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How to Administer an Oath or Affirmation

December 20, 2015

One of the most important duties of the Notary is to administer oaths and affirmations, which are solemn promises of truthfulness made by a signer, witness, or new office-holder.

 

An oath is a promise to a deity and an affirmation is a pledge on one's personal honor. Both are legally binding promises to tell the truth and subject the oath-taker or affirmant to penalties for perjury.

 

Verbal oaths or affirmations may be notarial acts in their own right -- as when "swearing in" a new public official -- or they may be part of performing a jurat notarization for a signed document.

 

It is customary for the Notary to ask the oath-taker or affirmant to raise the right hand in a pledging gesture or to place it over one's heart. Oaths and affirmations should be always be taken seriously by the Notary and the person being sworn or affirmed.

 

~National Notary Association

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