We can witness or attest to your signature in one of two ways:
1. We can witness the signature taking place, by having the signing party physically present to sign the document; or,
2. If the document is already signed, then the signing party can have the signature attested instead, where the signing party signs a second time in our presence.
Certifying Or Attesting A Copy
By certifying or attesting a copy of a document we are verifying that the document in question is an exact copy of another document. To do so, we must compare the copy with the original document and determine that the copy is a full, true and accurate transcription or reproduction of the original.
The simplest way to ensure that the copy meets this standard is for us to make the copy ourselves, when possible. We will make every effort to avoid copying public documents if the documents indicate they should not be copied or or classified. Copies of these documents should be obtained ahead of time by the person requesting the certification.
Administering An Oath
Administering an oath or affirmation is by itself a simple process. We'll ask the swearing party (you) to raise their (your) right hand and either swear an oath or solemnly affirm that they (you) will perform an action or uphold a specific standard based on the situation. For example, these are commonly used for swearing an official into office, where the new office-holder swears to uphold the standards of that office.
Certifying That An Event Has Occurred Or An Act Has Been Performed
We may certify that an event has occurred or an act has been performed based on our personal knowledge or “satisfactory evidence,” which often refers to the oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to us. When relying on the oath or affirmation of a witness, the act is very similar to performing a jurat, in that we will have the witness swear an oath or affirmation that the event occurred or the act was performed, then we will have the signing party sign the document documenting that event or act. If we rely upon our own observations, we are entitled to skip this and simply notarize the document.Keep in mind that just like with a jurat, if we are relying on the oath or affirmation of a third party reliable witness, that reliable witness should be someone that we have a personal enough connection such that they would be willing and able to testify to that relationship in court.
Taking An Acknowledgement Or Verification Upon Oath Or Affirmation
By taking an acknowledgement we are confirming that the person before us was the signing party on a document that has already been signed. In this case, we must confirm not that the document is being signed during the notarial act, but that the document was signed in the past and that the signing party before us was the signing party for the original signature.
It is important to note that an acknowledgement can be taken in either an individual or a representative capacity. These two acts have slightly different requirements, with the latter requiring additional information.
Individual: for an individual acknowledgement, the signing party is confirming that they personally signed the document in the past.
Representative: an individual may need to sign a record in a representative capacity, either for another individual (such as under a power of attorney) or on behalf of a business entity.For these acknowledgements, the representative must identify their title of authority and the party on behalf of whom the document is being acknowledged.
Certifying Or Noting A Protest
Of A Negotiable Instrument
As of July 1, 2018, a Washington notary is only allowed to certify and note protest of negotiable instruments under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney or a licensed financial institution such as a bank. This act requires specialized training and specific circumstances, so only notaries who are acting under the narrow circumstances permitted by statute duty should perform this act. Therefore, we'll perform this service only under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney or licensed financial institution.