Affidavits Must Be Notarized To Be Effective

An affidavit is a document in which an individual makes a statement, swearing that what he or she says is true and accurate. Such a document is often used by an attorney or court official to settle a legal action or establish cause for such. Because it is such an important statement that could impact the life of another person or persons, an affidavit signing must be witnessed by an official such as a notary public.

An affidavit must contain information based on the maker's personal knowledge of the facts in a situation, or on his beliefs in such. And, an affidavit can be used sometimes in court when a person cannot appear before the court, some courts will allow an affidavit. This is NOT guaranteed so you must check with the court.

Because an affidavit is written voluntarily and outside the courtroom, it is not subject to cross-examination while it is being prepared, but it may be questioned at trial. The maker could be under penalty of perjury if the statements are found to be false. The maker has a moral and legal obligation to tell the truth.

The affidavit must include the full name of the maker, address and date and place of birth. If there is a relationship to the parties named in the affidavit, that must be acknowledged. Details of how the Affiant (maker of the affidavit) acquired knowledge of the events outline in the document must be included.

A notary does not claim that the contents of an affidavit is true. The notaries only verify the identity of the signer. But if a notary knows the contents of the document to be false, then the notary must refuse to do the notarization. At glance, any document which is not filled out completely can't be notarized. When the notary is checking the documents, and runs across something that may seem blatantly wrong, they can call it to the signers' attention.

Without the acknowledgment, Jurat or administered oath of a notary or other qualified official, the information in the affidavit might not be allowed as evidence in a legal action.