The signer of the jurat must give an oath or affirmation before a jurat is completed, and the notary public must witness the signing of the document in person. Jurats and acknowledgements are the two most commonly used forms by notaries; however, the two are often confused.
Acknowledgements are used to verify the identity of the signer and to confirm that he signed the document, but the signer is not swearing by the truthfulness of the document like he would with a jurat. In some states, the signer does not need to sign the acknowledgement in the presence of the notary public; however, the signer is required to confirm his signature to the notary in person.
While notaries are required to understand the difference between jurats and acknowledgements, notaries are not allowed to decide whether a jurat or acknowledgement is necessary, as that constitutes practicing law, for which notaries are not licensed. If the signer does not know which document he needs, notaries should refer the signer to the originator of the documents for confirmation.Learn more about Public Records