Would you like to simplify your life a bit by skipping the notary stamp on your homeschool paperwork? Keep reading!
For many years, Pennsylvania allowed people in a few unusual situations to skip getting a notary stamp by using an “unsworn declaration” instead. But in 2020, Pennsylvania changed the law so it could be used much more widely.
It now says: “…if a law of this Commonwealth requires … a sworn declaration [which includes an affidavit], an unsworn declaration meeting the requirements of this chapter has the same effect…” 42 Pa.C.S.§6204(a)
The home education affidavit fits neatly into the category of documents that can be replaced by an unsworn declaration. Many state agencies are now “catching up” and letting folks know they can skip the notary stamp.
It is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that—if it is done correctly—a homeschool family can file an unsworn declaration (meaning no notary signature is required) rather than an affidavit. Of course, an unsworn declaration must have the same substantive content as the notarized affidavit. It must also include certain additional mandatory language.
To assist member families who want to use this option, HSLDA has created an “Unsworn Declaration of Home Education Program Supervisor in Lieu of Affidavit.”
The affidavit will remain available for the convenience of HSLDA members who still want to use it.
Since using the unsworn declaration is simpler, families have asked whether there is any advantage in continuing to use a notarized affidavit. The answer is an easy “no”!
While the Pennsylvania Department of Education acknowledges that an unsworn declaration can be used, there is, surprisingly, one school district that refuses to accept it: Franklin Area School District. So, expect a battle if you file an unsworn declaration in that jurisdiction!