Understanding Different Types of Notarizations

Notary services are acts by a notary public necessary for various businesses, such as law firms and escrow companies. Many people know that document notarization involves stamping a certificate with a seal, but there is much more. The notary contains specific wording. 

Notary laws vary from state to state. Here are the main types of notarial acts that you should be aware of.



Jurat is a document that certifies the contents of an affidavit or deposition transcript. The signer of a jurat swears under oath that the contents of a specific document are accurate and truthful. To complete the jurat, the notary will verify the signer’s identity and ask the signer to confirm the information in a document before signing it. This means that the signer must meet with the notary during the signing ceremony.

The notary can administer the oath verbally and cannot ask another person to take the oath on their behalf. If the signed document is discovered to contain inaccuracies or lies, the signer may face prosecution for perjury. 



An acknowledgment is when a person appears before the notary public and declares that they understand the information in a document. The signer also acknowledges that they willingly signed a document and that the signature on the document belongs to them. The person acknowledging the document may do it in the notary’s presence or send someone to do it on their behalf. A person can also sign an acknowledgment on behalf of an organization, such as a company.

If the signer is unknown to the notary public, the notary will require sufficient documentation to validate the signer’s identity. After identity validation, the signer must confirm that they willingly signed. The confirmation also binds the individual to the purposes detailed in the document.

Before the notary validates the acknowledgment, they must verify that the signer fully understands the document’s contents before signing. The notary must also determine that the signer is under no pressure or duress to sign the documents. This is why a physical meeting between the notary and the signer is important, and most states don’t allow a proxy to sign the acknowledgment.


Oral Oath or Affirmation

Notaries can also administer oral oaths that have no ties to any document. The oath is a spoken promise that the swearer affirms to uphold specific actions. People who take oaths promise to be truthful and provide accurate statements to the best of their knowledge. Usually, the notary starts the ceremony by confirming the person’s identity.

Notaries also act as witnesses when a person is swearing an oath. However, notaries cannot administer the oath of office or an oath in a military setting. By taking an oath, a person puts their reputation and honor on the line. Oaths and affirmations are common during depositions and other judicial processes. 


Copy Certification and Signature Witnessing

During a copy certification, the notary will verify documents after examining the original documents and their copies. Upon inspection, the notary will attest that the copy or a specific extract is accurate and reflects the original document. The notary also confirms that the copy doesn’t have any missing parts. In some cases, the notary will also have to verify the legitimacy of signatures on a document.

However, most states don’t permit notaries to certify copies of certain documents, such as marriage, death, and birth certificates. Notaries can also witness signature appending and confirm the identities of the people present during the document signing.

At NB notaries, we offer reliable and professional notary services. Our clients trust our agents to understand and verify documents. We provide escrow notary services and general notary services across the country. Contact us to get access to our database of over 66,000 notaries.

Leave a Comment