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Notary Bulletin

Tips To Help Notaries Complete Error-Free Jurats

New-Oath-resized.jpgUpdated 9-28-20. A common type of notarization customers need is a jurat. A jurat, also known as a "verification upon oath or affirmation" in some states, requires the signer to swear or affirm that the contents of a document are true.

When executing a jurat, a Notary must use certificate wording that is specific to the requirements of state law. Jurats are used for documents such as affidavits and depositions, which often are used as evidence in trials or other legal proceedings.

4 Parts Of A Jurat

When performing a jurat, there are four things you need to certify:

  1. The signer was physically in front of you when you performed the notarization.
  2. You verified the signer’s identity, if required by your state, using a method acceptable in your state.
  3. You witnessed the signer sign the document in front of you.
  4. The signer swore or affirmed that the statements in the document are true. Although it is not required by law, it is recommended that the signer raise their right hand to emphasize the seriousness of the oath or affirmation.

The purpose of administering a verbal oath or affirmation is to again, confirm your client is committing to honesty.

State Notary Laws Affecting Jurats

Some states may have additional rules regarding jurats. California requires its Notaries to identify a jurat signer using satisfactory proof of identity under CA lawFlorida does not authorize Notaries to transcribe affidavits or depositions, but does permit Notaries to execute jurats on these documents. Texas Notaries may not take oaths or acknowledgments (or perform other notarizations) on a federal enclave or Indian reservation, according to the Notary FAQ on the Texas Secretary of State's website. 

Ohio requires its Notaries to identify the affiant when executing a jurat on an affidavit, according to the Ohio Secretary of State's "Information For Newly Commissioned Notaries Public." Ohio Notaries also must use a jurat certificate that clearly states the type of act and that an oath was administered to the signer, but the law also allows Notaries to use the new statutory jurat certificate form now found in ORC 147.551 since it contains both. In addition, an Ohio Notary must not complete a jurat certificate for a notarial act if the Notary has not administered an oath.

Oaths Vs. Affirmations

It is up to the signer to choose whether they want an oath or affirmation. With an oath, the signer is promising before a deity, such as: “Do you solemnly swear that the statements in this document are true, so help you God?” With an affirmation, the signer swears on their personal honor, such as: “Do you solemnly affirm, on your own personal honor, that the statements in this document are true?” Both questions must be asked out loud and the signer must respond with an “I do” or “Yes.”

A Jurat Can't Be Sworn Or Affirmed In Someone Else's Name

It is never acceptable for a third party, such as an attorney in fact, to execute a jurat or take an oath or affirmation on behalf of another person. For instance, if John Smith appeared before you, he would not be permitted to swear on behalf of Jane Doe that the document contents are true and complete.

However, John Smith could take an oath or affirmation in his own name, even when acting as an attorney in fact for Jane Doe. In this instance, he is personally promising, in his own name, that the contents in that document are truthful.

Want to brush up on your notarization skills? Notary Essentials can give you the expertise you need to perform the most common notarial acts in your state with ease and accuracy.

Cindy Medrano is the Social Media Coordinator at the National Notary Association.

Additional Resources:

NNA Hotline


View All: Best Practices


Add your comment

Paula Bills

31 Oct 2016

This page is still blocked. I cannot resd it

National Notary Association

31 Oct 2016

Hi Paula. We're sorry you're having problems with an article. If you can please email us at and describe the problem you are having and the type of device you are trying to read the article on, we will see if we can assist you in resolving the issue.

Gerry B.

01 Nov 2016

Question rather than comment, a lot of documents leave no room for the Notary Seal, what is the solution for that, on the back of the document??????? Sorry, but this has been bothering me for awhile.

National Notary Association

02 Nov 2016

Hello Gerry. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Francisco Garcia

24 Apr 2017

We suppose to take time to read these matter carefully.

Donna J. R. Conne

10 Jul 2017

About the Nov. 2, 2016 answer to the Nov. 1 question about remedy for doc with no room for our seal. What States don't allow a certificate to be attached? [Acknowledgments VS. Jurats]

National Notary Association

11 Jul 2017

Hello. Maryland does not permit separate certificate wording to be attached to a document.

Yesenia Mejia

03 Jun 2018



17 Jul 2018

Hola me gusta ser notaria

Gerard Ashton

23 Oct 2018

Definitions vary, but I think of a jurat is the certificate completed by a notary after administering a written oath. Not all written oaths are verifications upon oath because the contents of a document are not being verified, rather, a promise about future conduct is being made. An example is an oath of office. Everything I wrote about oaths also applies to affirmations.

Matt Miller

23 Oct 2018

I find that so many notaries forget to give the oath when complete jurats. Personally, I think it's the best part! ;)


24 Sep 2019

This is very interesting. This must be something they are adding to us?

25 Sep 2019

HI, for a Ca Jurat, if the document requires a jurat to be attached with extra information. Where can I write in the extra items required on the jurat?

National Notary Association

25 Sep 2019

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

Tona Cornelius

14 Oct 2019

The photo in the article is wrong. Although it is not required by law, it is recommended that the signer raise their right hand to emphasize the seriousness of the oath or affirmation. Your photo has both hand over heart and right hand raised. Wrong. Only right hand need be raised. Please replace all photos in the associated articles showing with both raised right hand and hand over heart - because the action is wrong and NNA will teach something that isn't correct.

John Helfrich

06 Oct 2020

What is the current way of doing a "document certification by custodian." Can a Jurat be utilized if the customer, in their own words, refers to the fact that he/she is certifying the document's authenticity?.

National Notary Association

08 Oct 2020

Hello. Please see this article for more information:

Helen Asker

10 Nov 2020

What do I provide the signer when the document reads, "I Swear..." but in the instructions and the request of the signer, they ask for an Acknowledgement? I thought "I Swear" automatically means a Jurat is required. I am in the state of CA.

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2020

Hello. Because Notaries are ministerial officers, they are not authorized to make judgments regarding what type of notarization is required for a document. If the signer requests an acknowledgment, then you should provide an acknowledgment per the signer's instructions.

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