How much is it to get something notarized?
When you need to get a document notarized, you may not know where to go. But knowing your options can save you both time and money. Standard notary fees range from $1-$10 per signature, but there are plenty of places you can get documents notarized for free. And some notaries offer additional services that might fit your needs, such as mobile service to your location. We have done the research for you, and hope this article gives you the information you need to get notary services at the lowest price. Many of the options listed below, especially banks, AAA offices, real estate and insurance agencies or acquaintances, may even provide FREE notary services.
In This Article:
What is a notary public?
Documents that may require notarization
What affects the price?
Where to find a notary public for FREE
Other places to look for a notary
What Is a Notary Public?
A notary public, or notary, is a third-party witness to the signing of important documents. A notary verifies that the person signing the document is who they say they are, and that they are in a position to legally consent to the signing — that is, they are signing it on their own free will and not under force or duress. Therefore, you must only sign the document when you are in the presence of a notary, and not before. And be should be sure to have a valid government issued ID when you go to have a document notarized.
Notaries can be found in many places, as outlined below. However, regardless of where you use the services of a notary, they are all notaries public licensed by their state. Each state has slightly different regulations for notary licensing and practice. Notaries in all states have the obligation to be impartial and objective towards the document and the signer. This means that a notary public should not notarize a document if they have some personal involvement.
Types of Documents That May Require Notarization:
Notaries are needed for a wide variety of situations. Many important documents require notarization to be legally valid. The following list is not comprehensive, but gives you an idea of commonly notarized documents:
- Property deeds
- Prenuptial agreements
- Mortgage documents
- Powers of attorney authorization
- Medical documents, including authorizations
- Identity theft complaints
- Retirement and death benefit designations
- Title changes and applications, such as for a car
- Federal government applications and documents
- Handgun permits
- Promissory notes
- Guardianship agreements
- Bills of sale for motor vehicles
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Document Notarized and What Affects the Price?
Most U.S. states set a maximum fee that can be charged by notaries. Typically, this is $1-$10 per a signature. Vermont has by far the lowest fees, with the state limiting notary fees to 50 cents. In California, the maximum fee for every signature is $15, and in New York it is capped at $2. Notaries do not have to charge this amount, and in most states you can find notaries that charge less, or nothing, for their services. Some states set no legal limit; most of these state, like Tennessee, declare that notaries may charge only “reasonable fees” for their services.
Maximum notary fee by state (fees for other services may vary):
- Alabama: $5
- Alaska: Notaries may set their fees
- Arizona: $2 per signature
- Arkansas: $2 per signature
- California: $15 per signature
- Colorado: $5 ($10 eNotarization)
- Connecticut: $5
- Delaware: $5 ($25 eNotarization)
- DC: $5
- Florida: $10
- Georgia: $2
- Hawaii: $5 original + one duplicate, $2.50 for each duplicate after
- Idaho: $2
- Illinois: $1
- Indiana: $2
- Iowa: Notaries may set their fees
- Kansas: Notaries may set their fees
- Kentucky: Notaries may set their fees
- Louisiana: Notaries may set their fees
- Maine: Notaries may set their fees
- Maryland: $4
- Massachusetts: Notaries may set their fees
- Michigan: $10
- Minnesota: $5
- Mississippi: $5
- Missouri: $2 per signature
- Montana: $10
- Nebraska: $5
- Nevada: $5 for first signature, $2.50 for each additional signature
- New Hampshire: $10
- New Jersey: $2.50
- New Mexico: $5
- New York: $2
- North Carolina: $5
- North Dakota: $5
- Ohio: $2
- Oklahoma: $5
- Oregon: $10
- Pennsylvania: $5
- Rhode Island: $1
- South Carolina: $5 per signature
- South Dakota: $10
- Tennessee: Notaries may set their fees
- Texas: $6 first signature; $1 each additional signature
- Utah: $5
- Vermont: 50 cents
- Virginia: $5 ($25 eNotarization)
- Washington: $10
- West Virginia: $5 per signature
- Wisconsin: $5
- Wyoming: $5 per signature
Some notaries offer the additional service of coming to your location. These are called ‘mobile notaries,’ and they are allowed to charge additional fees for making the trip to you. Some states set a limit on the maximum fee that can be charged for each trip. In all cases, the fee must be “reasonable.” A common fee would be .65 cents/mile from the notary office. If you request the services of a mobile notary, confirm trip fees before making an appointment so there are no surprises when you get the bill.
