When they visit a notary, many clients are unsure of the type of notarization they require. Yet, Notaries are unable to select a notarial act on behalf of a signer.
Many documents have pre-printed notary language that makes it clear what kind of performance is required. You may conduct a jurat, for instance, if the phrase required by your state for a jurat is pre-printed on the paper. But, if for any reason the document’s notarial language is missing or the certificate’s wording is unclear to you, wait to move further until you have obtained confirmation of the necessary act from another source.
Ask the signer what form of notarization is required if the certificate is not written properly and clearly. All that is necessary is for the signer to instruct you to carry out a certain action.
You may discuss the various notarial acts and let the signer select one if they are unsure or if you cannot choose the notarial act for them. You can display acknowledgment and jurat certificate samples to the signer. You may continue when the signer selects the type of notarization they desire and the signer can reach out what kind of notarization is required by contacting either the issuing or the receiving agency.
If you are asked to notarize something that is against the law, you should explain that you are not allowed to do so under state law and request that the agency choose an alternative legitimate notarial act instead.