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Notarial Definitions

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: A formal declaration before an authorized official, such as a notary public, by someone who signs a document and confirms that the signature is authentic. Also, the certificate of the officer on such instrument indicating that the document has been so acknowledged.

AFFIDAVIT: A voluntary declaration of facts, written down and sworn to or affirmed by the declarant ("affiant") before a Notary Public or other officer having the authority to administer an oath.

AFFIRMATION: The act of affirming the truth of a document, not an oath. "I solemnly affirm and declare the foregoing to be a true statement." Note that an affidavit may appear in two forms: a sworn affidavit with oath, or an affirmed affidavit with affirmation. Each has the same legal import.

JURAT: A certification added to an affidavit or document stating when, where, and before whom such affidavit was made.

OATH: A solemn declaration, accompanied by a swearing to God or a revered person or thing, that one’s statement is true or that one will be bound to a promise. The person making the oath implicitly invites punishment if the statement is untrue or the promise is broken.

PROTEST: A notary public’s written statement that, upon presentment for payment or acceptance, a negotiable instrument was neither paid nor accepted.

VERIFICATION: A formal declaration by which one swears to or affirms the truth of the statements in a document. In addition, the statement of a notary public that the person appearing before the notary has been properly identified as being the person purported to be appearing.

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