Legal Memorandum LI03

NEW ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORMS FOR NOTARIES PUBLIC

Notaries will use new statutory forms on
Deeds, Leases, and Mortgages

Certain statutory forms to be used by notaries public were changed by legislation signed into law in 1997. The new law amends Real Property Law, Section 309 to establish statutory forms that must be used by corporations for acknowledgments. In addition, the new law enacts Real Property Law, Section 309-a which sets out two new forms that must be used on conveyances and other instruments affecting real property located in New York.

The new statutory forms are for use by any "person," which is defined to include "any corporation, joint stock company, estate, general partnership (including any registered limited liability partnership or foreign limited liability partnership), limited liability company (including a professional service limited liability company), foreign limited liability company (including a foreign professional service limited liability company), joint venture, limited partnership, natural person, attorney in fact real estate investment trust, business trust or other trust, custodian, nominee or any other individual or entity in its own or any representative capacity."


AMENDMENT TO SECTION 309: CORPORATE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM

Section 309 of the Real Property sets forth the general statutory acknowledgment forms for corporations, and it was amended to accommodate both genders, as well as the plural. Beginning September 1, 1999, the certificate of acknowledgment must conform substantially with one of two alternative forms in Section 309 for the acknowledgment of a conveyance or other instrument by a corporation. (See Corporate Acknowledgement Form) These acknowledgment forms may be used immediately.

However, these forms should not be used for the acknowledgment, within New York State, of conveyances or other instruments in respect to real property situate in this state that are executed on or after September 1, 1999. A certificate of such an acknowledgment must comply with Section 309-a of the Real Property Law, which is discussed below.


SECTION 309-a: NEW UNIFORM ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND WITNESS FORMS

The Real Property Law was also amended to add a new section 309-a, which sets forth the acknowledgment which must be used, within New York State, of conveyances or other instruments in respect to real property situate in this State. (See Acknowledgement of Conveyance Form) Beginning September 1, 1999, acknowledgments must conform substantially with the new form, which may be used immediately.

Section 309-a also sets forth the certificate which must be used for a proof of execution by a subscribing witness, within New York State, of a conveyance or other instrument in respect to real property situate in this State. (See Certificate of Subscribing Witness Form) Beginning September 1, 1999, certificates must conform substantially with the new form, which may be used immediately.

A certificate or acknowledgment of proof by persons in or with the armed forces of the United States must include the additional information set forth in Section 300 of the Real Property Law.


HOW THE NEW LAW IS TO BE IMPLEMENTED

General

The new uniform acknowledgment and the new uniform proof are to be used (1) only on documents relating to a conveyance or other instruments with respect to real property located in New York State, and (2) only for acknowledgments or proofs taken within the State of New York.

In all other cases, use a form acknowledgment or proof that has been acceptable in the past. For example, the section 309 forms for corporations or a traditional form of acknowledgment or proof for individuals, representatives and other entities may be used

The following describes how the new law is to be implemented. Although the following focuses on acknowledgments, the rules for using the new form for proof by a subscribing witness are the same as those for use of the new acknowledgment:

1. Acknowledgments taken within New York State:

Until 8/31/99:

For all except corporations:

Use either the new uniform acknowledgment or any form that has been acceptable in the past under New York law.

For corporations:

Use either the new uniform acknowledgment or the Real Property Law, Section 309 form.

On or after 9/1/99:

For all, including corporations:

Use only the new uniform acknowledgment.

2. Acknowledgments taken outside New York State:

Until 8/31/99:

For all except corporations:

Use any form that has been acceptable in the past under New York law or a form that conforms to the law of the place where the acknowledgment is taken. Do not use the new uniform acknowledgment.

For corporations:

Use the Real Property Law, § 309, form or a form that conforms to the law of the place where the acknowledgment is taken. Do not use the new uniform acknowledgment.

On or after 9/1/99:

For all except corporations:

Use any form that has been acceptable in the past under New York law or a form that conforms to the law of the place where the acknowledgment is taken. Do not use the new uniform acknowledgment.

For corporations:

Use the real Property Law, § 309, form or a form that conforms to the law of the place where the acknowledgment is taken. Do not use the new uniform acknowledgment.


QUESTIONS

If you should have any questions about the new law or these guidelines, please call the Office of General Counsel at (518) 474-6740.