Mastering Notary Jurats: Your Complete Guide to a Flawless Notarization Process

Updated 2/1/24

Embarking on the journey of notarization involves mastering various certificate forms, and one key aspect is understanding the crucial difference between two commonly used notary certificates: acknowledgments and jurats. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the nuances of notary jurats, offering insights into their purpose, requirements, and the decision-making process when choosing between acknowledgment and jurat certificates.

Decoding Notary Certificates: Acknowledgments vs. Jurats

When it comes to completing notary certificates, it’s often as straightforward as choosing between “Form A” or “Form B.” However, the decision to opt for an acknowledgment or a jurat is not within the purview of the notary but rests with the person requesting notary services.

Notary Acknowledgments:

Acknowledgments are the most commonly used form in notary services. While many documents already have pre-printed acknowledgment verbiage, it’s essential to recognize and correct any inaccuracies according to state standards.

  1. Purpose of the Acknowledgment: The acknowledgment affirms that the signer appeared before the notary, confirming their identity and declaring their signature on a document, regardless of when or where it occurred.
  2. Documents Requiring Acknowledgments: Deeds, Trusts, Certifications of Trust, Assignments, Powers of Attorney, and various legal agreements often request acknowledgment notarization.

To learn and understand better the acknowledgment checkout our blog Understanding California Notary Acknowledgment Requirements.

Notary Jurats:

Jurats, the second most common type of notary certificate, are typically used for sworn statements or affidavits. Notaries must be familiar with the correct jurat wording to ensure compliance with state standards.

  • Purpose of the Jurat: A jurat certifies that the signer has sworn an oath or affirmed the truthfulness of a statement before the notary, commonly found in documents such as affidavits.
  • Documents Requiring Jurats: Affidavits, Sworn Statements, Occupancy Affidavits, and other documents emphasizing the need for a sworn oath fall under the jurisdiction of jurat notarization.

To learn more about the jurat check out our article How to complete a notary jurat

Choosing Between Acknowledgments and Jurats:

The decision between acknowledgment and jurat lies with the person requesting notary services. If the document indicates swearing or an affirmation of truthfulness, a jurat may be necessary. Conversely, if a simple statement of signing is required, an acknowledgment is likely more suitable. It’s crucial for the signer to make an informed decision based on the document’s nature.

Check out our article Common Types of Notarial Acts and Their Significance

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Jurats

What is the difference between a jurat and a notary?

A jurat and a notary serve distinct roles in the notarization process. A notary is a public official authorized to perform notarial acts, while a jurat is a specific type of notarial act often used for sworn statements or affidavits.

What is a California jurat?

A California jurat is a specific form of notarial act commonly used for sworn statements or affidavits. It involves the signer taking an oath or making an affirmation before a notary public, certifying the truthfulness of the statement. The California jurat has specific wording outlined by the state.

What is the certificate wording for a jurat?

The certificate wording for a jurat includes language indicating that the signer has sworn or affirmed the truthfulness of the document before the notary. The exact wording may vary slightly depending on the jurisdiction, but it typically includes phrases such as “subscribed and sworn” or “affirmed and sworn.”

What best describes a jurat?

A jurat best describes a notarial act where the notary public certifies that the signer has sworn an oath or made an affirmation regarding the truthfulness of the contents of a document. This type of notarization is often chosen for legal documents, affidavits, or statements requiring the signer to confirm the accuracy and honesty of the information presented. The jurat reinforces the commitment to truthfulness through a sworn oath or affirmation administered by the notary public.

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