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Common Misconceptions of Notarial Words and Phrases

Notarial terminology and phrases can get confusing especially for a first-time notary. To make it easier for notaries joining the business and a refresher for the veteran notaries, we have created a list of terms and their definitions.   common-misconceptions-FL Notarize a signature: common phrase in the notary business although it often gets misconstrued. Notaries do not witness signatures, but administer an oath, affirmation, or take an acknowledgement. Notarize a document: another common phrase that is often interpreted wrong. The act of notarizing is actually for the person not the document. **although both of these phrases are not technically correct it is okay to use them as long as you and your client know what they mean. Notarial Certificate: The paragraph following the person’s signature. It includes the notaries name, the venue, and a sworn statement. It is not the act but a record of the act. Oath: a pledge made by a person signifying he or she is responsible for telling the truth. It can be oral or written. Affirmation: in lace of an oath because of a religious objection or not religious at all. Just like an oath, it can be oral or written and has the same legal impact as an oath. **If an oath or affirmation is false it is an act of perjury which is punishable by the law. Acknowledgment: declaration that the person has signed the document voluntarily. Of course, everyone gets confused from time to time, so if you feel you need a refresher or are still confused, look into the Florida Education Course, contact our Customer Care line, or re-visit your Florida Notary Handbook.