What’s the Difference Between an Acknowledgement and a Jurat?

This question can confuse even experienced Notaries. First of all, the Acknowledgment  the document and Jurat are the two most common types of notarization, but are different in purpose. What becomes confusing is that sometimes the document that needs notarization isn’t worded clearly. As a Notary you have to ask yourself, are you simply “acknowledging” (witnessing) a person’s signature (Acknowledgement), or are you witnessing their oath that something is true, along their signature (Jurat).

But just to keep it as simple as possible, if the wording on a document to be notarized is asking in any way for the person to affirm or swear that something is true, for instance that the ho me they live in is their primary residence (often included in loan documents), then a Jurat is the proper notarization. Typical wording on the document would be: “I certify under penalty or perjury…” or “I do so agree and covenant…” “I affirm…” “I testify that…”

Any documents that just require a signature without any declarative  statement should be notarized using and Acknowledgment. You might feel confused if an Acknowledgment has words like: By signing this…(person’s name) accepts and agrees to the terms and covenants contained in this document. Even with the word “covenant” in there, an oath or affirmation is not involved, and the person is agreeing to something without having to affirm or swear an oath.

A personal appearance before the Notary is ALWAYS required to execute a Jurat. No one else can swear an oath or affirmation for the person named on the Jurat. It is a personal promise that can’t be made by anyone else. In addition, the Jurat must be signed, dated and notarized at the time the oath or affirmation is administered. It cannot be signed in advance under any circumstances.

A personal appearance before the Notary by the person named in an  Acknowledgment is usually required to execute an Acknowledgment, but there are exceptions. A representative with power of attorney or a subscribing witness may appear in place of the person named. A person signing a document requiring an Acknowledgement can sign in advance, bring the paperwork to the Notary and represent to the Notary that it is their signature and they signed it before coming to the Florida Notary. The Florida Notary can notarize this signature based in proper ID and that the person is standing before them stating it is their signature. Even though their signature may be dated a previous date, the notarization ALWAYS carries the actual date of the notarization.

In some cases a document requires both a Jurat and an Acknowledgment. You then administer the oath or affirmation and complete both documents. Some state have developed a combination jurat/acknowledgment form, but other states still require two separate forms.

Acknowledgment Aaron Florida NotaryOath or Affirmation

If you like to get more information visit us at www.AaronNotary.com Governor’s Reference Manual.