Your Guide to Becoming a Notary Public and Notary Exams

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Notary Services

Notaries and notary publics provide many different services.

Notary Services

Notaries and notary publics provide many different services to individuals and businesses around the country to protect people from fraud and other forms of misrepresentation. With that said, many people do not know very much about what services a notary public actually offers or how it works. To the general public, a notary is simply someone who affixes their "notary seal" on documents, but in fact their responsibilities and services are much deeper and more significant. Notaries play an important role in protecting people and businesses.

Notary publics work with people in a variety of industries including real estate, businesses who often use contracts, the legal profession, financial planners, banking, credit unions, savings and loans companies, retirement facilities, hospital and convalescent facilities, long term care facilities, hospice facilities, and immigration centers and protect people from fraud by ensuring that documents are signed and notarized in accordance with state law.

Here are the most common services that a notary public performs:

  • