As a notary, you may be asked to notarize an affidavit and may not know what steps to take. You may even be wondering what an affidavit is.
An affidavit is a sworn or affirmed statement made before a notary public or any public official who has the authority to administer oaths. It is made under penalty of perjury. The notary must administer an oath or affirmation to the signer(s), witness the signing of the document, and certify the document with an official signature and seal.
The notary must also complete a notarial certificate called a jurat, which is added to an affidavit to document when, where, and before whom the sworn or affirmed statement was made.
Affidavits are often used when a witness who has personal knowledge relevant to an ongoing legal case cannot come to court to testify. A notarized affidavit is one in which you swear the content is true before a notary public.
Steps to Notarize an Affidavit
- When notarizing an affidavit, make sure the signer appears before you in person.
- Look over the document to make sure it contains no blanks or information that was whited out or altered. If any corrections were made or need to be made, be sure to verify them.
- Verify the identity of the signer. Require the signer to present a form of government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport.
- Make sure the signer is acting willingly.
- Complete the notarization properly. A sample of a completed affidavit is found below.
- Record the notarization in your notary journal or official record book.
Click here to view an example of of how to complete an affidavit.
Please be advised: The requirements for notarizing an affidavit varies from state to state. The NAA highly recommends that you check your state's rules and regulations. You should always adhere to your state notary laws.