Acknowledgments Law & Legal Definition

The acknowledgement is the section at the end of a document where a notary public verifies that the signer of the document states he/she actually signed it. Typical language is: "State of ______, County of ______ (signed and sealed) On ____, 20__, before me, a notary public for said state, personally appeared _______, personally known to me, or proved to be said person by proper proof, and acknowledged that he executed the above Deed." Then the notary signs the acknowledgment and puts on his/her seal, which is usually a rubber stamp, although some still use a metal seal. The person acknowledging that he/she signed must be prepared to verify their identity with a driver's license or other accepted form of identification, and must sign the notary's journal. The acknowledgment is required for many official forms and vital for any document which must be recorded by the County Recorder or Recorder of Deeds, including deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages, powers of attorney that may involve real estate, some leases and various other papers.

Acknowledgements may also be drafted to affirm a variety of matters, acting in effect as a written confirmation of an act such as receipt of goods, services, or payment.