Oaths and Affirmations (Notary New York)
Oaths and Affirmations (Notary New York)
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If you have your sights set to become a Notary in New York, you will need to understand something. We need to make a distinction between an Oath and an Affirmation. It is up to the signer to choose one or the other. As a notary, you should ask if they prefer to take an oath or give an affirmation. Too often, the client may not know the difference. It is not your responsibility to explain the difference. Because an explanation has legal implications, you should avoid it. That’s because you are not a lawyer. I’ll explain how to handle this situation in a moment. But first, let’s look at what an oath is.

An Oath

When a person takes an oath, that person swears before God. They sear to tell the truth. If they were to lie, they could be in danger of being prosecuted. That’s because they have committed perjury, according to the law.

An Affirmation

There are people who will encounter that do not believe in a supreme being. As such, they cannot swear before God. An affirmation allows for such a person to affirm rather than swear to the truth.

So, the difference between an oath and an affirmation is that simple. With this awareness, let’s get back to our issue. The client has the right to select the notarial service. You want to avoid any potential problems or misunderstandings. Most public officers handle the situation this way. They say. “Do you solemnly swear or affirm…” This solves the dilemma of any potential mix-up. That’s because you were able to cover both acts at once.

This may seem trivial to some readers. But, please take it with the utmost sincerity. Remember, as a notary, you cannot advise the client as it relates to a legal definition. You could lose your notary license. Even worse, you could place yourself into a situation where you have liability.

We offer blog articles like this on our website. They are designed to address possible issues a Notary Public could face. In addition, we provide notary training for anyone how wants to become a notary in New York. Our New York notary course is available online at: It will prepare you to pass the New York State Notary Exam.

If you do not reside in New York, you can visit your state’s notary public website to get more information about oaths and affirmations.

Hopefully, you will find this information helpful.