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Decoding Notarial Acts: Acknowledgment vs. Jurats

Notarial acts play a pivotal role in validating the authenticity of documents, but navigating the nuances between acknowledgment and jurats can be perplexing. In this blog, we unravel the key differences between these two common notarial acts, shedding light on when and why each is used.

Understanding Acknowledgment:

  1. Definition: Acknowledgment is a notarial act where the signer of a document acknowledges, before a notary, that they willingly and voluntarily signed the document. It doesn’t require the signer to swear an oath.
  2. Typical Use Cases: Acknowledgment is often employed for real estate documents, deeds, contracts, and other legal instruments where the signer affirms their identity and intent.
  3. Notary’s Role: The notary verifies the identity of the signer, ensures they are signing willingly, and then acknowledges the execution of the document.

Exploring Jurats:

  1. Definition: Jurat involves the signer swearing an oath or affirming, in the presence of a notary, that the contents of the document are true. It includes a statement of the place, date, and the notary’s certification.
  2. Typical Use Cases: Jurats are commonly used for affidavits, depositions, and other documents where the signer is making a sworn statement.
  3. Notary’s Role: The notary administers the oath or affirmation, verifies the signer’s identity, and then certifies the document with a jurat statement.

Key Differences:

  1. Oath vs. Acknowledgment: The fundamental difference lies in the oath or affirmation. Acknowledgment involves a simple acknowledgment of the signer’s identity and intent, while a jurat includes a sworn statement.
  2. Document Verification: Acknowledgment verifies the execution of a document, whereas a jurat verifies the truthfulness of the document’s contents through a sworn statement.
  3. Commonality and Specificity: Acknowledgment is more widely used for various documents, while jurats are specifically tailored for affidavits and sworn statements.


In the intricate world of notarial acts, distinguishing between acknowledgment and jurats is crucial for notaries and signers alike. By understanding the unique purposes and processes of each, we empower ourselves to navigate legal documents with precision and ensure the integrity of the notarization process.

Author: Vandana

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