Notary Bulletin Hotline Tip: Defining The Legal Language On Notary Certificates By NNA Staff on September 27, 2012 in Hotline Tips There are many legal-sounding terms used in Notary certificates and within documents requiring notarization. Can you explain what they mean? – B.R., Omaha, NE Many of the legal terms found in Notary certificates may seem complicated, but they actually have simple or familiar meanings. Below is a list of common legal terms you are likely to see on Notary certificates, along with their definitions: Affiant: The signer of an affidavit Attest: To certify or declare to be true Depose: To swear or affirm Execute: To sign Executing Witness: A subscribing witness Instrument: A document Legalize: To make legal or lawful Subscribe: To sign Verification Upon Oath or Affirmation: What some states call a jurat You don’t need to worry about understanding legal terms in the main body of documents you notarize. The only part of a document that you need to understand is its title. Aside from checking for blank spaces in the text, you should not be reading in detail what the document says between the title and the Notary certificate. Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Email Share Leave a Comment Required * Name * Email *(for verfication purposes only) Comment * Enter the text shown in this image *(text is case sensitive)All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.