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Great FL Credible Witness affidavit form...
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Great FL Credible Witness affidavit form...
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Posted by Robert/FL on 1/7/10 9:50pm
Msg #317229

Great FL Credible Witness affidavit form...

I found a great credible witness form which I posted at IMO it is better than the one provided by the FL handbook and, if the CW can swear to this affidavit, all bases have been covered. This PDF file provides one form for one CW to sign if personally known to the notary, and another affidavit for two CWs to sign if they produce ID.

Reply by jba/fl on 1/7/10 11:13pm
Msg #317234

Disagree - who want a 2 pager? Too long.

But then, I belong to the KISS segment of society.

Reply by Teresa/FL on 1/7/10 11:27pm
Msg #317240

How many times have you had to use one of these forms?

In over 15 years as a notary, I have used credible witnesses just four times. I created my own one page affidavit using the information from the Governor's Reference Manual. It worked for me...

Reply by jba/fl on 1/7/10 11:48pm
Msg #317243

once n/m

Reply by Sylvia_FL on 1/8/10 6:34am
Msg #317247

Re: How many times have you had to use one of these forms?

I believe I have only had to use credible witnesses once. I use the certificate from the ASN.

Reply by Linda_H/FL on 1/8/10 8:01am
Msg #317253


The ones provided in the manual are sufficient for the purpose.

Where did you *find* these, Robert? You should cite your source.

Reply by jba/fl on 1/8/10 8:15am
Msg #317254

Re: IMO...Overkill...

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.
W. C. Fields

Reply by Laura_V on 1/8/10 8:38am
Msg #317257

I really like this form

The witness regulations are different here in WA, but I love the way this form makes it very clear to people the importance of following the rules exactly or the notarization may be invalid.

Next time someone tells me to "just notarize it" using their goofy version of WA witness rules, I can just nicely email them this form to demonstrate what other states require, explain WA rules, and why I must decline.

Thanks, Robert!

Reply by Linda_H/FL on 1/8/10 9:05am
Msg #317268

Re: I really like this form...

"Next time someone tells me to "just notarize it" using their goofy version of WA witness rules, I can just nicely email them this form to demonstrate what other states require"

I disagree - first of all, what other states require should have no bearing on what you do in WA. Second, this particular form is NOT *required* in FL - the Governor's manual has stated the required form... - I don't know where Robert got this particular form as he has not said, but it's not the form prescribed by the manual.

I wouldn't cite what other states require in supporting my following my own state's procedures.


Reply by PAW on 1/8/10 9:19am
Msg #317273

Re: I really like this form...

It is not required to use the exact form that is shown in the manual. Any form, as long as it contains the necessary elements, as pursuant to the statutes, may be used. This is explicitly stated in the manual: "These notarial certificates are reprints of the forms provided in the Florida Statutes, sections 117.05(13). These forms do not preclude the use of other forms; however, any form that is used must contain all the required information."

Many law offices, real estate offices, paralegals, and even notaries, use their own version of acknowledgments, jurats, and other standard notarial certificates. As long as their compliant, they are okay to use.

Reply by Linda_H/FL on 1/8/10 9:23am
Msg #317274

Re: I really like this form...I know Paul..

I'm just saying it's overkill...and I wouldn't use another state's form to prove how I need to do my job.


Reply by PAW on 1/8/10 9:29am
Msg #317276

I agree

I too have forms that I've used once in 10+ years where witnesses were needed as ID. My forms were actually drafted by the attorney in accordance with the FL statutes. But, as you said, the format and syntax is for Florida, not any other jurisdiction.

Reply by desktopfull on 1/8/10 9:52am
Msg #317279

For Florida, on page 12 (near the bottom) of the Governor's reference manual it clearly states:

"If there is no notarial certificate on the document, the signer must direct you whether he or she wants to make an acknowledgment or take an oath. Unless you are an attorney, you are not authorized to advise a person which notarial act is appropriate for the document presented for notarization, and you may not advise the person about the contents of the document."

Wouldn't you consider providing this form a violation, especially since it's being added to the documents? I would. Instead, I would be contacting the TC, Lender or someone who had the authority to provide or choose the form with the correct wording that meets the Sate's requirements for a credible witness affidavit form. I'm not going to recommend or provide anything, it's that UPL thing you need to consider.

