suitable for public records or government issued documents such as citizen ship papers and birth/death certificates. Just to be on the safe side, sample attachments for Florida Notaries recommends the addition of these words: “to the best of my knowledge, that the photocopied document is neither a public record nor a publicly recordable document, certified copies of which are available from an official source other than a notary public.”

Fingerprint box is found on some documents to allow space for the signer’s thumb print. Either the form or added statement needs to indicate whether this is the left or right thumbprint. Fingerprinting is a valuable tool to combat identity theft.

The Notary Public Journal or Log is an extremely important record of all notary transactions. A variety of journals can be purchased that have columns to enter the required information. The essential elements of the journal include: name and address of signer, type of identification used, time and date of notarization, type of document and date of the document notarized. Some journals have a designated space for the document signer’s signature. Additional notes are made describing the type of identification, for example a Driver’s License number, date of issue and issuing state.

Some notary forms are on a large stamp which can be easily added to a document.