Type of document:
Sometimes, the type of document being notarized will affect the fee. Technically, it is your signature that is being notarized, and not the document. And some documents — such as purchase loan agreements and mortgages — require more than one signature. This will drive up the cost of the notary services, as fees are typically charged per signature, and not per document. This means you may see fees that are much higher than your state’s maximum charge. For example, you may see a notary fee of over $100 for loan or divorce signing.
In Florida, for example, where the legal limit is $10 for each signature notarized, one notary charges the following for different services:
- Administering Oaths and Affirmations: $10 (each seal)
- Attesting to a Photocopy: $10 (per copy)
- Solemnize all types of Marriage: Express – $50; Ceremony – $75
- Affirmation of Love, Commitment Ceremony, House Blessing and Baptisms: $75 for each ceremony
- Loan Signings; Mortgage or Vehicle Purchase; Divorce Signing: $85 plus a $20 service fee for each half hour.
Administrative or Clerical Fees:
Notaries may charge additional fees in addition to the standard notary fee if they incur costs due to clerical or administrative work done on behalf of the notary service for you. Notaries must clearly post or alert the customer to any possible charges. Additional fees may be incurred for:
- Copying documents
- Postage costs
- Phone calls
- Form completion
Where To Find a FREE Notary Public
How much do notary public’s charge? Sometimes… nothing.
To help you get a document notarized at the lowest possible price, we have created a list of the best, and cheapest, places to look. Many of these options, especially banks, AAA offices, real estate and insurance agencies or acquaintances, may even provide FREE notary services. Wherever you go to have your documents notarized, remember to bring a valid, government-issued photo ID with you. It may also be necessary to have witnesses to your signature in addition to the notary. This requirement varies by state.
A common place to find a notary is your local bank or credit union. This is often a convenient and free option. Nearly all major U.S. banks, such as JPMorgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have a notary public on staff in most of their branches. Most banks and credit unions offer notary services free to their customers. If you are not a customer of that bank, you may be charged a small fee.
This First Quarter Finance article provides information on bank notary services, including banks that will notarize something for free.
American Automobile Association (AAA):
If you are an AAA member, chances are you can have your documents notarized at your local AAA office for free. Contact your local AAA to find out if they offer this service.
Real Estate and Insurance Offices:
Many real estate and insurance offices have a notary public on staff because of the types of documents handled in their line of business. And chances are, they will notarize your document for free in the hope that they will get your business one day. Contact your local office of a national company, such as RE/MAX, Century 21, Coldwell Banker and Fidelity National Title Insurance, to see if they have notaries.
Almost every law office has a notary on staff. This is a great, and possibly free, option if the documents you need notarized are legal documents prepared by that office. For example, if you have an attorney prepare a power of attorney, chances are you can have it notarized at their office for free.
Chances are, you may know someone that is able to notarize documents for you, without knowing it. Ask around among friends, family, and co-workers. Even if no one you know personally is a notary, one of their connections might be. And it is possible they might waive the standard fee.
Other Low-Cost Options for a Notary
The UPS Store
With over 4,500 locations throughout the country, the UPS store is a convenient place to find a notary. Your local UPS Store will likely charge the state-approved notary fee or less. Check with your local branch to learn what fee is charged. Note that you may need to make an appointment for notary services. Find your local UPS store here.
Sometimes it makes the most sense to have your documents notarized online. This may be convenient if you are unable to travel to a notary, or you need to save time. Before using this method, check that your state accepts signatures notarized online. Fees will vary by company, but typically are about $25 for each notarization.
Other places you may find a notary public:
- City and town clerks’ offices
- Travel agencies
- Your local drugstore or pharmacy
- In the phonebook
- Local clerk or court’s office
- Public libraries
- Local law enforcement offices
Now you are ready to get your document notarized! Keep in mind that cost is contingent upon several factors, like location, company, and travel costs. Be prepared to pay up to $10 for in-person notarizations. Remember, wait to sign your document until the notary instructs you to, or else your signature may be invalid.