Affidavits are one of the most common acts performed by notaries. Yet, oftentimes it is difficult to distinguish between different variations of affidavit forms.
To recognize an affidavit, look for the following information:
Title: Don’t confuse the document title with the type of the notarial act. The document may have a title with the same, similar or contradictory words appearing at the top of the page. You will need to delve into the document a bit more to search for other affidavit clues.
Jurat: The jurat contains the words “sworn to and subscribed” or “sworn by” or “sworn to and subscribed before me this day,” and will always appear in an affidavit. Sworn means that an oath or affirmation was administered. Subscribed means that the customer signed the affidavit in your presence. The jurat also includes the date which the customer appears before you and is properly identified.
Venue: This describes where you and your customer are located when you take your customer’s affidavit. It includes the words “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” or “State of Pennsylvania” and “County of” followed by the name of the county where the notarial act takes place. If the document does not contain a venue, you, the notary, must add it.
An affidavit must contain your title “Notary Public” and the information on your rubber stamp seal and your signature, signed exactly as it appears on your notarial commission.
Sometimes, pre-printed forms contain incomplete affidavits. You must check that the document contains all parts of the affidavit before placing your signature and seal on the document.
Remember: an affidavit may be handwritten, typewritten or created on a computer. You must include all parts of the affidavit that you draft yourself.
PAN members who have further questions may call 800-944-8790 or E-mail us at [email protected].