A notarized document features the content of the original document and a notarial certificate that includes a notary seal. The notarial certificate portion must be included to authenticate the document completely. The wording of a notarial certificate varies according to the format chosen by the notary.
A notarial certificate on a notarized document includes date of notarization, location of notarization, type of identification, statement of appearance before a notary, name and signature of the notary, and the seal. An official notary seal has four essential elements that include the words "notary public" and the location of the notary as commissioned, which is usually the county and state.
Notarized documents also include the type of notarial act being performed. This is in reference to the act being an oath, acknowledgement of some kind or an affirmation of facts. An oath is a sworn statement attesting that a document is authentic. Acknowledgements are used by the notary when a person is acting within his own rights as an individual. Affirmations are a simple statement that a notary affirms a document's authenticity. When a photocopy of a document needs to be notarized, the notary may use a certification attesting that the copy is identical to the original document.