The duties of a notary are limited by Hawaii law to taking acknowledgements, administering oaths, affirmations or affidavits, taking depositions, and noting protests. When performed, these duties become notarial acts. Below are definitions and explanations of each along with important information you should know about them.
- Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements are formal statements or declarations from the person signing the documents that they have signed the documents under their own free will. Documents requiring an acknowledgement may be signed without the presence of the notary. Once in front of the notary, the signer just has to acknowledge that they did sign the document and that they did so as their own free act and deed. If the notarization is an acknowledgement it sill contain some form of the word “acknowledge”. If there is no form of the work “acknowledge” within the statement then it is not an acknowledgement.
- Oaths and Affirmations: Oath and affirmations are verbal pledge or promises made by an affiant. These notarial acts are used to invoke a feeling of penalty from God, a Supreme Being, or through legal actions if the affiant is lying about the truthfulness of their statements. Much like an acknowledgement, an oath or affirmation will always have the words “sworn” or “affirmed” respectively within the jurat statement, and sometimes contain both words.
a. Oath: A verbal pledge or promise made by a person in the presence of a notary, to God or other Supreme Being.
b. Affirmation: A pledge or promise made by a person in the presence of a notary, to a legal power.
- Affidavit: A written statement by person, confirmed by oath or affirmation.
- Jurat: A written statement of a notary affixed to an affidavit that an affiant has appeared before the notary, took an oath or affirmation, and signed the affidavit.
- Depositions: The written testimony of a witness, confirmed by oath or affirmation. These are given during a judicial proceeding, in advance of a trial or hearing.
- Protest: A formal declaration made by a person with interest in a transaction, and certified with an oath or affirmation, that they do not approve of the transaction or the transaction is against the person’s will.
a. Noting a Protest: A notary is required to record the information pertaining to the act the notary was used to perform and include their official signature and seal on the note.
i. Example: On a September 28, 2018 at 4:30pm, John Doe requested me, John Jacob, a notary public in the state of Hawaii, to collect and notarize a signature from Jane Smith on the title of the vehicle she sold to John Doe in August of 2018. On October 1, 2018 at 12:00pm I met with Jane Smith and Jane refused to sign the title stating she did not sell John the vehicle. On October 1, 2018 at 12:30pm, I notified John Doe that Jane Smith refused tosign the title and that she stated she did not sell him the vehicle. (insert name, signature, and seal.)
HINT: Know the differences between these