Tips & Advice
Can a notary public refuse to notarize?
A notary public is required to refuse to notarize in cases where the signer doesn't meet certain qualifications for notarization. This would be the case if the signer isn't physically present for notarization, or if the signer cannot be properly identified. A notary must also refuse to notarize if the document doesn't meet certain qualifications. This would be the case if a document has missing pages or blank spaces that haven't been completed by the signer. A notary can also refuse to sign if there is a suspicion that the document is false or illegal, or if the signer refuses to pay the required fee.
However, a notary public cannot refuse to notarize based on bias regarding the signer’s nationality, religion, race, age, sexual preference, lifestyle, gender, or disabilities.
Can a notary public notarize across state lines?
A notary public is allowed to notarize across state lines. For example, if a document is created in California and the signer travels to New York, the law allows the document to be notarized by a notary operating out of New York. However, while a notary can sign and stamp documents that were created out of state, notaries cannot physically travel outside their state of commission to notarize a document. For example, a notary who has been commissioned in the state of New York is not legally allowed to provide notarization services while visiting California.
What is a notary public bond?
A notary public bond is a surety bond that protects those who are having their documents notarized. This bond is required by some states, and it provides a financial guarantee that protects signers in cases where the notary is guilty of misconduct or fraud. If fraud or misconduct has occurred, a notary public bond with reimburse signers up to the bond's limit. Notary public bonds do not shield the notary, and if the bond pays damages to the signer, the notary will have to reimburse the bonding company for the amount paid.
What is a notary public affidavit?
A notary public affidavit is a sworn or affirmed written and signed statement that has been witnessed by a notary. This is a legally binding document, and if you sign an affidavit that contains false information, you could be charged with perjury. When signing an affidavit, your signature must be witnessed by a notary or a public official who has the authority to administer oaths. A notary public affidavit must be signed and sealed by a notary.
What does it mean to have a document notarized?
Having a document notarized means that the identity of the person providing the signature has been confirmed by an impartial third party. Notarization also confirms that the signature was provided freely and willingly, and without any type of duress. Notarized documents may be identified by the notary's signature and seal.
How much does it cost to notarize a document?
Notarization costs can vary based on the type of document being notarized. Notaries often charge a fee for each signature provided, and each signature typically costs between $2 and $20. When notarizing documents related to mortgage loans, notaries typically charge a flat fee for the appointment. This fee can range from $75-$200. If you're hiring a mobile notary, you might be charged additional fees related to travel expenses.
How to notarize a document
Before meeting with the notary, thoroughly read the document that you intend to notarize. If the document has blank spaces that require completion, enter the necessary information. However, do not sign the document, since this step will need to be completed with a notary present.
- Understand the significance of having a document notarized. Once a document has been notarized, it is legally binding. If you are notarizing a document that you find confusing or complicated, consider hiring an attorney to review it before you have it notarized. An attorney will be able to give you legal advice that fully explains whether it's in your best interest to sign the document. By law, notaries are not allowed to provide you with legal advice.
- Make a copy of the document that you intend to notarize before meeting with the notary. In some cases, once the document has been notarized, the notary will send it directly to the party that has requested notarization. This means that if you haven't previously made a copy of the document, you won't have one for your records, so it's a good idea to make a copy of the document beforehand. Even though the copy you are making is not signed or notarized, it can be helpful to have it on hand if you ever need to reference the overall terms of the document. Some notaries will provide you with a copy of the notarized document for your records, but this is not guaranteed.
- Find a qualified notary. You can find a notary in your area by conducting an online search on Yellowpages.com. Your bank or credit union might also be able to put you in touch with these individuals. Additionally, you may be able to obtain the services of a notary at a town hall, city hall, or courthouse. Notaries charge a small fee for their services, so check with the notary beforehand to get a sense of how much it will cost to obtain assistance. While most notaries require you to visit them to get a document notarized, mobile notaries are available who will travel to your home or office to provide notarization.
- Meet with the notary, and get the document notarized. Some documents require more than one notarized signature, and for the document to be notarized, all signers much be physically present. For example, when personal property is being sold, the signatures of both the buyer and seller must be notarized. If your signature is not the only one that needs to be notarized, make sure the other party is present to have the signing witnessed by a notary. All signers should bring government-issued identification, such as a driver's license or a passport, so that the notary can verify identity. Sign the document in the notary's presence. Some states require notaries to keep an official journal that lists all notarized documents, and you might be required to sign this journal.
A public notary (also known as a notary public) is someone who has been authorized by the government to serve as an official and impartial witness when important documents are being signed. A notary verifies the identity of the individual who is signing the document, and confirms that the individual's signature is being provided freely and without duress. A signed document that has been witnessed by a notary is said to have been notarized, and this document will typically bear the notary's signature and official seal.