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SHORT FORM CERTIFICATES
The Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) requires that a notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate. This means that, when notarizing documents, the notary public must include a statement indicating the type of notarial act performed, showing when, where and before whom the notarial act was completed. It is never acceptable to place only one’s signature and seal on a document, without any notarial language.
 
The notarial certificate issued by a notary public must:
1)    be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act (while the customer is present);
2)    be dated and signed by the notary with the notary public's name exactly and only as it appears on the notary’s commission;
3)    identify the county and state in which the notarial act is performed;
4)    contain the notary’s official stamp, which must be placed on the certificate near the notary public's signature in a form capable of photographic reproduction. 
By executing a certificate of a notarial act, a notary public certifies that the notary has the authority to perform the notarial act and is not prohibited from performing the notarial act due to conflict of interest under section 304 of RULONA; has complied with the requirements for certain notarial acts under section 305 and has required personal appearance of the customer as described by section 306.
Sample notary statements are available for the following notarial acts:      
  • Acknowledgements
  • Oaths or affirmations
  • Verification oath or affirmation (affidavits)
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature
  • Certifying or attesting a copy or deposition

Acknowledgments        

An acknowledgment is a declaration by an individual before a notarial officer that: (1) the individual has signed a record for the purpose stated in the record; and (2) if the record is signed in a representative capacity, the individual signed the record with proper authority and signed it as the act of the individual or entity identified in the record. 

A notarial officer who takes an acknowledgment of a record shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, all of the following:  

(1) The individual appearing before the notarial officer and making the acknowledgment has the identity claimed.  

(2) The signature on the record is the signature of the individual.  

Three acknowledgment short forms are provided by RULONA. The person acknowledging the record must personally appear before the notary. In addition, the person may sign the document in the notary’s presence or acknowledge that the signature on the document is his or her own. 

 

(1) For an acknowledgment in an individual capacity: 

State of 

County of 

This record was acknowledged before me on ___________ (date)  

by ____________________________(name(s) of individual(s)).  

Signature of notarial officer  

Stamp  

Title of office 

My commission expires:  

 

(2) For an acknowledgment in a representative capacity: 

State of  

County of 

This record was acknowledged before me on _____________ (date)  

by ______________________________(name(s) of individual(s))  

as ______________________________(type of authority, such as officer or trustee)  

who represent that (he, she or they) are authorized to act on behalf of ____________________ (name of party on behalf of whom record was executed).  

Signature of notarial officer  

Stamp  

Title of office  

My commission expires: 

 

(2.1) For an acknowledgment by an attorney at law pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 327 (relating to oaths and acknowledgments):  

State of  

County of  

This record was acknowledged before me on __________________ (date) 

by _________________________ (name of attorney)  

Supreme Court identification number ______________  

as a member of the bar of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court certified that he/she was personally present when _______________________ (name(s) of individual(s)) executed the record and that _______________________ (name(s) of individual(s)) executed the record for the purposes contained therein.  

Signature of notarial officer  

Stamp  

Title of office  

My commission expires:

  

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Oaths and Affirmations 

An oath is a formal declaration or promise to perform an act faithfully and truthfully or an affirmation of the truth of a statement. Oaths are usually given for three purposes: (1) That a statement is the truth; (2) That the testimony he or she will be giving will be the truth; (3) That he or she will faithfully perform the duties of a public office. Oaths may be spoken or written. An oath that is not based on an appeal to a higher power or supreme being is called an affirmation. Individuals who prefer not to swear may make an affirmation. 

 

Examples of verbal oaths/affirmations 

Notary:           Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) that the statements contained in this affidavit are true to the best of your knowledge and belief?  

Affiant:           I do. 

 

Notary:           Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) that the testimony that you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?  

Witness:         I do.  

 

Example of notary public written oath/affirmation of office 

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 

County of Dauphin  

I, Joe Q. Notary, having been duly appointed and commissioned a Notary Public in and for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.  

Signature of notarial officer 

Stamp 

Title of office 

 

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Verification on oath or affirmation (affidavit) 

A verification on oath or affirmation is a declaration, made by an individual on oath or affirmation before a notarial officer, that a statement in a record is true. The term includes an affidavit. 

A notarial officer who takes a verification of a statement on oath or affirmation shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, all of the following: 

(1) The individual appearing before the notarial officer and making the verification has the identity claimed. 

(2) The signature on the statement verified is the signature of the individual. 

A verification on oath or affirmation is a voluntary, sworn written statement. One verification on oath or affirmation statement is provided by RULONA. The name of the affiant (the person giving the statement) must be mentioned in the affidavit and the affiant is required to sign the affidavit in the notary’s presence.

 

(3) For a verification on aoth or affirmation 

State of 

County of 

Signed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on ___________________ (date) 

by ____________________________ (name(s) of individual(s) making statement. 

Signature of notarial officer 

Stamp 

Title of office

My commission expires:

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 Witnessing or attesting a signature

 A notarial officer who witnesses or attests to a signature shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, all of the following: 

(1) The individual appearing before the notarial officer and signing the record has the identity claimed.

(2) The signature on the record is the signature of the individual.

(4) For witnessing or attesting a signature:

State of

County of

Signed (or attested) before me on _______________________ (date)

by ______________________________ (name(s) of individual(s)).

Signature of notarial officer

Stamp

Title of office

My commission expires:

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Certificates

A notarial officer who certifies or attests a copy of a record or an item which was copied shall determine that the copy is a complete and accurate transcription or reproduction of the record or item. The notary public must make sure that the copy is exactly the same as the original.

Pennsylvania Notaries public may not certify certain Federal, State or County records. Only the agencies where these records are filed may certify copies, because they alone hold the original documents or records. This would include the following types of documents:

 

  • Birth records
  • Death records
  • Marriage records
  • Corporate records, i.e. Articles of Incorporation

 

(5) For certifying a copy of a record:
State of

County of

I certify that this is a true and correct copy of a ____________________

in the possession of ____________________

Dated

Signature of notarial officer

Stamp

Title of office

My commission expires:       

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Certifying the transcript of a deposition

 A deposition is an involuntary sworn statement made by a witness for use in legal proceedings. In taking a deposition, the notary public should first make sure the witness is sworn in (see Oaths and Affirmations above). The notary should then personally record or supervise the recording of the testimony of the witness. After the testimony is transcribed, the notary should let the witness read and sign the transcribed copy of the deposition. The notary then certifies that the witness was sworn and that this document is a true and record of the witness’ testimony. The deposition should be sealed in an envelope and filed with the court or sent to the prothonotary for filing.

 
If a videotaped deposition is requested, the notary should make sure the witness is sworn. However, it is unnecessary to have a stenographic transcript and the witness’ signature. The videotape should be given to the attorney for the party requesting the deposition.

 

The certificate for a transcribed deposition should comply with the following format.
(6) For certifying the transcript of a deposition:

 

State of
County of
 
I certify that this is a true and correct copy of the transcript of the deposition of __________________
 
Dated
Signature of notarial officer
Stamp
Title of office
My commission expires:

       

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