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Hotline Tip: What information goes in the 'by' space on a certificate?

NNA Hotline Tips For Notaries

In the following certificate wording, what goes in the space following “by”?

Name affidavit sworn to [or affirmed] and subscribed by ______________________.

Should the Notary's name go in the empty space, or the borrower’s? – D.B., North Brunswick, NJ

This is actually a commonly asked question. It is the signer's name that you put in the space next to “by.” Here’s why:

An affidavit is a signed, written declaration, made under oath or affirmation in front of an authorized official. When the signature on an affidavit is going to be notarized, the signer must swear to or affirm the truth of the statements in the affidavit, and the signer must subscribe (sign) his or her name on the affidavit. So it is the signer who has “sworn to [or affirmed] and subscribed” the document, not the Notary.

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.

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