Notary Bulletin

What Is...A Deposition?

A deposition is a signed transcript of a person’s oral statements, transcribed for use in a court proceeding. A person giving a deposition is called a “deponent.”

Most states authorized Notaries to take depositions, but this function usually is performed by stenographers or court reporters — most of whom are also Notaries. Strict rules of procedure dictate how depositions are executed, so if you lack the appropriate training or supervision, you should not attempt them. Instead, refer the request to a court reporter.

Many Notaries are asked to only swear in a deponent and witness the signing of a deposition taken by a separate court reporter. In these circumstances, you simply administer an oath or affirmation, then executes a jurat. Neither task requires special skills.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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