What is a Jurat
What is a Jurat?
Compelling a document signer to be truthful is the main purpose of the notarial act called a jurat. The Notary’s function in executing a jurat is to appeal to the signer’s conscience and to initiate a process that could result in a criminal conviction for perjury if the signer is found to be lying under oath.
In executing a jurat, the Notary must watch the person sign the document, then have the signer make either a solemn, oral promise of truthfulness to a Supreme Being (called an oath) or a promise on one’s own personal honor (called an affirmation). The oath and affirmation have the same legal effect.
Jurats are common with documents that may be used as evidence in court proceedings, such as depositions and affidavits.
The appropriate verbal wording for an oath for a jurat is as follows:
“Do you solemnly swear that the statements in this document are true to the best of your knowledge and belief, so help you God?”
The verbal wording for an affirmation for a jurat is as follows:
“Do you solemnly affirm that the statements in this document are true to the best of your knowledge and belief?”
Oaths and affirmations also may be executed without reference to a document. An example would be the oath of office given to a public official. In this case, the oath or affirmation is a notarial act in its own right. Most often, though, Notaries administer oaths and affirmations for jurats in connection with documents.