Online Notary Course  for California
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Part 3, Section 7
Oaths and Affirmations

Although most commonly administered as part of a jurat, a California notary has the authority to administer oaths and affirmations even without any other notarial act involved.  Code of Civil Procedure §2093(a)

When administering an oath, the notary must:

  • Require that the person taking the oath appear before the notary
     
  • Verify the person’s identity with satisfactory proof of identity
     
  • Ask the person to make a vow of truthfulness, using the word “God” or other deity, or using any form of the word “swear”

For example:  “Do you swear that the statements in this document are true, so help you God”?

Some people prefer not to “swear” to a higher power or deity.  In that case, an affirmation may be used.

When administering an affirmation, the notary must:

  • Require that the person taking the affirmation appear before the notary
     
  • Verify the person’s identity with satisfactory proof of identity
     
  • Ask the person to make a vow of truthfulness under penalty of perjury without using the word “God” or other deity, nor using any form of the word “swear”

For example:  “Do you affirm, under penalty of perjury, that the statements in this document are true?”

In either case, whether an oath or affirmation is administered, the person you are administering it to must respond in a positive manner for the oath or affirmation to be valid.  The preferable response would be an audible “Yes” or “I do”, but legally you may interpret a nod of the head as a positive response for the purpose of completing the oath or affirmation.

Also, you may ask the person to raise their right hand while you are administering the oath to give the ceremony more formality, but it is not a legal requirement.

When administering an oath or affirmation, it is considered a notarial act, and must be entered in your journal.
 


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All rights reserved. Revised: 07/14/09.