Notarization is the official fraud-deterrent process that assures all parties of a transaction that a document is authentic. A notarization is done by a Notary Public, who performs three steps to notarize a document: vetting, certifying, and record keeping. A notary public is a commissioned representative who is charged with verifying the identity of the signer, confirms that the signer signs under his or her own free will, and witnesses the signing event. A notary’s screening helps prevent private citizens from having property stolen by identity thieves, forgers, or others who might exploit the vulnerable.
Many documents and legal forms require a notarization. These include articles of incorporation, vendor contracts, loan agreements, commercial leases, wills, trusts, power of attorney, court documents, and many others. The cost of a notarization depends on the state you're in and whether it is classfiied as a acknowledgement, jurat, or oath/affirmation.
The purpose of an acknowledgment is for the signer, who has been positively identified at the time of notarization, to declare that the signature on the document is his or her own signature, that he or she has willingly signed the document, and that he or she agrees to all of the provisions in the document. Acknowledgments are typically performed on documents controlling or conveying ownership of valuable assets such as property. Acknowledgments cost anywhere between $0.50 and $15, depending on the state you’re in.
During a jurat, the signer must appear in person to sign the document and recite an oath or affirmation confirming that the statements in the document are true. If a person takes an oath or affirmation related to an official proceeding and fails to be truthful, he or she may be prosecuted for perjury. Jurats are typically performed on evidentiary documents related to the justice system. Jurats can cost between $0.25 and $10 depending on the state you’re in.
Oaths and Affirmations
Oaths and affirmations are both notarial acts that compel a person to tell the truth and has he or she essentially promise that they are and/or will tell the truth. An oath is a solemn promise spoken to God or a Supreme Being. An affirmation is a spoken pledge made on the signer’s personal honor instead of referencing a higher power. Those who take an oath or affirmation promise to tell the truth under penalty of perjury, which can result in serious legal consequences. Verbal oaths and affirmations cost between $0.25 and $10 depending on the state. Below is the cost of acknowledgments, jurats, and verbal oaths/affirmations in every state. States with slots left blank indicates that notaries set their own rates.