Does an affidavit have to be notarized?

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Answer: Yes, in addition to being correctly signed and witnessed, an affidavit must be notarized in order to be legally binding.

What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is a sworn statement from an individual that is provided in writing outside of a courtroom. Affidavits are most commonly used to prove the truthfulness of a statement provided during court proceedings or other types of negotiations. They are the written equivalent of providing a statement under oath.

Affidavits are legally binding documents that carry the same penalties as perjury if the statements are found to be lies. The individual who provides an affidavit is known as an “affiant.”

Who can provide an affidavit?

Any individual can offer an affidavit as long as they have the mental capacity to undertake the oath of their own free will. Affidavits are understood to reflect the personal knowledge of the individual providing the oath. This means that the individual providing the statement is not held liable for information of which they were not personally aware.

It also means that the statement may include personal beliefs or opinions in place of, or alongside, fact. In these instances, statements of belief or opinion will need to be clearly stated as such in the affidavit. 

Under certain circumstances, an affidavidt may provided by a guardian on behalf of an individual who is mentally incapacitated.

How to prepare an affidavit

When preparing an affidavit, there are six steps that you must follow in order for the statement to be considered legally valid. These six steps are:

  1. Give the affidavit a title that tells the reader what the statement will be about. If the affidavit is being submitted before a court, you’ll need to include your case caption in the title. 
  2. The affiant provides a statement of identity, wherein the individual identifies themselves and their relationship to the situation or case.
  3. The affiant writes a statement of truth (in the first person), which acknowledges that the contents of their forthcoming statement are accurate and true, to the best of their knowledge.
  4. The affiant provides a statement by providing all of the known, relevant facts of the case or situation. These must be provided in the form of clear, concise, objective details, including names, locations, dates, times, conversations, etc. 
  5. The affiant must sign the statement in the witness of a commissioned notary public. 
  6. The notary, upon verifying the affiant’s identity, will provide their notarial seal to the document, ensuring that it is officially legally binding. 

What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)?

Remote online notarization (RON) is a type of notarization carried out entirely online using audio-visual technology and electronic forms. This differs from more traditional notarization services where the document signers must appear in person before a notary to complete a signature. 

Online notarization allows both notaries and document signers to complete a notarization act within minutes from wherever they happen to be located. This eliminates the need to schedule a place and time to meet with a notary beforehand, giving you the freedom to notarize documents exactly when you need them. 

With remote online notarization the documents and signer identities are analyzed and verified within minutes using a knowledge-based authentication system. Once the tamper-proof, encrypted seal is electronically applied, detailed records of the entire notarial act are then stored for all parties to access at any time. These security features ensure that online notarization is the most secure and trustworthy form of notarization.

Get started with online notarization

PandaDoc Notary provides a reliable, easy-to-use Remote Online Notarization platform ready to meet the specific needs of your business and clients, including notarizing affidavits.To learn more about how PandaDoc Notary can help you, request a demo.

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