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Quiz: Jurats

What is the difference between an oath and affirmation during a jurat? What certificate wording is used for a jurat? Take our quiz and test your knowledge.




1. A jurat is a notarial act that:

A. Is identical to an acknowledgment
B. Requires a Notary to administer an oath or affirmation to a signer
C. Is only administered to a member of a jury in court
D. Requires the signer to appear before a judge

Answer: B. During a jurat, the signer must personally appear before the Notary and sign the document being notarized in the presence of the Notary Public. The signer then takes an oath or affirmation administered by the Notary, swearing or affirming the statement in the document is true. A jurat is a separate form of notarial act from an acknowledgment. In an acknowledgment, the signer presents satisfactory evidence of identity to the Notary and acknowledges signing the notarized document willingly.

2. What is the difference between an oath and an affirmation?

A. An oath is taken verbally, an affirmation is a signed promise in writing
B. An oath is taken in court, but an affirmation can be taken anywhere
C. An oath is a promise to a higher power, an affirmation is a promise made on personal honor
D. An oath is a promise made before a judge, an affirmation is a promise made before a civilian

Answer: C. When a jurat is executed, a signer has a choice to make either an oath or an affirmation before the Notary promising that the document’s content is truthful. An oath is a promise made to a higher power, while an affirmation is a promise made on personal honor. Either is acceptable as part of a jurat; the signer has the choice of making either an oath or affirmation based on the signer’s personal beliefs and preferences.

3. When executing a jurat, a Notary must use certificate wording that:

A. Is the same as for an acknowledgment
B. Complies with state law
C. Is different than the wording used for an acknowledgment
D. Both B&C

Answer: D. A jurat is a different notarial act than an acknowledgment. When executing a jurat, a Notary must use certificate wording specifically for a jurat that meets the requirements of state law. Acknowledgment wording may not be substituted for jurat wording — they are two different notarial acts.

4. True or False. In order to execute a jurat, the document must be signed in the presence of the Notary.

Answer: True. 
In executing a jurat, the Notary must actually see the signer write his or her signature on the document. If it has already been signed, the signer must sign again in front of the Notary.

5. True or False. A third party may take an oath or affirmation before a Notary on behalf of an absent signer.

Answer: False.
 When executing a jurat, it is never permitted for a third party to take an oath or affirmation before a Notary in another person’s name. For example, if “John Smith” appeared before a Notary, he would not be permitted to swear, “I swear on behalf of the absent Jane Doe that this document signed by Jane Doe is true and complete.”

However, if John Smith were acting in some type of representative capacity for Jane Doe — such as an attorney in fact — he could take an oath or affirmation in his own name. For example: “I, John Smith, swear that this document is true and accurate.” The difference is rather than swearing on behalf of Jane Doe, in the second example John Smith is personally promising in his own name that the document’s contents are true and accurate.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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Add your comment

Rick de la Torre

18 Feb 2016

5. is a bit tricky since a Subscribing Witness takes an oath to prove execution of a document by the absent principal signer. The Credible Identifying Witness also takes an oath vouching for the Subscribing Witnesses identity.

02 Aug 2017


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