Jurat question…

(AZ) I am asking to see if other States have the same rule.

In the past week I had two different SS request that I notarize a document that was blank or had blank spaces and it had Jurat language in it. I declined both request and provided them with the AZ code [A.R.S. § 41-328(A)]. which strictly forbids that.

They were surprised by my response but understood and complied with getting the corrected documents sent to me and for that I really appreciated their support and understanding.

Is this only an AZ law because I was under the impression it was not (if my memory serves me right according to the NNA training)and I was surprised that they would ask me to do so.

Are there notaries out there doing this?

I recall seeing a similar rule or other states but don’t remember which ones. In my state, Vermont, there is no requirement in law that a document that is the subject of a notarial act be complete. Our Office of Professional Regulation, after mulling it over for about 4 years, still hasn’t created any rules (except an emergency COVID rule).

In my state, the law does not define the word “jurat”. In ordinary legal vocabulary, a jurat is the certificate the notary fills out after administering a written oath or affirmation. The nearest act to the Arizona jurat would be a verification on oath or affirmation.

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Our FL statute states "A notary public may not notarize a signature on a document if the document is incomplete or blank. "

To me, if a document is blank I’m not notarizing anything. But blank spaces don’t necessarily render a document “incomplete” - so in those affidavits where there may be some blank spaces (have seen it like statements about the survey date, which they don’t recall) - I have them put a line in that space and initial - then there are no “blanks” per se. Not sure if this was your situation but that may be a workaround to consider.

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I was told by both my mentor and my trainer that the date can be left blank. In this case the entire document was blank with no seller or buyer information filled out.

In the first situation I had drawn a line through the blank areas. After I explained why with the quote of the rule in the email they were okay with accepting the document as I had previously notarized.

I agree with you - the only part I would not do is amend the body of the doc in any way (draw the lines in the blanks) - I leave THAT up to the signers and, as I stated, have them initial.

Entire blank doc? Nope, no go for me too…


So are you saying in your state the oath can contain blank spaces?… just asking for clarification

There is nothing in the current Vermont notary law, or the law going into effect July 1, that says written oath or affirmation can’t have blank spaces. There is no official notary rule on the topic. There might be something in some other law that isn’t about notaries, but I’ve never heard of any such thing.

Part of the current law says

§ 5372. Authority to refuse to perform notarial act
(a) A notary public may refuse to perform a notarial act if the notary public is not satisfied that:
(1) the individual executing the record is competent or has the capacity to execute the record; or
(2) the individual’s signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.
(b) A notary public may refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by law other than this chapter.
(Added 2017, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. July 1, 2019.) [Emphasis added]

So if there’s a blank, and I think the blank might lead to trouble, I can refuse to notarize. If it made sense to me that the blank needed to be there, such as an oath of office has a position for the new person’s commission number after it’s filed in the appropriate office, I’d go ahead. But if it looked like it could open up an opportunity for some kind of cheating, I wouldn’t.

Thank you and good to know…

Easy…just draw a line through the open spaces or notary certificate if it does comply with the law and you have to attach a valid cert

On the blank document that would have invalidated the entire document as it was one that is a recordable document so that was not an option

I experienced the same situation in Kansas. For several years I notarized those blank Acks. Happened to be talking to the Sec. of State office one day and casually mentioned these blank Acks. The lady about had a heart attack I think.

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