Acknowledgment of an instrument includes the formal execution of a certificate of acknowledgment by the officer taking the acknowledgment. If an instrument does not have an accompanying certificate of acknowledgment, then such instrument will generally be treated as a non acknowledged instrument. The official administering the acknowledgment certifies the following things in a certificate of acknowledgement:
- The person signing the acknowledgment actually appeared before the official;
- Such person was personally known by the official to be the signor of the instrument;
- Such person proved to the official to be the signor by oath or affirmation of a credible witness known personally to the official.
A certificate of acknowledgment must be attached to the corresponding instrument in such a way that it shows that the instrument was the paper referred to in the acknowledgment. If there are any unnecessary words or recitals present in a certificate of acknowledgment, it will not invalidate the certificate. However, such certificate will be invalidated if it changes the meaning or render it with some uncertainty.