Jurat Law & Legal Definition

A jurat is the bottom part of an affidavit where the officer certifies that the document was "sworn" before him. Jurat notarizations are required for transactions where the signer must attest to the content of the document, such as all affidavits and pleadings in court. It is a certification on an affidavit declaring when, where and before whom it was sworn.

In executing a jurat, a notary guarantees that the signer personally appeared before the notary, was given an oath or affirmation by the notary attesting to the truthfulness of the document, and signed the document in the notary's presence. It is always important that the notary positively identify a signer for a jurat, as s/he is certifying that the signer attested to the truthfulness of the document contents under penalty of perjury. However, jurat notarizations do not prove a document is true, legal, valid or enforceable.

SS. (or ss.) means "scilicet" from the latin scire licet and translates to "it is permitted to "to wit, or namely", and is placed in a jurat to indicate the location of the signing of the instrument. If this section of the jurat is absent, it is not so material as to invalidate the instrument. It merely serves to indicate the jurisdiction of the notary, which depends on the province or city in which he/she is appointed. SS. may also be used to refer to an abbreviation of the phrase "subscribed and sworn to".

A jurat is typically in the following form:

"Sworn and subscribed before me, on the ___ day of ___, 2005, N.P, Notary Public."