Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: What Information Goes In The 'By' Space On A Certificate?

In the following certificate wording, what goes in the space following “by”?

Name affidavit sworn to [or affirmed] and subscribed by ______________________.

Should the Notary's name go in the empty space, or the borrower’s? D.B., North Brunswick, NJ

This is actually a commonly asked question. It is the signer's name that you put in the space next to “by.” Here’s why:

An affidavit is a signed, written declaration, made under oath or affirmation in front of an authorized official. When the signature on an affidavit is going to be notarized, the signer must swear to or affirm the truth of the statements in the affidavit, and the signer must subscribe (sign) his or her name on the affidavit. So it is the signer who has “sworn to [or affirmed] and subscribed” the document, not the Notary.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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