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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 15: Notarial acts; forms of acknowledgment or certification; when alternate forms may be used

[ Text of section added by 2016, 289, Sec. 6 effective January 4, 2017 applicable pursuant to 2016, 289, Sec. 7.]

  Section 15. (a) A notary public may perform the following notarial acts: (i) acknowledgments; (ii) oaths and affirmations; (iii) jurats; (iv) signature witnessings; (v) copy certifications; (vi) issuing summonses for witnesses pursuant to section 1 of chapter 233; (vii) issuing subpoenas; and (viii) witnessing the opening of a bank safe, vault or box pursuant to section 32 of chapter 167.

  (b) A notary public 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, ________________________ (name of document signer) personally appeared, 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 or other entity)

  (as attorney in fact for ________________, the principal)

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

  as the voluntary act of the (partnership)(corporation or other entity)(principal)( ).

  _________________ (official signature and seal of notary public)''.

  (c) A notary public 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, ________________________ (name of document signer) personally appeared, 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 public)''.

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

  "On this ____ day of ___________, 20__, before me, the undersigned notary public, ________________________ (name of document signer) personally appeared, 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 public)''.

  (e) A notary public 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 public)''.

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

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

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

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

  (g) A 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:

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

  (ii) 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 or document requiring the notarial act;

  (iii) in the notary public's judgment, the principal is acting of the principal's own free will;

  (iv) the notary public signs the principal's name in the presence of the principal and the witnesses;

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

  (vi) 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

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

  (h) This section shall not require a notary public to use the forms in this section if another form of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing or copy certification is: (i) required or allowed by any court rule or court form or by any court rule or directive, including, with respect to documents presented for filing with the land court and its land registration districts, the rules, forms, directives and guidelines of the land court; or (ii) required by any general or special law including, but not limited to, section 2-504 of chapter 190B, any federal law or any regulation adopted pursuant to any such law; provided, however, that the forms in this section may be used in lieu of any equivalent form authorized or promulgated by any such law or regulation including, but not limited to, section 42 of chapter 183 and the forms in the appendix to said chapter 183 if any such law or regulation does not expressly prohibit the use of other forms.

  (i) This section shall not require a notary public to use the forms in this section if the form of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing or copy certification of 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 the other state.