Notarizing documents is a service offered primarily by banks such as Chase. But what is the Chase Bank notary service fee? For those who have accounts with Chase Bank, notary services are free. Yes, Chase offers free notary services for its customers.

But there’s still more to know about the Chase Bank notary service before you head into a branch. For instance, not all locations notarize. Let’s look at the different facets of notary services.

In This Article:

  • What Is a Notary?

  • What Does a Notary Do?

  • Commonly Notarized Documents

  • Finding a Chase Bank That Notarizes

  • Notary Fees

  • The Different Types of Notaries

  • Problems with Notarized Documents

  • Other Places That Offer Notary Services

What Is a Notary?

Notaries Public (the official term for people who can notarize documents) are official representatives of the state, typically appointed by the secretary of state. Think of them as certified witnesses to the signing of documents. Notaries must be objective and independent when evaluating a document and signer. What this means is that they may not act as a notary in a transaction if they have some personal involvement. That necessary impartiality means they must “never refuse to serve a person due to race, nationality, religion, politics, sexual orientation or status as a non-customer.”

What Does a Notary Do?

A notary public safeguards the integrity of signed documents by making sure they are correctly executed. A notary considers several things before affixing their seal to a document:

  • Verifying the true identity of those signing a document
  • Ensuring there is no duress or intimidation to make someone sign
  • Awareness of the type of transaction or contents of the relevant documents

In some cases, the notary must place signers under oath, “declaring under penalty of perjury that the information contained in a document is true and correct.” They may even require taking fingerprints of signers. This process varies from state to state and is not always required.

The National Notary Association lists three parts of the notarization process.

  1. Screening of signers for identity, volition or willingness, and awareness
  2. Entering key details of the transaction in the notary’s “journal of notarial acts,” which might include obtaining the signers’ signature and thumbprint
  3. Completing a “notarial certificate” stating the facts being certified by the Notary in the notarization, and then affixing the notary’s seal and signature

Does Chase Bank Notarize? Yes. Now Finding a Chase Bank Notary Service…

That’s what a notary does — now, where can you find a notary? Chase does offer notary services to its customers at most of its branches. Wherever this service is available, it’s free. Yes, the Chase Bank notary fee is $0.

To take advantage of this service as a Chase account holder, first, locate a Chase Bank branch. Visit the online location and ATM finder and enter a zip code. This search will generate a directory of branches in the specified area. Unfortunately, the listings contain no information on whether notary services are available, however, the listings do include branch telephone numbers, and a quick phone call is all it takes to find out about services offered.

According to Chase Bank Support on Twitter, most branches do have a notary. Nonetheless, before taking documents to be notarized, it is a good idea to contact the local branch to find out if they have a notary available. When calling to confirm the availability of a notary, keep the following in mind:

  • Notaries may be available only during certain hours. The notary’s hours of availability may be more limited than the branch’s opening hours.
  • The services may be free, but only for bank customers. Contact a local branch to see if notary services are offered to non-customers for a fee.
  • Some banks place restrictions on the types of documents they may handle.
  • Consider making an appointment to ensure availability.

Commonly Notarized Documents

Notaries handle a wide variety of documents. While most documents do not require notarization, there are certain important documents that are essentially worthless without the special steps a notary provides to ensure validity. The following list by no means covers every document requiring notarization but provides a good idea of commonly notarized documents.

  • Property deeds
  • Identity theft complaints
  • Homeschooling affidavits
  • Retirement and death benefit designations
  • Authorizations to add or remove a name from a title
  • Federal government applications and documents
  • Certificate of ownership/title application for a car
  • Advanced health directives
  • Handgun permits
  • Promissory notes
  • Guardianship agreements
  • Medical authorizations for minors
  • Bills of sale for motor vehicles
  • Wills
  • Powers of attorney
  • Prenuptial agreements

Many people, even those who have needed this service before, wonder why notarization is required. The short answer is that the seal of a notary gives a document more credibility and weight, particularly in legal disputes.

Notary Fees

Some take the stance that being a notary is an honor. To these people, that means notaries should receive only minor compensation for what they do. However, many people run businesses that include notary services. Part of any business is making money, and so they charge for services beyond the state-regulated fees for notarization.

In many states, including Pennsylvania, the Secretary of the Commonwealth or state sets the fees, which are then approved by the Attorney General. The fee for this service must be clearly posted in any place of business where it is offered. Fees are typically minimal, usually around $5.00. Check state websites for the allowed fees for notary services.

Notaries may charge clerical or administrative fees in addition to the state-set notarization fees, such as:

  • Copying documents
  • Postage costs
  • Phone calls
  • Form completion

The government does not set administrative fees. Nonetheless, notaries are required to clearly post any administrative fees and inform customers of any additional charges.

Chase Bank customers generally receive free notary services from a Chase bank. Many Chase branches limit access to notary services to bank customers but may have a list of nearby notaries providing services to the public. If a notary at a branch provides services to non-customers, a fee will likely be charged.

Types of Notaries

Notaries Public across the country all provide the same types of services. Granted, every state has slightly different rules and laws concerning notaries. Nonetheless, just because a notary works in a law firm does not mean he or she is a “specialist” in notarizing legal documents. The same is true for notaries in banks. Notaries in banks may provide services beyond financial documents, but be aware that some banking corporations place limitations on what a notary may do in bank branches.

Problems with Notarized Documents

Understanding the importance of documents that require notarization involves a little knowledge of the theory behind a notary’s duties. Having a document officially notarized confirms that the appropriate legal party is the person signing the document. This means that officially notarizing the document requires that the notary must witness the person signing it. A signature done outside the presence of the notary is worthless because part of the notary’s legal oath is that they will not notarize a document unless they witness the appropriate party signing it.

What do you do if you sign a document before you arrive at the notary’s office? Usually, obtaining an unsigned version of the document fixes the situation. However, take care when making copies; in certain circumstances, only the original document is valid. When in doubt, check with a legal professional or an agent of the company requiring that the document be notarized.

Finding Other Notaries in Case the Chase Bank Notary Service Isn’t Available for You

There are plenty of other places to find notaries, including the following:

  • Law firms
  • County clerk offices
  • Hotel concierge desks
  • AAA branches
  • Some public libraries
  • Title transfer businesses (notarization is rarely free)
  • Companies offering business-related services (notarization is rarely free)
  • Mobile notary services (usually includes a travel fee)

Some well-known, nationwide businesses offering notary services include:

The UPS Store

  • Typical hours: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 6 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM, closed Sunday (varies by location)
  • Other information: You may need to make an appointment for notary services
  • Find your local store here.

Postal Annex

  • Typical hours: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 9 PM, Saturday 9 AM – 9 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Other information: Review information on Postal Annex Notary Public Services and check store branch pages for services offered
  • Find your local store here.

Whether the notary is associated with a bank branch or another organization, be sure to bring the proper documents and a valid, government-issued photo ID, such as driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or passport.

To find a comprehensive list of banks that notarize, head over to this article.

In Summary

Most Chase customers will find notary services readily available at their local branch. Non-Chase customers can find notary services at a variety of other places, including many law firms, county clerk offices, public libraries, the UPS store, or at their bank. No matter what kind of document you need notarized, there are plenty of options for this process — and if you’re a Chase customer, you can have it done for free.