If you’re in the market to buy a house or finalize a will, you will soon realize one often-overlooked step to complete the process – finding a notary public.
A notary public, also known as a notary, is a public official with the authority to witness and verify the signing of documents with their official stamp.
You often need to notarize official documents, such as a mortgage document. You also need to do the same when searching for unclaimed money, as that paperwork requires notarization.
Where to Find a Notary Public Near Me
It may sound difficult or time-consuming to get a document notarized. It’s not. All you need is a photo ID, such as your driver’s license, the document, and your signature. Some states also require a witness to the signature.
If you need to know where to get something notarized, this post will show you exactly where to go.
Your bank is one of the best places to get official documents notarized because they often have a notary public on staff. Cost varies by institution, but you can often have documents notarized for free if you’re a customer.
If you’re not a customer and simply walk into a bank to see if they offer a notary service, they may charge you a fee. The cost is often minimal, though.
Some branches may also offer Medallion Guarantees. Those are similar to notaries but have stricter requirements.
Other Financial Service Firms
Depending on the document you have, you may find a notary at other financial service firms like a real estate office, tax filing location, or an insurance office.
The catch is that you may have to be a client to get the service done there for free or at all. The same goes for your local credit union.
Many UPS store locations offer cheap notary service for your documents. You can use the ‘store locator’ tool on their main website to find the nearest location and schedule an appointment online.
Prepare yourself to meet with the notary public by bringing a government-issued photo ID and the document you need notarized. Depending on your state, you may need to bring a witness since the notary can’t act as a witness.
AAA is a not-for-profit national member association that provides services to drivers like roadside assistance and towing. You can also find other features on the AAA website, including insurance, booking travel, and a public notary.
You don’t have to be a member to use the service. Members pay $10 per signature while non-members pay $15 per signature. AAA can notarize documents like:
- Car title transfers
- Permission slips for minors
- Passport applications for minors
AAA cannot provide witness, notarize trusts or wills, or certify birth or marriage certificates. Read our guide on the AAA membership here to learn if it’s worth the cost.
Local Government Office
Local government offices and your town’s city hall should offer a notary. Just make sure you confirm the fees and find out if you need to set an appointment first.
You may be able to walk in, but getting your documents notarized at a local government office will likely require a fee.
Another place to find a notary is at your local library. The library offers a ton of free services for local residents, including getting your documents notarized.
You should call ahead of time to see when the notary is present or if you need to set an appointment.
Also, confirm which documents your library can notarize because they may have limitations.
Do you live near a police station? It’s worth a try to see if they offer notary services to residents in your area.
Not all police stations offer this, but you’ll never know until you ask.
The station may charge a small fee to notarize a document. Still, this is a convenient way to quickly get past this step in your process and send off your official documents.
If you’re traveling and staying at a hotel and need a notary, many offer this service.
The hotel may say it’s only available to guests or rewards members.
If you fall in neither of those camps, call ahead and ask if they’ll make an exception.
Many local pharmacies, such as Walgreens, offer notary services to customers.
Like other choices, it’s best to call and confirm the pharmacy will notarize documents for you.
At Your Job
Do you work in an office building? If so, and an administrative assistant or lawyer works there, they may be a notary public.
They may also offer to perform the service for free.
As with any service, it’s best to ask to verify they offer the service and the cost before proceeding.
Are you coming up at a loss of where to get something notarized nearby and still need help? Here are a few online services that can help.
Notary Rotary is a website that can help you find the nearest public notary no matter where you are in the country. Just type in your address or zip code, and in seconds, you’ll receive a selection of nearby options.
Notarize helps you easily get a document notarized online. You just need to upload the document and send in proof of your identity and signature. Then you will connect with a notary via a secure two-way video call.
Afterward, you can download or email your documents. Notarize charges $25 for one document
Online Notary is similar to Notarize, as it allows you to upload your documents and prove your identity entirely online.
However, it is a little cheaper since you get one document notarized online for $19.95
Why You May Need to Get A Document Notarized
Documents like property deeds, wills, articles of incorporation, and powers of attorney all require a notary. Notarized documents help deter fraud since each signer’s identity requires proof.
When you think about it, this precaution is to your benefit. If you’re getting into a business deal or signing an important contract, you don’t want to learn later that the agreement was illegitimate all along.
A notary will officiate at the signing that all signatures are valid and that each party signed knowingly and willingly.
What’s Needed to Complete the Process?
There are several things you need to get a document notarized. Here are the requirements:
- The completed document you wish to sign
- Type of notarization you want
- Acceptable identification (state ID or license)
- All signers physically present
- Payment for services
Additionally, some states require a witness to the signature to be present.
There are three main types of notarization that you can get.
- An acknowledgment is when you verbally declare that you have willingly signed a document.
- A jurat is when you swear or affirm that the contents of the document are true. Usually, a jurat should include the words ‘subscribed and sworn’ or ‘affirmed by me.’ The notary may ask you something like this: “Do you swear that the statements in the document are true?” and you can reply to confirm this.
- A copy of certifications means that the notary confirms that a certified copy of a document matches the original exactly.
While a notary can explain each option to you in further detail, they cannot advise you on which one to choose. Fees in most states max out at $10 per signature, so finding a cheap officer in your area won’t be difficult.
Some states only charge $1 or $2 to get a document notarized. However, you want to confirm the cost of the service beforehand.
As you can see, there are plenty of places to find a notary in your community. Notary services are quite common, and some places may even provide them for free.
To save yourself time and possibly even money, weigh your options carefully and confirm which types of documents the officer can help with.
Where do you go to get a notary public? How much was the cost the last time you needed the service?