Reply by PAW on 1/8/10 10:11am
Msg #317284

No, it's not UPL. If a credible witness is or witnesses are used, then the statute dictates:

(1) the sworn written statement of a credible witness who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the signer, and

(2) the sworn written statement of two credible witnesses whose identities are proven to the notary and who personally know the signer.

A "sworn written statement" is an affidavit which requires a jurat. No, if's and's or but's about it. See pg 33 of the manual.

F.S. 117.05(5)

Reply by PAW on 1/8/10 10:14am
Msg #317285

Forgot to add

The affidavit is required by statute. However, the affidavit is not intended to be attached to or otherwise affixed to the document containing the notarization. The notarization of the signature is still either an ACK or Jurat, as provided or directed. However, when credible witnesses are used as the form of identification, the notary is obligated to have a sworn, written statement (affidavit) signed by the witness(es).

Reply by desktopfull on 1/8/10 10:45am
Msg #317290

Okay, I've always been told that we aren't allowed to write out or pick the jurat, acknowledgement, etc. that it was the decision of the person making the request. In the case of loan docs, the TC, Lender, or Underwriter, that we can only inform them whether it meets our state requirements for notarization. I've done 3 credible witness closings, in 2 instances the Lender turned down accepting CW's for id, they wanted the borrower to get the name problem fixed so the deed & mtg were the same. It delayed the closing 2 weeks while they fixed the ID problem. In the third, the TC emailed the form they wanted used for the CW which met their Lender's & Underwriter's needs and the FL requirements. They didn't allow me to just pull out a CW jurat and fill it in and attach to the CW's statements.

I did know that a CW certificate required a jurat, not that I was allowed to just provide one for the parties in question.

Reply by Robert/FL on 1/8/10 11:34am
Msg #317297

The CW affidavit is not supposed to be attached to the original document being notarized. The SOS recommends that it be kept in the notary's records.

For Linda's info, this form originated from although I re-typed it to add better space and numbering.

I really like this form because it leaves no question that the person whose signature is being notarized does not have identification and that it would be *difficult or impossible* for the person to obtain identification. It doesn't mean that the person lost the ID or left it at home. This puts the burden on the CW to determine whether or not THEY believe that it would be impossible for this person to obtain ID. I even think that this form is easier to understand from the CW's perspective than the affidavit provided by the governor's manual. And, as PAW stated above, nothing in FL law requires that the suggested notary forms be used exactly, except that the form for attested copies must be "substantially" the same.

The Governor's manual also places the ID info below the signature, ex.:

_______(Notary signature)______________
(Print/type/stamp name of notary)
Personally Known _____
Produced Identification _____
Type of Identifictation produced:

I rarely come across forms like that, even though this is how it's listed in the statutes. Most of the time the ID info comes at the end of the certificate, i.e. "..... who produced ________ as ID or who is personally known to me".

Reply by MikeC/NY on 1/8/10 6:58pm
Msg #317348

I don't think this is UPL...

It would be nice if an actual lawyer would weigh in on this, but the ABA's definition of UPL is attempting to apply the law to specific circumstances. That's why the selection of jurat vs acknowledgment has to be left to the signer - if the notary does it, it's probably UPL.

In this case, the state mandates the requirements for a credible witness. I think (and I may be wrong since I'm not a lawyer) that as long as you provide a document that covers those requirements, you're OK. You would not be applying the law based on the circumstances of a specific signing, you're just *following* the law and enabling the signer to provide the info required. State law in this case apparently requires a jurat, so there's no UPL as far as that's concerned. And this would not be attached to the original document - it's only intended to support the notarization.

I agree with others that Robert's form may be overkill, but sometimes it's better to have more than not have enough so I really don't see a problem with it. It's sorta like wearing a belt and suspenders...

Finally, as far as UPL in general is concerned - people have to stop worrying about it and just do their job. If you keep your nose out of the signer's personal business, the question of UPL will *NEVER* come up.... The problems only arise when the notary starts taking an interest in what is in the documents. Notarize, don't analyze...

Reply by PAW on 1/8/10 7:42pm
Msg #317353

Couldn't agree more

Do your job. If you do it correctly, UPL doesn't enter the picture.

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