Legal Memorandum LI03: New Acknowledgement Forms for Notaries Public


Statutory Acknowledgment Forms to be used by Notaries on
Deeds, Leases, and Mortgages
and other Instruments



  • Overview
  • Section 309: Corporate Acknowledgement Form
  • Section 309-a: Uniform Acknowledgement and Witness Forms – Within the State of New York
  • Use of Forms
  • Questions


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

The 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."


Section 309 of the Real Property sets forth the general statutory acknowledgment forms for corporations, and accommodates both genders, as well as the plural.  As of September 1, 1999, the corporate 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).

However, as of September 1, 1999, these corporate acknowledgment forms cannot be used for the acknowledgment, within New York State, of conveyances or other instruments in respect to real property located in this State. A certificate of such an acknowledgment must comply with Section 309-a of the Real Property Law, which is discussed below.


The Real Property Law was also amended, by the above referenced legislation, 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 with respect to real property located in this State. (See Acknowledgement of Conveyance Form).  As of September 1, 1999, acknowledgments must conform substantially with those contained in section 309-a.

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 located in this State. (See Certificate of Subscribing Witness Form).  As of September 1, 1999, certificates must conform substantially with the form contained in the statute.

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.

USE of the FORMS

As of September 1, 1999, the uniform acknowledgment and the uniform proof under section 309-a (or substantially conforming acknowledgment or proof) are to be used for most acknowledgments within the State, except for most non-real estate related corporate acknowledgments.  In the case of non-real estate corporate acknowledgments, the corporate acknowledgment form under section 309 should be used. 


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

The information in this Memorandum should not be used in lieu of seeking appropriate legal advice. In addition, the information is subject to change based on future interpretations of the licensing law by the courts and/or for any relevant amendments. Private legal counsel should be consulted for legal advice related to this Memorandum.



Updated February 2020