Basic Notarial Glossary

Notarial Duties and Glossary of Terms (very basic)

Florida Notary Public — A public officer appointed by the Governor whose function it is to administer oaths; to take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments; to attest to or certify photocopies of certain documents; and to perform other duties specified by law.

Acknowledgment — A formal declaration before an authorized official (a notary public) by a person signing an instrument that such execution is his or her free act and deed. The term also refers to the notary’s certificate on the document indicating that it was so acknowledged.

Affidavit — A written statement of facts made voluntarily and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it before an officer authorized to administer oaths (a notary public).

Execute a document — To sign a document.

Free act and deed — To admit one’s act and assume the responsibility for it.

Instrument — A written document.

Jurat — The written notarial certificate on any sworn statement or affidavit completed by the notary public indicating that the document was sworn or affirmed to by the signer.

Solemnize the rites of matrimony — To perform a marriage ceremony.


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