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Jurats and Acknowledgements are both certificates that are used to authenticate the identity of the individual signing the document. As a rule, an acknowledgment certificate will contain the words, “acknowledged before me” or similar wording. Jurat certificates will contain the words, “subscribed and sworn to before me.

An acknowledgment certificate ensures that the signer of the document is indeed the person named in the document. The job of the notary is to verify the identity of the signer. A jurat certificate is used when the signer is swearing to the content of the document. The notary must administer an oath or affirmation to the signer to complete the jurat. In either case, the notary doesn’t decide which of the two certificate acts would be a more feasible choice to use in a particular scenario. The notary is the only person that can make corrections to a notary certificate.

When completing an acknowledgment or jurat certificate make sure that the following steps are followed:

  • The Place – fill in the State and the County where the notarization took place.
  • Name of person(s) whose signatures you are notarizing.
  • Pronouns – make sure you strike out any inappropriate wording (i.e., he/she/they is/are, a person(s)).
  • Notary Seal – your seal should be close to your signature and it should not overlap any wording.
  • Notary Signature – make sure to sign your name the same way it appears on your commission name on file.

Check your Secretary of State’s notary public website for acknowledgment and jurat certificates that you can print and have on hand when you need to use one.