Credible Witnesses

By
Real Estate Services with Santa Clarita Mobile Notary

In some states*, notaries may use credible witnesses on acknowledgments and jurats when a person whose signature is being notarized does not have any identification.  The following Credible Witness Affidavit could be used -- but not required according to the NNA -- in addition to the standard procedure of making notations of the credible witnesses' information in your notary journal:

Credible Witness Affidavit

*STATES ALLOWING TWO CREDIBLE WITNESSES WITH SATISFACTORY I.D.:  CA, FL, GA, NM, VA

Under the penalties of perjury, I declare that the person appearing before me [NAME OF NOTARY] as [NAME OF PERSON WHOSE SIGNATURE IS TO BE NOTARIZED] is personally known to me ** who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person named in the document requiring notarization; that I believe the person does not possess the required identification; that I believe it would be difficult or impossible for this person to obtain such identification; and that I do not have a financial interest in and am not a party to the underlying transaction.

WITNESS #1                                                                                       WITNESS #2

[Signature of Credible Witness]                                                    [Signature of Credible Witness]    

Only ONE witness is required if personally known by notary. 

TWO credible witnesses required if not personally known to the notary.  Satisfactory ID required.

                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

JURAT

State of ________

County of ________

Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me on this (date) day of (month), (year), by (Print name of first Credible Witness), and by (Print name of 2nd Credible Witness or N/A), who produced the following as identification:

Personally Known [ ]

Satisfactory ID [ ]

Witness #1 - Type ______________

Witness #2 - Type ______________

                   [SEAL]                                                                             (Signature of Notary)

                                                                                                             (Printed or Typed Name of Notary)

 

 **NOTE:  In 2008, California laws changed the language on acknowledgments and jurats prohibiting identifying anyone based on personal knowledge so I would think the language on the above Affidavit would be the same as in the current acknowledgments, "who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence..."  I AM NOT CERTAIN ABOUT THIS AND HAVE YET TO FIND A "CREDIBLE WITNESS AFFIDAVIT FORM ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET, ALTHOUGH I'M SURE THERE IS ONE SOMEWHERE.  THE ABOVE AFFIDAVIT IS FROM A NEWSLETTER FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NOTARIES.

If any notary has information to the contrary or has any other comments on the subject of using Credible Witness Affidavits, I would appreciate hearing from you. 

Thanks!

 

 

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Comments 19 New Comment

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Rainer
41,406
Joan Bergstrom
Mobile Notary, Riverside CA
Joan Bergstrom Mobile Notary

If you are mobile notary (CA) you can decline any notarization, but if you are in a stand alone location (such as CPA office or mail box store/etc ) remember you are a public official' and you must follow the law and notarize for the client if they have the fee required when using 1 or 2 credible witnesses.

In CA you can be sued (DUH by the client) but you can also be fined $750 and your commission could be suspended or revoked by our CA Sec of State.

September 06, 2008 11:51 PM
Rainer
49,747
Denise OnullDell
Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent
Santa Clarita Mobile Notary

Good point Joan!  Thanks.

Even though I prefer notarizing for someone with proper ID, I do not decline a notarization just because I have to use credible witnesses (although it does involve more work). 

Just for the record, the NNA merely said "it couldn't hurt" using the affidavit when I asked them about using it; they weren't "promoting it in any way.  Since this post, I have not used the affidavit when using credible witnesses since it is NOT a requirement.

Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback!

September 14, 2008 08:18 PM
Rainer
27,305
Mary Ellen Elmore

Denise, for whatever reason, I did not respond to you back when you answered my comment, but for other notaries that may not know, I will answer now. 

 

This is a direct quote from the TN State Notary Handbook:

 

“Satisfactory evidence” is defined as the absence of any 

information, evidence, or other circumstances that would lead 

a reasonable person to believe that the person making the 

acknowledgment is not the individual he or she claims to be, 

together with any one of the following:

1. The oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known 

to the officer that the person making the acknowledgment is 

personally known to the witness. [This should be in the form 

of an affidavit discussed earlier.

 

So, TN does allow credible witnesses and does require an affidavit, despite what the NNA says.

 

The TN State Notary Handbook may be found in .pdf format here.

December 07, 2010 08:34 AM
Rainer
27,305
Mary Ellen Elmore

Also, in TN to use a credible witness the CW must also be known by the notary and the signer.

December 07, 2010 08:37 AM
Rainer
49,747
Denise OnullDell
Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent
Santa Clarita Mobile Notary

Thanks for your comments Mary Ellen. 

Just for the record, California notarie are no longer allowed to use the "personally known" rule when notarizing documents - even if it's for the person whose signature we're notarizing.

I appreciate your stopping by! 

 

April 24, 2011 04:33 PM
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Rainer
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Denise OnullDell

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