Why it’s Important to Know Notary Terms
Knowing these terms will help you prepare for your notarial job, ensure that the document is properly signed and certified, and provide additional security measures so that documents are valid, legally binding, and protected from fraud or misuse. As with any legal process, it’s always best to consult an attorney and your local governing bodies if you have questions about how to proceed. A licensed professional can provide insight into the appropriate steps needed to complete a notarization accurately and effectively. By understanding basic Notary terminology, we can all better serve our clients as well as protect ourselves in any notarial transaction.
25 Notary Terms
Here are 25 Notary Terms you need to know in 2022:
- Acknowledgment: A statement provided by a Notary that certifies the signer acknowledged executing the document in their presence, as well as verifying their identity and understanding of the document.
- Affiant: An individual who makes a statement or affirmation under oath. Looking for a more elaborate definition of the affiant meaning?
- Journal: A record kept by the Notary of each notarial act they perform, usually containing information about the document and parties involved.
- Affidavit: A written sworn statement of fact, which may be used in a court of law, or other legal proceedings.
- Jurat: A certification made by a Notary on an affidavit or deposition stating when, where, and before whom it was sworn to or affirmed and that the signer is known to them personally or they have satisfactory proof of identity.
- Power of Attorney: A legal document authorizing one person (the “agent”) to act as another person’s legal representative to manage their affairs. The individual granting the authority is referred to as the “principal”.
- Verification Upon Oath or Affirmation: A declaration under penalty of perjury that a document is true and correct.
- Signature Witnessing: An act performed by a Notary Public where they observe someone signing a document and confirm that it was done so voluntarily and without duress or fraud.
- Oath: A promise made before an authorized official (i.e., notary) that the signer will tell the truth, such as in court testimony or when signing an affidavit or other legal document before a notary public.
- Affirmation: A solemn, verbal declaration made in lieu of an oath when a signer (or affiant) is not willing to swear or affirm their truthfulness by taking an oath.
- Copy Certification: A certification performed by a Notary that the copy of a document they are presented with is identical to the original version and has been properly duplicated.
- Certificate of Authenticity: A statement included on a document attesting that it was signed before a Notary Public and is valid in its current form. The certificate also contains information about the Notary such as their name, signature, seal or stamp, commission expiration date, etc.
- Document Certification: A document that verifies the authenticity of a copy of a document, often requested by foreign governments or institutions as proof that the original is genuine and has not been altered.
- Protest: A notarial act where a Notary certifies to having witnessed an individual sign a negotiable instrument (such as a check) under protest for non-payment, dishonor or other reasons.
- Multi-State Notary Public: A Notary who is commissioned in more than one state, allowing them to perform notarial acts across jurisdictional lines without needing additional appointments.
- Notarization: The act of officially verifying documents with the signature and seal of a Notary Public.
- Notarial Act: An act performed by a Notary that is legally binding and requires the signer to appear before them, such as an acknowledgment or jurat.
- Seal/Stamp: A stamp with the Notary’s name, official title, state and expiration date used to authenticate documents in some states.
- Loan Signing Agent: A commissioned Notary whose specialty is signing mortgage documents for borrowers so that their loan can be processed quickly and accurately.
- Remote Online Notarization (RON): A process utilizing technology where a document’s signature is witnessed remotely by a notary, rather than in person. Typically with the help of an Secretary of State approved RON Platfrom.
- Traveling Notary Public: A commissioned Notary who travels to different locations to perform notarial acts for clients, such as signing loan documents or authenticating documents.
- E-Notarization (Electronic Notarization): A process utilizing technology where the documents are electronically certified by a notary through an online platform, instead of being done in-person.
- Certificate Attestation: The act of confirming the validity and authenticity of documents by verifying them
- Notarial Certificate: The language placed on a document after it has been notarized that states which type of notarization was performed, as well as other required details.
- Digital Certificate: A Digital Certificate is used specifically to notarize online notarizations. Looking to learn more about the difference between Notary Certificate and Digital Certificate?