Signing agents not requiring an oath on jurat

If one more borrower looks bewildered when I ask them to raise their right hands and repeat after me prior to signing a jurat, then tells me after administering the oath, “I’ve never had to do that before!”, I swear I will report the previous signing agent to the state licensing bureau.

Administering the oath upon jurat is an integral part of the responsibilities of a Notary Public. Not doing so invalidates the certificate issued for that document.

If a signing agent is not prepared and willing to fulfill ALL of the duties of a Notary Public, give up the license and find another line of work!


I agree. I get that so much also. It is pitiful.

My experience is identical to yours Judi. I’ve been performing these notarial acts for years and folks nearly always act shocked & question why they must be placed under oath . . .

Like your experience, they’re adamant they’ve never had to be placed under oath previously. Never ceases to amaze.

Same. I’ve always just answered with a quick explanation of “subscribed and sworn to”. But the massive influx of newbies in my area jumping on the loan signing bandwagon, so many of whom seem to have no idea of the actual duties and responsibilities they have sworn to uphold (yes, people, that was actually an oath you signed), has been taxing.

And yet I get a dozen calls a week from people who can’t find a Notary Public.


I’ve taken a lot of heat on my procedure with this…but I stand by it.

When a document requires a jurat (where they’re swearing to the truth of the contents) I go over the entire document - my basis being, how can they swear to the truth of something if they don’t know what the statement says?

So those title affidavits “swearing” to certain facts about the property? Yep, I went over each one line by line. Yes my signings took extra time because of that BUT I know, later on down the line, when the borrower says "I would NEVER say that - I know they read it and said “yes it’s true”.

I am 100% against the “swear in at the beginning, once, and acknowledge at the beginning, once”.



My state, Wisconsin requires either an oath or affirmation. I have almost completely relied on affirmations after I had a signer go ballistic on my for asking him to swear an oath. The man was an adamant atheist and was deeply offended by the request. I explained to him that he could use the affirmation under penalty of perjury instead and that calmed him down. Just so I don’t have to deal with that again, I decided to rely on the affirmation exclusively.
The second point of invalidity of the jurat if no oath or affirmation is taken is technically correct. If no statement is made and the document is only signed, the signers have signed a document containing a false statement. The jurat says that the signer has made the statement (signed and sworn). The practicality of relying on that fact is subject to question since I have seen attorneys and escrow officers at closings never ask for a sworn statement. If it is a fraud, there are one hell of a lot of fraudulent affidavits taken in my corner of the country.


Agree, jnewberry. Another example of people who take license as a Notary Public and make no effort to perform the duties as required by law, thereby undermining the entire process.

You’d think an attorney would know better!

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LindaH, you are an accomplished professional who performs her duties with integrity.

I am proud to call you a peer.


I agree with your last statement completely. Using an oath as done in a court of law is different than making a sworn statement. The former is an oath that the person will tell the truth guaranteeing a future act. The sworn statement is an oath that something has been done, not will be done. They have been presented with a list of statements contained in a document and all of those statements are true The only exception might be if the oath is given once after completing the documents and swearing that all affidavits signed were the truth. But relying on the adage that “more of something is always better than less of something”, an oath should be taken for each individual document.

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As a “newbie” who literally knows nothing… thank you! I wanna be like you when I grow up :joy: but seriously.

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I was informed that it’s okay to tell the borrower that I will need to administer the oath or affirmation, but it’s their choice if they want me to do it as we go along or wait until the end and do one fell swoop. Is this not okay to do?

Personally, I would never leave a choice like that up to the borrower. As the Notary Public, you run the signing. Shifting your authority to the borrower just confuses them and undermines your ability to ensure a clean closing.

Consider a method that works best with your style. Gather all the jurats so that they are signed in a group and administer the oath once, or administer anew with each document… so long as you do the oath!

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Why would you shift authority to the signer who is probably clueless? You are the notary, it is your responsibility to know the laws, and proceed accordingly.

Oath required, you give the oath!

What is the source of your information that you thought it was okay for the signer to say, ah no, not doing that?

Common sense should tell you otherwise.

I feel like people are really Misunderstanding my original question. First I Always give an oath or Affirmation. I do ask which one they want because some people Do Not Swear to God because they don’t believe in God. So I’m not gonna make someone swear to God if they don’t want to.

All I wanted to know was:
Do you give the oath/affirmation: the beginning
2. As you are proceeding with the signing
3. At the end of the signing

That’s all. And I think I got my answer. Thank you.


llegrantik_II who are you addressing please?

Llegranttlk_II, reporting flagrant failures of standards required is the duty of all professionals.

Ignoring such behaviors undermines the validity of the notarial act.

If the public is not able to trust that ALL Notaries Public will perform their duties accurately, then what is the purpose of using one?

Certain individuals seem to only concern themselves with loan signings, and perhaps believe themselves outside the rules. However, those individuals have sworn to uphold the laws and regulations required by the governing body that issued their certificate, and their actions reflect on all Notaries Public.


One oath at the beginning is sufficient if you word it properly.


You are not kidding. The signers always tell me no one has done that before and they feel it’s official.

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When I asked two signing mentors, they both said you don’t have to do that. No one really does. :thinking::roll_eyes:

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I see that too many times to track. I would love to know what their thinking is