Acknowledgement and jurat certificates are the two most common notarial acts, yet there is confusion about the difference between these forms for many signers.


*** JURATS ***

A jurat is used when the signer is swearing to the content of the document.  The notary must administer an oath or affirmation to the signer in order to complete the jurat. A jurat also requires that the signer signs in the presence of the notary. It is possible to glean this information from the jurat certificate its self.  The wording states “Subscribed and sworn to before me…” – subscribed meaning “signed” and sworn meaning that an oral oath or affirmation was given.  “Before me” means that both were done in the presence of the notary public.



An acknowledgement is used to verify the identity of the signer and to confirm that they signed the document.  They are not swearing to the truthfulness or validity of the document, they are simply acknowledging that they signed the document.



A Notary IS NOT ALLOWED to determine which type of certificate a signer uses, to do so would be considered practicing law without a license (WHICH IS ILLEGAL!).
A Notary can ONLY ASK the signer which form THEY prefer
; if they don’t know, the notary will refer the signer back to the originator of the document for the answer.

Notaries may ONLY DESCRIBE an acknowledgment or jurat, but THE SIGNER MUST ULTIMATELY CHOOSE!!

In general:
Acknowledgment certificate will contain the words, “acknowledged before me” or similar wording.
Jurat certificates will contain the words, “subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me.”


TLDR; (Too long, didn’t read)
A Notary can only explain to you what an acknowledgement and jurat is.
You have to pick which one to use, NOT us.
Because we are not an attorney and if we told you which one to use, that would be illegal. (Unauthorized practice of law.)

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