Bulletin: OH2019004

Date:
October 22, 2019
To:
All Ohio Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Notarial Acknowledgment and Jurat Language

Dear Associates:

The recently enacted Notary Public Modernization Act, now in effect, has created some confusion regarding acceptable language for use on notarial acknowledgments and jurats. “Acknowledgment” means a notarial act in which the signer of the notarized document acknowledges all the following:

(1) That the signer has signed the document;

(2) That the signer understands the document;

(3) That the signer is aware of the consequences of executing the document by signing it.

"Jurat" means a notarial act in which both of the following are met:

(1) The signer of the notarized document is required to give an oath or affirmation that the statement in the notarized document is true and correct;

(2) The signer signs the notarized document in the presence of a notary public.

Acknowledgments and Jurats are not interchangeable. Acknowledgments are for use on documents such as deeds and mortgages where the signer is acknowledging his/her signature; Jurats are for use on documents such as affidavits where the signer is attesting to the truth of the matters stated therein.

The new law requires Certification language be added to acknowledgments and jurats, and the confusion regards the exact certification language to be used and whether it is required in all acknowledgments and jurats.

The suggested certification language for an Acknowledgment is as follows:

“This is an acknowledgment clause. No oath or affirmation was administered to the signer(s).”

The suggested certification language for a Jurat is as follows:

“This is a jurat. An oath or affirmation was administered to the signer(s).”

The new law suggests that if the form of acknowledgment as set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 147.55 is used, commonly referred to as the “short form” acknowledgment, then the additional certification language is not needed. Likewise, if the form of jurat set forth in Section 147.551 is used, aka the “short form” jurat, then the additional certification language is not needed. Otherwise if a more traditional long form of acknowledgment or jurat is used, then the certification language is mandatory. For purposes of consistency and to minimize the risk of making a mistake, we suggest that the certification language be included regardless of the form of acknowledgment or jurat used. The certification language may be pre-printed on the document, may be on a separate attached document, or may be inserted by use of an ink stamp or even handwritten as a note. We suggest having an ink stamp made with each certification for use on those documents received from outside sources that fail to contain the required language.

The statutory short form acknowledgment is as follows:

(A) For an individual acting in the individual's own right:

State of ............................

County of ...........................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of person acknowledging).

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(B) For a corporation:

State of ............................

County of ...........................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of officer or agent, title of officer or agent) of (name of corporation acknowledging), a (state or place of incorporation) corporation, on behalf of the corporation.

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(C) For a partnership:

State of ............................

County of ...........................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of acknowledging partner or agent), partner (or agent) on behalf of (name of partnership), a partnership.

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(D) For an individual acting as principal by an attorney in fact:

State of ............................

County of ...........................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of attorney in fact) as attorney in fact on behalf of (name of principal).

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(E) By any public officer, trustee, or personal representative:

State of ............................

County of ...........................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name and title of position).

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

The statutory short form jurat is as follows:

State of Ohio

County of .................

Sworn to or affirmed and subscribed before me by (signature of person making jurat) this date of (date).

(Signature of notary public administering jurat)

(Affix seal here)

(Title of rank)

(Commission expiration date) 

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
1.16 Acknowledgments
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None