My Notary put my clients under oath! Why?
I know what you are thinking. “What?! Aren’t all notarizations the same?” Well, no, they are not. A knowledgeable and experienced Notary can be your best ally when it comes to knowing the differences.
Most of us are familiar with the common Acknowledgment notarization, where the Notary acknowledges that he or she has determined that the person in front of them is who they say they are; that they aren’t under duress; and that they are capable of signing such a document.
But meet the Jurat. When a notarial block contains the words “subscribed and sworn,” it’s a Jurat, and every Jurat requires an oath. So, yes, the Notary is legally required to administer an oath prior to the customer signing their name. In fact, here in Arizona, our Secretary of State’s office has even offered suggestions for the wording of oaths in our manual. Does your state’s manual? And in Arizona, the Notary must administer the oath before every Jurat.
It’s not uncommon for me to encounter a borrower who has never had a notary administer an oath, unfortunately. Still, I am writing this piece today because a loan officer in one of my signings was not aware and asked how recently “this oath thing” became a requirement. I explained that if the documents ever ended up in court, I would be asked if I administered an oath, and it would be imperative that I be able to say that I did honestly. In fact, my notary journal has a place for my signers to initial acknowledging that they swore to a jurat for physical proof. In short, it was always a thing and it protects everyone.
The Jurat is different than an Acknowledgment in that the Jurat requires the signer to swear the information in the document is true to the best of their knowledge. Instead of merely saying the signer is who they say they are, regardless of document contents, the Jurat says the signer acknowledges the document’s contents and swears to their truth. That’s a big deal. And knowing these differences, and executing them correctly, is the kind of expertise you need in a Notary Public and exactly what we offer here at Ave! Notary.