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What is a Notary?
A Notary Public does more than witness your signature on a document.
Six require-
ments for a Notary Public to notarize a document.
The Notary Public Code
Professional Responsibility
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This page was last updated: 11/14/2010
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The primary purpose of a Jurat is to compel
truthfulness on the part of the document signer.

(under construction) Acknowledgments
The main purposes of an acknowledgment are to
positively identify the document signer, insure
that the signer was aware of the contents of
the document, at the time it was signed,
and signed it willingly.

Doing what is right, not just what is convenient.
Most notarial acts are documented when the Notary completes what is known as a Notarial Certificate that is either part of the document being notarized or attached directly to it.

The Notarial Certificate is the Notary's "certification" of just exactly what the Notary is saying took place when the signer(s) appeared before the Notary (Personal Appearance).   Completion of the Notarial Certificate is the responsibility of the  Notary.


There are four parts to the Notarial Certificate:


The venue must accurately reflect the state and the county in which the Notarial Act took place.  A venue for Notarial Acts that take place on Oahu is as follows:

     )    SS.

Note:  The letters "SS." are an abbreviation for the Latin word "scilicet," which translated means "namely," or "more particularly described as."

The County of Honolulu is the only county within the State of Hawaii that appears in the venue as the "City and County...."  All others simply reflect the name of the county, i.e., Maui, Hawaii, Kauai.

Any necessary corrections to the venue will be made by the notary completing the certificate.


The certification is the statement by the Notary as to what type of Notarial Act was done.  Different Notarial Certificates will contain different wording.  For each certificate, however, it is the responsibility of the Notary officiating at the Notarial Act to insure that what is stated in the Notarial Certificate is what has been either done or confirmed with the signers. 

For example, if the certificate says the signers were sworn to something, the Notary must insure that the signers have been given an oath.  When the Jurat says that the document was "subscribed and sworn to before me," the document must have been signed in front of the Notary and the signers must have been given and oath or affirmation as to the truth of the information in the documents they just signed.  If the signer inadvertently signed the document before arriving in the presence of the Notary, then the signer must be asked to sign the document, again, so that the certificate is accurate.

By signing the certificate and applying their seal, the Notary Public is attesting to the fact that all statements in the Notarial Certificate are correct.  Falsifying any of the information in a Notarial Certificate may subject the Notary Public to severe civil and/or criminal penalties and anyone inducing a Notary to complete such a false/fraudulent Notarial Certificate may also be subject to such penalties.


The next part of a Notarial Certificate is the Notary's signature.  The signature block on a certificate must also contain the typed or printed name of the Notary and a section that gives the date of expiration of the Notary's current commission. 


The final part of the certificate is the Notary's Seal.  There are two types of seals authorized and commonly used by Hawaii's Notaries.  One is the traditional "embossed" seal which, when applied, leaves a raised impression of the seal which contains the Notary's name.  The embossed seal is round in shape.  The other type is an inked rubber stamp which leaves an inked impression and is generally rectangular in shape, usually with some type of border around it.  The information on the two stamps is the same:  State of Hawaii, Notary Public, [Notary's Name].

All parts of the certficiate must be complete. 
JURAT -- Form shown is for a Jurat executed in the City & County of Honolulu.

Of the two certificates (Jurat & Acknowledgment), the Jurat is the only one
that requires that the signer actually sign (subscribedf) the document
in the presence of the Notary.

STATE OF HAWAII          )

Subscribed and sworn (or affirmed) to before me this ______ day of ________________, 20____.

(Signature of Notary)_________________             (SEAL)
Notary Public
Printed Name: (Name of Notary)
My Commission Expires:  (Expiration Date of Notary's Commission)

Unless otherwise indicated by law, the following are examples of the Oath that should be administered in conjunction with a jurat:

Do you solemnly swear that the statements in this document are true to the best of yourknowledge and belief, so help you God.


Do you solemnly affirm that the statements in this document are true to the best of yourknowledge and belief..
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  An acknowledgment is a formal declaration before an authorized official, by a person who has executed a formal or legal written document, that the execution of the document was his free act and deed.  The fundamental purpose of the acknowledgment is to insure the authenticity and voluntariness of the signature.  The written evidence of a document signer's acknowledgment to the Notary that the signature on the document is theirs and that they signed it knowingly and voluntarily is the certificate signed by the notary.

  Although certificates #1 and #6, below, are the most common acknowledgment certificates, Hawaii law also prescribes other Acknowledgment Certificates for specific purposes.

1.An Individual signing on his or her own behalf;

2.An Attorney in Fact Acting for an Individual;

3.A Corporation or Partnership;

4.An Attorney in Fact Acting for a Corporation;

5.A Corporation Acting as Attorney in Fact for Another Corporation;

6.All Purpose Acknowledgment;

7.An Individual Identified by a Credible Witness;

   There will always be instances where a Notary is not able to Positively Identify a signer through the use of a valid piece of identification.  Sometimes no I.D. is available, at other times the signer may have current I.D. but the name on that I.D. may not permit the Notary to Positively Identify the signer (name on I.D. is less than the name being signed).  

    When valid I.D. is not available to positively identify the signer,  the Notary may proceed with the notarization through the use of a Credible Witness.  In Hawaii, the only Credible Witness a Notary may rely upon is a person who has valid I.D. and who is PERSONALLY KNOWN to the Notary and who also PERSONALLY KNOWS the signer.  This is a very strict standard to meet and the requirements of this type of notarization will rarely be met.

    In the Credible Witness Certificate, the Notary administers an oath to the Credible Witness, who is required to swear/affirm that the signer is the person they are claiming to be.

8.An Individual Signing by Mark

   In cases where the signer is unable to sign their usual signature they may, instead, sign the document with a "mark" (traditionally an "X").  Hawaii law provides for a document signed in this manner to be notarized provided the Signature by Mark is witnessed by two impartial witnesses, whose signatures also appear as part of the notarial certificate and whose names and identification information are also recorded in the Notary Journal.

9.     Notary Signing for a Disabled Signer.

          In instances where the signer is physically unable to sign or make a "mark," Hawaii law provides for the signer to verbally direct the Notary to sign the document for them.  However, before this can be done, it is required that the signer's physician prepare and sign a statement certifying that the signer is, indeed, unable to sign their signature or a mark, due to a physical disability.  That original, signed statement by the doctor must be then attached to the document the signer instructs the Notaqry to sign on his/her behalf. 

    Of course, in order to accomplish this, or ANY notarial act, the signer must be able to communicate directly with the Notary.