Notarial Certificate Required
Colorado Notary Training classes must teach the duty to include a notarial certificate on a notarized document. This means that the document must include an acknowledgment, or a jurat (oath or affirmation), or a copy certification before it is notarized.
The document preparer should include the correct type of notarial certificate, to match the intended purpose of the document. Documents that need the permission, approval, agreement or consent of the signer typically have an acknowledgment attached. Documents that need the signer to make a sworn statement typically have an oath or affirmation attached. A certified copy must include a copy certification.
Selecting a Notarial Certificate
If the document does not have a notarial certificate attached, the notary may provide information on the different types of notarial certificates available. The notary may not select the certificate for the customer since that might be considered as unauthorized practice of law (UPL). The signer or document preparer should choose the type of certificate.
Attaching Loose Certificate
For best security, the certificate should be included on the document. If it is missing, the notary can print or stamp the required wording for the certificate, or attach a loose certificate to the document by using a staple, grommet or other secure method of attachment.
The certificate should include the state and county (venue), the date and type of notarial act, the name(s) of the signer(s), and the official signature and stamp of the notary. When a loose certificate is attached, it is a best practice to include a description of the attached document, so that the certificate cannot be removed and attached to another document to commit fraud.
The notary should review the certificate to make sure that it is complete and correct. Some certificates are verbose and may make the notary a party to the transaction. The notary needs to remain a neutral, impartial witness.
Some certificates may use language that is valid in one state but not another. The notary needs to make sure the language complies with state laws.
The most common reason for a missing certificate is because the signer has written the document, rather than an attorney or professional document preparer.
Colorado Notary Training teaches required elements to help the notary avoid errors and omissions and provide good customer service to the public.