Massachusetts Notarization Language Standards - Precision Corporate Services, Inc.

Services > Legalizations and Apostilles > Massachusetts Notarization Language

Massachusetts Notarization Language Standards

When it comes to documents submitted for Apostille or notary certification prior to legalization, Massachusetts holds notaries to a strict standard pertaining to the notarization language set forth. Massachusetts will issue the Apostille or notary certification ONLY IF the format mirrors those set forth within the published Standards of Conduct for Notaries Public, Revised Executive Order 45 (04-04).  The applicable language is found in Section 5 (d-f), and also set forth below.  

 

Section 5: Scope and Description of Duties.

 

(a) A notary public may perform the following notarial acts:

(1) acknowledgments;

(2) oaths and affirmations;

(3) jurats;

(4) signature witnessings;

(5) copy certifications;

(6) issuance of summonses for witnesses as set forth in section 1 of chapter 233;

(7) issuance of subpoenas; and

(8) witness the opening of a bank safe, vault, or box as set forth in section 32 of chapter 167.

(b) In completing a notarial act, a notary shall sign his or her name exactly as it appears on the notary's commission.

(c) A notary shall keep an official notarial seal or stamp that is the exclusive property of the notary, which may not be used by any other person.

(1) A notary public shall obtain a new seal or stamp if the notary public renews his or her commission, receives a new commission, or changes his or her name.

(2) The notarial seal or stamp shall include: the notary public's name exactly as indicated on the commission; the words "notary public," "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" or "Massachusetts", and "my commission expires on [commission expiration date]" or "commission expires on [commission expiration date]" or "commission expires [commission expiration date]"; and a facsimile of the great seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

(3) Each new notarial seal that uses ink shall, after the date of this Executive Order, use black ink.

(4) A notary public may satisfy the requirements of this section by using a stamp and a seal that together include all of the information required by this section.

(d) A notary shall take the acknowledgment of the signature or mark of persons acknowledging for themselves or in any representative capacity by using substantially the following form:

On this ____ day of ___________, 20__, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared ________________________ (name of document signer), proved to me through satisfactory evidence of identification, which were _______________________, to be the person whose name is signed on the preceding or attached document, and acknowledged to me that (he) (she) signed it voluntarily for its stated purpose.

(as partner for ____________, a partnership)

(as ____________ for ______________, a corporation)

(as attorney in fact for ________________, the principal)

(as ___________ for _______________, (a) (the) _________________)

_________________ (official signature and seal of notary)

(e) A notary shall use a jurat certificate in substantially the following form in notarizing a signature or mark on an affidavit or other sworn or affirmed written declaration:

On this ____ day of ___________, 20__, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared ________________________ (name of document signer), proved to me through satisfactory evidence of identification, which were _______________________, to be the person who signed the preceding or attached document in my presence, and who swore or affirmed to me that the contents of the document are truthful and accurate to the best of (his) (her) knowledge and belief.

_________________ (official signature and seal of notary)

(f) A notary shall witness a signature in substantially the following form in notarizing a signature or mark to confirm that it was affixed in the notary's presence without administration of an oath or affirmation:

On this ____ day of ___________, 20__, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared ________________________ (name of document signer), proved to me through satisfactory evidence of identification, which were _______________________, to be the person whose name is signed on the preceding or attached document in my presence.

_________________ (official signature and seal of notary)

(g) A notary shall certify a copy by using substantially the following form:

On this ____ day of ___________, 20__, I certify that the (preceding) (following) (attached) document is a true, exact, complete, and unaltered copy made by me of __________________ (description of the document), presented to me by ______________________.

_________________ (official signature and seal of notary)

(h) A notary public may certify the affixation of a signature by mark on a document presented for notarization if:

(1) the principal affixes the mark in the presence of the notary public and of 2 witnesses unaffected by the document;

(2) both witnesses sign their own names beside the mark;

(3) the notary writes below the mark: “Mark affixed by (name of signer by mark) in the presence of (names and addresses of witnesses) and undersigned notary pursuant to Executive Order No. 455; and

(4) the notary public notarizes the signature by mark through an acknowledgment, jurat, or signature witnessing.

(i) The notary public may sign the name of a principal who is physically unable to sign or make a mark on a document presented for notarization if:

(1) the principal directs the notary to do so in the presence of 2 witnesses who are unaffected by the document;

(2) the principal does not have a demeanor that causes the notary public to have a compelling doubt about whether the principal knows the consequences of the transaction requiring the notarial act;

(3) in the notary public’s judgment, the principal is acting of his or her own free will;

(4) the notary public signs the principal’s name in the presence of the principal and the witnesses;

(5) both witnesses sign their own names beside the signature;

(6) the notary public writes below the signature: “Signature affixed by notary public in the presence of (names and addresses of principal and 2 witnesses)"; and

(7) the notary public notarizes the signature through an acknowledgment, jurat, or signature witnessing.

(j) This section does not require a notary public to use the forms set forth above if the form of an acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing, or copy certification is required or allowed by the provisions of any court rule or court forms; a Massachusetts General Law, including but not limited to, chapter 183, section 42 or the forms set forth in the appendix thereto, or chapter 192, section 2; any Federal statute; or any regulation adopted pursuant to any such Massachusetts or Federal statute.

(k) This section does not require a notary public to use the forms set forth above if the form of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing, or copy certification if a document contains an alternative form from another State if the document is to be filed or recorded in, or governed by the laws of, that other State.

(l) This section does not require a notary public to use the forms set forth above if the form of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing, or copy certification appears on a printed form that contains an express prohibition against altering that form.