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The purpose of a jurat is for a signer to swear or affirm that the contents of a document are true. It can also be known as an affidavit, affirmation or a verification on oath.
Jurat notarizations are required for transactions where the signer must attest to the content of the document.
In executing a jurat, a notary guarantees that the signer personally appeared before the notary, was given an oath or affirmation by the notary attesting to the truthfulness of the document and signed the document in the notary's presence.
It is always important that the notary positively identify a signer for a jurat, as she is certifying that the signer attested to the truthfulness of the document contents under penalty of perjury. However, jurat notarizations do not prove a document is true, legal, valid or enforceable.
Administering the oath or affirmation is a vital part of performing a jurat or verification because the signer is affirming that the contents of the document are true, and he or she may be prosecuted for perjury if the contents are not true.
Unlike a jurat (which requires a sworn oath), an acknowledgment is to merely confirm the identity of the document signer and acknowledge that they signed the document. If the document was signed outside the notary's presence, the document signer must make a personal appearance before the notary to confirm it is their signature prior to the document being notarized.
The acknowledgment notarization is not part of the document and it does not affect its validity. Typically, they are executed on deeds and other documents that will be publicaly recorded by a county official.
A notary may need to administer an oath or affirmation orally, rather than as part of a jurat, affidavit or another written document. The purpose of administering a verbal oath or affirmation is to compel a client to truthfulness.
While both oaths and affirmations are notarial acts that compel a person to tell the truth, an oath is a solemn, spoken pledge to God or a Supreme Being, while an affirmation is a spoken pledge made on the signer's personal honor with no reference to a higher power. Either is considered acceptable and the choice is left to the signer.
The signer always determines the type of notarization act they require. Notaries can explain the difference between the two types of notarizations to educate the signer, but making the decision for the signer is something a notary can not do.
Acknowledgements and Jurats are two of the most common acts notaries perform. They cannot both be used on the same document, however using one or the other during a notary signing is required.
Acknowledgements are certificates that confirm and verify the identity of a signer, and for the signer to declare that they willingly signing the document and personally appeared before the notary.
Jurats require personal appearance before a notary and are used when a client swears to, or affirms the truthfulness of a document to the notary. Jurats require that the client sign the document in the presence of the notary at the time of the signing appointment.
Any document that fails to contain the correct notary language will require a loose notary certificate to be attached. Any documents that don’t comply with your state’s requirements don’t provide enough room for the notary stamp, or if another notary previously used the preprinted certificate, are all reasons to attach a loose notary certificate.
Can A Tennessee Notary Certify a Copy of a Document?
A notary public in Tennessee is NOT authorized to certify copies and it is actually ILLEGAL for a notary to certify a copy of a vital document (such as a birth certificate).
An alternative procedure called "copy certification by document custodian" may be permissible. With this procedure, the document's custodian or holder signs a statement attesting to the accuracy of the copy, and the Notary notarizes the custodian's signature on the statement. The difference is that rather than directly certifying the copy, the Notary is notarizing the custodian's signature on a statement vouching for the copy's accuracy.