“An acknowledgment is a formal declaration before an authorized official by a person who has executed a formal or legal written document that the execution of the document was the person’s free act and deed. The fundamental purpose of the acknowledgment is to insure the authenticity and voluntariness of the signature. Before certifying an acknowledgment, a notary must either have personal knowledge of the individual who makes it, or be satisfied of the individual’s identity by thorough precaution (e.g., checking identification cards). An acknowledgment usually states in substance that the person named therein was known to and appeared before the notary and acknowledged the instrument to be the person’s free act and deed.” (NPM Pg. 10)
It is worth noting that an acknowledgement will almost always contain some form of the word “acknowledge” in it.
There are four key parts to every Acknowledgement. These key parts are listed below and must be present for every acknowledgement and can be found in the Notary Public Manual, Page 10
1. Venue: The State, City and County in which the acknowledgement was taken.
2. The date of the notarial act
- A statement that indicates the signer appeared before you “before me appeared”
- The identity of the signer/the signers written name. Sometimes there is a blank to be filled in with the signers name.
- Identification of the signer “to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument.”
- Voluntary acknowledgement statement “and acknowledged that he executed the same as his free act and deed.”
4. Testament Clause: “As witness hereof I have set my official hand and seal.”