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Notary Acknowledgement vs. Jurat

Notary acknowledgment and notary jurat are the two most common notarizations. At first glance, they may seem similar but serve very different purposes. 

Keep reading to learn more about acknowledgement vs. jurat, when they are used, and the steps you should follow if you’re a notary in Florida. 

What Is a Notary Acknowledgement? 

A notary acknowledgment is a sworn statement that a signer of a document is who they say they are, understand the contents of the document they are signing, and choose to do so of their own free will.

A notary acknowledgment is one of the most common notary tasks because it is used in various fields and industries.

There are seven steps to complete an acknowledgment.

  1. Meet with the signer. Not only does meeting with the signer help verify their identity, but it can also serve as a time to verify their intent and guarantee they are not being forced or coerced into signing. 

Some states, like Florida, have authorized remote online notarizations. If you are following a remote notarization, follow all requirements for remote notarizations. 

  1. Verify the document. The document must be complete to be notarized. There should be no blank spaces or missing pages. This is to help prevent attempts at fraud.
  1. Screen the signer. The notary must positively identify the signer following your state and local laws. A government-issued photo ID like a driver’s license and/or passport is enough to qualify in most locations.
  1. Verify the facts. The signer must verify that they are signing the document willingly. During this time, a notary must be aware and observe any signs of understanding what they are doing. 
  1. Verify the signature. Documents may come pre-signed. If a document is pre-signed, the signer acknowledges that the signature is theirs. If the document is not already signed, now is the time for the signer to apply their signature.
  1. Record the notarization. Follow standard notary best practices and write a detailed record of the notarization. This should include:
  • The date and time
  • A description of the document
  • The type of notarization
  • The signer’s name and address
  • How the signer was identified
  • The fee collected
  • The signer’s signature
  1. Complete the Notarization. Finally, you affix your official seal to the Notary certificate. The certificate must include the following elements: 
  • The venue states the notary’s location at the time of notarization in the format, “State of Florida, County of ____.”
  • The type of notarial act performed is illustrated by the words “sworn” or “acknowledged.” 
  • Whether the signer appeared in person or by remote means. 
  • The exact date.
  • The name of the signer.
  • The specific type of identification the notary used in identifying the signer.
  • The notary’s official signature.
  • The notary’s name must be typed, printed, or stamped below the signature.
  • The notary’s official seal below or to the side of the signature.

What Is a Jurat? 

A jurat, sometimes known as a “verification upon oath or affirmation,” is when a signer confirms the truthfulness of the contents of a document. 

This is different from an acknowledgment because it does not mean that the signer agrees to a contract or the information within a document. Instead, a jurat is only used to verify the validity and accuracy of the information within a document. 

Jurats are used to ensure a document’s content is accurate and encourage the signer to stay honest and truthful. While a notary is not a judge or part of the judicial system, it is still considered a form of perjury. 

Perjury in Florida is a minimum of a third-degree felony, which can be punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and five years of probation. If the perjury is related to the persecution of a capital felony, perjury of a notarized document becomes a second-degree felony. This carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and 15 years of probation. 

A jurat requires only five steps.

  1. Meet with the signer. Until 2020 and the global pandemic, all documents had to be notarized in person. With the new state law, it is now optional for a notary to meet with the signer remotely. 
  1. Screen the signer. Following Florida state laws, the notary must positively identify the signer. 
  1. Administer a spoken oath of affirmation. The notary must receive a verbal affirmation from the signer that the information in the document is accurate. Affirmation of the document must be done verbally with a clear answer of yes or no. Silent answers like a nod of the head, a thumbs up, or a mumbled response do not qualify. Technically, no official phrase or wording must be used here, but many notaries ask signers to raise their right hand when affirming. 
  1. Attach a jurat notarial certificate. A jurat is only official if it includes a jurat notarial certificate attached to the document in question. According to the Florida State statutes, a jurat notarial certificate for an oath of affirmation should be:


COUNTY OF ______   

Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me by means of ☐ physical presence or ☐ online notarization, this _____ day of (month) , (year)  , by   (name of person making statement)  .

(Signature of Notary Public – State of Florida)  

(Print, Type, or Stamp Commissioned Name of Notary Public)  

Personally Known OR Produced Identification  

Type of Identification Produced 

  1. Record the notarization. Follow standard notary best practices and record the notarization in your record book. This should include: 
  • The date and time
  • A description of the document
  • The type of notarization
  • The signer’s name and address
  • How the signer was identified
  • The fee collected
  • The signer’s signature

The Florida Notary Association

The Florida Notary Association is ready to help if you have any questions about becoming a notary or any notary-related task. If you have any questions or want to learn more, we’re all ears and waiting to hear from you. Contact us today!