Administering a Jurat
Our discussion now brings us to the other frequently requested notary act known as “administering a jurat”. A jurat means that the notary has required that the party swear under an oath or affirmation that the contents of the document being notarized are true. The difference between an affirmation and an oath is the reference to God or a supreme being.
There is no exact requirement for Jurat wording. A sample affirmation might be worded as follows: “Do you swear that the information contained in this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge?” A sample oath might be, “Do you swear that the information contained in this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, so help you God?”
You might have them raise their right hand but this action is not required. Whether you wish to administer an oath or affirmation is up to you as the notary, but you must do one of the two. Any jurat completed without an oath or affirmation can be overturned in court and the document can be voided until proper notarization.
As you can see, this process is intended to appeal to the conscience of the signer. You as the notary do not have to have evidence that the contents in the document are true as an affirmative statement from the document signer is sufficient. Remember that you, the notary never guarantee the truthfulness of the document in either an acknowledgment or a jurat. With a jurat, you are guaranteeing that the person appeared before you at the time of notarization and that you issued the oath or affirmation and that the signer responded affirmatively.
A jurat is identified by the wording “Subscribed and Sworn to” immediately above the place where the notary public signs his/her name. Please note the following requirements:
- The signer must personally appear before the notary on the date and in the county indicated.
- The signer must sign in the presence of the notary public.
- The notary public must administer the oath, for example, “Do you swear or affirm that the statements in this document are true?”
- Beginning 2005, the signer of a jurat must be properly identified.