What is 28 USC 1746? A Quick Guide for Beginners

28 usc 1746

No matter the size of your business and organization, you are bound to handle and manage piles of paperwork in your lifetime. And at certain points, you will have to have various documents like contracts and agreements notarized. While seeking legal services is essential to running a successful business, it can also be expensive. Notarizing paperwork can cost you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars annually.

To save some money, it is vital to acquaint yourself with 28 USC 1746, a law enacted by the U.S. Congress that will help businesses and individuals determine which documents must be notarized and which don’t have to be. If you are unfamiliar with it, this article will guide you through the ins and outs of 28 USC 1746.

 

Table of Contents

 

What is 28 USC 1746?

After recognizing the financial implications of notarizing various documents to businesses and institutions, the U.S. Congress enacted 28 USC 1746, a law limiting the circumstances when a notary would be necessary. According to section 1746, any document or paperwork required to be supported by a notarized statement other than a deposition, an oath of office, or an oath required to be taken before an official other than a notary can use a declaration under penalty of perjury as a sufficient substitute.

Wherever, under any law of the United States or under any rule, regulation, order, or requirement made pursuant to law, any matter is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the sworn declaration, verification, certificate, statement, oath, or affidavit, in writing of the person making the same (other than a deposition, or an oathof office, or an oath required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public), such matter may, with like force and effect, be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the unsworn declaration, certificate, verification, or statement, in writing of such person which is subscribed by him, as true under penalty of perjury, and dated, in substantially the following form:

(1)If executed without the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date).

(Signature)”.

(2)If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date).

(Signature)”

Source: The United States Department of Justice Archive

What is a Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury?

As mentioned earlier, there are documents exempted from needing a notarization for it to be enforceable and legally binding. Under the 28 USC 1746, you can procure a declaration under penalty of perjury instead.

But what is it exactly? A declaration under penalty of perjury is a sworn statement acknowledging that facts declared in the statement are true and correct to the best of the declarant’s knowledge. It is similar to an affidavit, except you do not need to have it witnessed and sealed by a notary public.

If you have dealt with numerous documents in the past, you might have already come across the declaration under penalty of perjury without recognizing it. Although they can come in various forms, the affiant usually puts the declaration at the end of the document.

Examples:

“I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date).”

“I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date).”

How can 28 USC 1746 help your business?

Having a good understanding of laws and regulations is one of the keys to running a successful business. It helps you navigate through transactions more efficiently, and it helps protect your organization from incompliance and unlawful conduct.

When it comes to document management, you have to familiarize yourself with 28 USC 1746. As discussed earlier, this law is meant to provide guidelines on when to get your documents notarized and when it is okay to forego it and use a sworn statement instead. How does it help your organization exactly?

28 USC 1746 allows you to save money on legal services. Getting all documents notarized when it’s not necessary can be extremely costly to your organization. It is estimated that, on average, a company spends thousands of dollars on notarization fees. You can cut the cost by a quarter or even half if you know the full extent of 28 USC 1746.

Moreover, it also unburdens you from the inconvenience of having to find a notary public every time you are signing documents. You can skip this process and add the declaration under penalty of perjury in documents that do not have to be notarized.

How can Fill help you with your business?

Today’s modern landscape has paved the way for a more convenient way of managing and dealing with paperwork. Gone are the days when you must diligently and manually handle all your files and documents. Now, you can go fully digital with your approach.

When you sign up with Fill, you can take advantage of its full suite of features designed to simplify your document management workflow. With Fill, you can send signature requests online with just a few taps of a button. You can also add fillable fields so your signer would know precisely where to sign and what information to supply. Similarly, you can also sign documents digitally by creating your electronic signature.

It is also easier to keep track of the progress of your paperwork using Fill’s real-time audit trail and log. You can also set a deadline for the signing to ensure the timely completion of your document process. With this feature, your signer will receive reminders of the deadline.

Most importantly, Fill is safe and easy to use. It uses military-grade encryption to thwart any attempts of breaches and unauthorized document tampering. You also do not have to worry about forgery as Fill uses high-level security measures. Fill is also HIPAA and GLBA Compliant.

Also read: Are Electronic Signatures Legal? 1 Easy Way to Find Out

Final Thoughts

Before you send out any documents for notarization, it is best to revisit 28 USC 1746 to check if it’s necessary or not. This saves you time, money, and effort. If you have the means, it is also best to seek legal assistance from a lawyer to help you predetermine which documents need notarization and which ones only require the sworn statement.

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