Texas Notary Glossary
This glossary has been prepared to assist notaries in understanding commonly used words related to their duties. For a more comprehensive list of terms and their definitions consider purchasing the Dictionary of Legal Terms.
- CERTIFIED COPY
- ERRORS & OMISSIONS INSURANCE
- L.S. (LOCUS SIGILLI)
- MORAL TURPITUDE
- NOTARY PUBLIC
- S.S. (SCILICET)
ACKNOWLEDGMENT – Admitting or recognizing the existance of a signed (executed) document by the signer. The affiant is acknowledging in front of a notary public that the document does bear their signature and that they signed it voluntarily. The notarial certificate that the notary signs is sometimes called an acknowledgment or a certificate of acknowledgment.
AFFIANT – The person who makes and signs an affidavit. The term deponent is also used, but should be reserved to describe one who makes a deposition.
AFFIDAVIT – A written statement of facts, made voluntarily, that is sworn to or affirmed, and signed before a notary public.
AFFIRMATION – A solemn statement as to the truth of a document. Used for persons who object to taking an oath; it has the same legal impact as an oath.
APOSTILLE – A certificate of notarial authority issued by the Texas Secretary of State for notarized documents being sent out of the country.
ATTEST – To bear witness to.
BOND – Texas law requires a $10,000 Bond of Notary Public. The Bond is protection for the public you are notarizing for in the event of notarial negligence or misconduct. The Bond does not protect the Notary Public.
CERTIFICATE – A written notarial statement signed by a notary public that is attached to or included in a document describing acts performed in an official capacity. Acknowledgment, jurat, and copy certification are examples of different notarial certificates.
CERTIFIED COPY – A copy, signed and certified as a true replica of an original by a notary public. Texas law prohibits a notary public from certifying copies of items that are publicly recordable.
DEPOSITION – The verbal or written testimony of a witness, given voluntarily or involuntarily, that is sworn to or affirmed before a notary public or other court official. A deposition is usually used in a lawsuit.
ERRORS & OMISSIONS INSURANCE – This is not required, but is strongly recommended. This insurance can be protection for the Notary Public against claims or lawsuits caused by mistakes made in good faith. This insurance will not be protection against deliberate fraud on the part of the Notary Public. Shop for Notary Public Errors & Omissions Policies.
JURAT – Latin, "to swear." A written statement at the end of a document, indicating that the person who signed it swore to the document. The jurat is one form of the notarial certificate.
L.S. (LOCUS SIGILLI) – Latin, "the location where the seal is placed." Used generally to indicate the place for the notary's seal.
MALFEASANCE – An act that a person should not do at all.
MISFEASANCE – Improperly doing an act that you are otherwise allowed to do.
MORAL TURPITUDE - Texas does not have any listing of which specific crimes are considered ones of moral turpitude. However, a loose definition would be those crimes that violated community standards of honesty and good morals.
NOTARY PUBLIC – A person appointed by a state official to serve the public as a disinterested witness, to take acknowledgments, administer oaths and affirmations, and to perform such other acts as are allowed or required by law.
OATH – A solemn statement as to the truth of a document, which calls upon a supreme being to witness this truth and visit them with punishment in the event of falsehood.
SEAL – Your Seal is the symbol of your office, Texas Notary Public. It must meet the requirements of Texas law, and must be affixed to every notarial certificate you complete. Shop for notary public seals.
S.S. (SCILICET) – Latin, "to wit" or "namely." Printed near the venue of a notarial certificate.
SUBSCRIBE – To sign; to write one's signature.
VENUE – The place where the act is performed. Or, the place on the certificate that gives the location where the notarization was performed.