Personal Finance 
37
comments

How to Find A Notary Public to Notarize Documents

Email  Print Print  

Notary Public SignWhen I bought my house a few years ago, I was introduced to the idea of a notary public. In most capacities, a notary public is a “public official” given the right to administer oaths and affirmations. In many of the cases where you’ll need a notary public to “notarize” a document, they are there to affirm that the person signing the document is in fact the person who is supposed to be signing it. When you get a document notarized, you first provide proof of your identity, you sign the document in their presence, and then they sign and stamp the document, usually with a raised seal (depending on the state).

More recently, I had to get a notary to notarize my Pennsylvania claim form after I found some unclaimed property about a month ago (an old Best Buy rebate I think). It was a little trickier than when I still worked at a company, but eventually I found one. Now I’m going to write it down so I don’t make the same mistakes again!

Not A Notary: Medallion Guarantee

If you see the words “Medallion Guarantee,” stop looking for a notary public because they will not be able to provide it. A Medallion Guarantee is usually only available through a bank officer though the process is not much different than a notary. This is usually used for financial instruments, like bonds, and the bank is guaranteeing the person signing the document is who they say they are. Should the person forge a signature and the bank guarantees it, they are liable.

I had to get a medallion guarantee whenever I converted by paper Series I bonds into electric bonds. My recommendation is that you go to a bank you have an account with (call beforehand to ensure the person with the right to sign is available and present).

Where To Find A Notary Public

Now you know you need a notary, where should go? Notary publics are not free but what they can charge is limited by state law, usually a few dollars. That means the best option is the one that is easiest and most convenient, since price isn’t a differentiator (in Maryland, it’s $2 per notarial act).

Your Company

The cost of having someone certified to be a notary public is usually very small (in Maryland, you are certified for four years and it costs $20), so administrative assistants in many companies will be notaries. When I bought my house, I used a company notary to notarize the document. It’s, by far, the most convenient way to have a document notarized because you’re already at the office.

Your Bank

In the case of financial documents, banks often have notaries to notarize financial documents. If they are not financial documents, chances are your bank will refuse on the basis that their insurance doesn’t cover it (which makes sense). When I was looking for a notary, I tried calling my local Bank of America branch and they refused because it wasn’t a financial document.

UPS Store

This is probably the easiest way to get a document notarized because almost every UPS Store owner is a notary. To confirm, go to UPS Store’s store locator to find a store near you, and call to double check the listing is correct. The listing will show you the Products & Services they offer and Notary Services is usually listed under “Additional Products and Services” (the last section, in the third column), but double check to save yourself a trip. Also, find out when the notary will be there because they might have out sick or have stepped out.

Yourself

Actually, you can’t notarize documents on your behalf. I added this because with the low cost of certification, you might be tempted to become a notary public. At least in Maryland, it’s explicitely stated that “Notaries should refrain from performing any official acts for members of their immediate family or any acts where the notary is personally involved or may benefit from the outcome of the document.” It’s a simple conflict of interest issue.

So the next time you need a notary public, check to see if someone in your company is a notary. If not, head over to a UPS store. I wouldn’t bother searching the web or doing anything else to find a notary because it’ll only cause you headaches. My first reaction was to hit up Google and I emailed three or four local notary publics, none of them replied. I walked into the UPS store and was done in five minutes.

(Photo: rachaelvoorhees)

{ 37 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

Related Posts


RSS Subscribe Like this article? Get all the latest articles sent to your email for free every day. Enter your email address and click "Subscribe." Your email will only be used for this daily subscription and you can unsubscribe anytime.

37 Responses to “How to Find A Notary Public to Notarize Documents”

  1. Dave says:

    Thanks Jim – got my doc notarized at the local PNC bank brand today by the manager. I think it helped that we just opened a few accounts.

  2. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the
    video to make your point. You clearly know what youre
    talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos
    to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening
    to read?

  3. sarah says:

    Very informative. Thank you so much.


Please Leave a Reply
Bargaineering Comment Policy


Previous Article: «
Next Article: »
Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2014 by www.Bargaineering.com. All rights reserved.