1. During a jurat a Notary must:
A. Administer an oath to the document signer
B. Administer an affirmation to the document signer
C. Administer a protest to the document signer
D. Either A or B
Answer: D. A jurat requires a document signer to make a legally binding promise that the contents of the document are truthful. The signer has the choice of taking an oath (a promise of truthfulness to a higher power) or an affirmation (a promise of truthfulness made on personal honor), depending on the signer’s preference. Oaths and affirmations are equally binding and the signer may choose either one when requesting a jurat.
2. When requesting a jurat, a signer must:
A. Provide the Notary with a copy of the document’s contents
B. Promise that the Notary will not be held legally responsible for the signer’s actions
C. Sign the document in the presence of the Notary
D. Sign the document before appearing before the Notary
Answer: C. When requesting a jurat, the person requesting the jurat and taking the oath or affirmation must sign the document in the Notary’s presence. Even if the individual previously signed the document, the document must still be signed in the Notary’s presence.
3. When administering an oath or affirmation for a jurat, it is recommended that the Notary should:
A. Have the signer raise their right hand
B. Make sure the signer answers the Notary’s questions with a clear “yes”
C. Avoid jokes or inappropriate behavior while speaking
D. All of the above
Answer: D. An oath or affirmation is a serious promise of truthfulness, with binding legal consequences. While not required by state law, it is a recommended standard of practice for the Notary to ask the signer to raise their right hand to demonstrate the seriousness of the promise being made. When responding to the Notary, the signer should answer with a clear, spoken response. They should not respond with a nod or ambiguous sounds such as “uh-huh” or “mm-hmm.” And both parties should avoid jokes or inappropriate behavior.
4. True or False: A person may take an oath or affirmation in someone else’s name.
Answer: False. An oath or affirmation is a personal promise to tell the truth. One person may not swear that another individual has told the truth. For example, if John Doe appeared before a Notary with power of attorney to sign documents on behalf of Mary Smith, John could not take an oath saying, “Mary Smith swears that the contents of this document are true” even though John has been granted power of attorney. However, John could swear in his own name: “I, John Smith, swear that the contents of this document are true.”
5. Acknowledgments and jurats are different notarial acts, and do not use the same Notary certificate wording.
Answer: True. Acknowledgments and jurats are separate acts. With an acknowledgment, the Notary verifies that an individual has willingly signed the document. With a jurat, the Notary verifies that the signer has sworn or affirmed the truthfulness of the contents of a document. Each act requires separate certificate wording — you may not use acknowledgment wording to complete a jurat, and vice-versa.