How to Complete an Acknowledgment

Completing an acknowledgment involves verifying the identity of the signer, confirming their willingness to sign a document, and attaching the notary’s official seal and signature. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to complete an acknowledgment:

1. Identify the Document:

  • Ensure that you have the correct document that requires a notary acknowledgment. The document should have a space for the notary acknowledgment section.

2. Verify Signer’s Identity:

  • Ask the signer for a valid government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license or passport) to verify their identity. Ensure the name on the ID matches the name on the document.

3. Confirm Willingness to Sign:

  • Ask the signer if they are signing the document willingly and without any duress. They should confirm that they understand the content of the document.

4. Complete Notary Acknowledgment Section:

  • Locate the notary acknowledgment section on the document. This section typically includes the following components:
    • The notary’s name
    • The notary’s commission expiration date
    • The date of notarization
    • A statement of acknowledgment
    • The signer’s name
    • A place for the notary’s signature
    • A place for the notary’s official seal
    • The notary’s printed name

5. Notary Acknowledgment Statement:

  • The acknowledgment statement typically starts with phrases like “State of [State]” and “County of [County].” It states that the signer appeared before the notary, acknowledged the document’s content, and signed it willingly.

6. Sign and Seal:

  • Sign your name exactly as it appears on your notary commission. This signature indicates your role as the notary.
  • Apply your official notary seal next to or above your signature. The seal should include your name, commission number (if required by your state), commission expiration date, and the words “Notary Public.”

7. Record Required Information:

  • In your notary journal, record the details of the notarization, including the date, type of document, signer’s name, method of identification used, and any fees charged.

8. Hand Over the Document:

  • Once the notarization is complete, hand the document back to the signer. Your role as a notary is not to provide legal advice but to verify the identity and willingness of the signer.

9. Keep a Copy in Your Records:

  • Maintain a copy of the notarized document and any related records in your notary journal. This helps you keep track of your notarial acts and provides a record in case of any future inquiries.

10. Stay Informed:

  • Keep up-to-date with the notary laws and regulations in your jurisdiction. Notary rules can vary by state or country, so it’s important to stay informed about any changes or requirements.

Remember that the steps for completing an acknowledgment may vary based on your jurisdiction’s laws and regulations. Always follow the guidelines set by your local notary authority to ensure that your notarial acts are valid and legally binding.