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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 20: Lawfulness, accuracy or truthfulness of document or transition involving notarial act; effect of documents not containing acknowledgement or certification; rules of land court relating to filing of documents

Section 20. (a) A notary public shall not be authorized or required to investigate, ascertain or attest to the lawfulness, propriety, accuracy or truthfulness of a document or transaction involving a notarial act.

(b) Except as may be required by the office of the state secretary for the issuance of an apostille and provided the form of acknowledgement, jurat, signature witnessing or copy certification otherwise is substantially similar in legal meaning and effect to the texts of the several forms set forth in this chapter or in the appendix to chapter 183:

(i) failure of a document to contain the forms of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing or copy certification set forth in section 15 or otherwise to comply with the requirements set forth in sections 8 to 23, inclusive, shall not have any effect on the validity of the underlying document or the recording of the underlying document;

(ii) failure of a document to contain the forms of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing or copy certification set forth in said section 15 shall not be the basis of a refusal to accept the document for filing, recordation, registration or acceptance by a third party; and

(iii) failure of a document executed in a representative capacity to contain an acknowledgment that the instrument was also the voluntary or free act and deed of the principal or grantor shall not affect the validity of the underlying document or the recording of the document.

(c) Nothing shall prevent the land court from issuing rules, regulations, directives, orders and guidelines governing the forms of acknowledgements and jurats to be complied with for the filing and registration of documents with the land court and its land registration districts.