Types of Notarial Certificates

Oops! I signed my document ...

If you have signed a document that required the presence of a notary, you will be asked to resign the document. It's not a big deal, just draw a line straight through the signature and sign the document and change the date of necessary. How do you know if you need to sign your document in front of a notary?

You sign the document in the presence of the notary if the document is an:

  • affidavit,
  • verification,
  • or requires an oath,

you must be properly sworn-in and sign the document in the notary's presence. If the document requires witnessing, the notary must personally see you sign the document.

If the document requires acknowledgment, you must appear in person and acknowledge execution of the document.

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Definition for the types of certificates

These are samples for the State of Texas please feel free to copy and paste the samples into your document as you see fit. Please remember to replace the [Date], [Name of Notary], and [Name of The Signer]space holders with the actual date and name or an under score (_______) space for the notary to complete certificate.

Notaries cannot help you a make choice on which type of certificate will best suit your particular document and situation. Use your own best judgment or contact an attorney if you cannot determine what you need.

The State of does not prohibit notarization of a handwritten document.

Most notaries won't notarize a handwritten document or documents without title, signature line, and date. Many clients tell me they were refused the notary by the bank. To prevent this make sure your document has contains key components that allow the Notary Public to Notarize your document. Your hand written and typed document must contain these 5 key items:

  • identify the principal signer,
  • include statements,
  • no blank, no uncompleted areas or fields
    • if you must leave it blank write "to be provided later" or "not applicable"
  • have a signature line for the document signer
  • and contain a notarial certificate or statement such as an acknowledgment, jurat, affidavit where the notary will sign and stamp the document.

If you have been refused by any notary make sure the notary recorded it in the official record book, and that they have stated the reasion for the refusal. I've found that notaries at banks and postal stores just don't get sufficient education necessary to make informed and educated decisions about this service.

An acknowledgment  is by far the most typical of notarial certificates I see. It is a formal declaration before a notary public by someone who signs a document and confirms that the signature is authentic.

Sample Certificate of Acknowledgment

State of Texas
County of Tarrant

On [Date], before me, [Name of Notary], Notary Public for the State of Texas personally appeared, [Name of The Signer] proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that they executed the same in their authorized capacity, and that by the signature on the instrument the person or the entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.

Witness My Hand and Official Seal

A Jurat is a certification added to an affidavit or document stating when, where and before whom such affidavit was made.

Sample Certificate for a Jurat

Sworn to and subscribed before me on the [Date], before me, [Name of Notary], Notary Public for the State of Texas by, [Name of The Signer].

Witness My Hand and Official Seal

An Affidavit is a voluntary declaration of facts, written down and sworn to or affirmed by the declarant ("affiant") before a Notary.

Sample Notary Certificate for Affidavit

State of Texas
County of Tarrant
On [Date], before me, [Name of Notary], Notary Public for the State of Texas personally appeared, [Name of The Signer] who being duly sworn according to law, deposes the following:

[Written Statement follows]


Witness my Hand and Official Seal