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The Most Common Notarial Acts a Notary Public can perform

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

To properly notarize a document, the document must display Notarial language that clearly indicates the desired notarial act. Typically, a document will have a notarial certificate on the last page. The Notary should review the notarial certificate first to determine the notarial act that is needed such as administering an oath (or affirmation) or an acknowledgment.

If a customer presents a document that does not have a notarial certificate included, the Notary can attach a “loose notarial certificate” based on the signer’s preference. Without a completed notarial certificate, the notarization is incomplete.

The Notary can explain the different notarial acts to the signer, but the signer must always choose which acts they want the Notary to perform. A Notary cannot choose the notarial act for the signer.

Here are the most common notarial acts and definitions authorized to be performed by a Notary in Missouri. The person must appear before the Notary, present a document, and be personally known to the Notary or identified by the Notary through satisfactory evidence.


  • The signer indicates to the Notary that the signature on the document was voluntarily affixed by him/her/them for the purposes stated within the document and, if applicable, that the individual had the authority to sign in a particular representative capacity

Oaths and Affirmations

  • Oath – Makes a vow of truthfulness or fidelity on penalty of perjury while invoking a deity or using any form of the word “Swear”


  • Affirmation - Makes a vow of truthfulness or fidelity on penalty of perjury, based on personal honor and without invoking a deity or using any form of the word “swear”


  • Signs the document in the presence of the Notary; and

  • Takes an oath or affirmation from the Notary vouching for the truthfulness or accuracy of the signed document

Signature Witnessing -

  • Signs the document in the presence of the Notary

Copy Certifications – The Notary:

  • Locates or is presented with a paper or an electronic document that is not a vital record, a public record, or a recorded document;

  • Compares the document with a second paper or electronic document that is:

a. Presented to the Notary

b. Located by the Notary; or

c. Copied from the first document by the Notary; and

  • Confirms through a visual or electronic comparison that the second document is an identical, exact, and complete copy of the image or text and, if applicable, metadata of the first document

To schedule a Notary appointment, call EVS Notary at 314/804-0021 or book online -


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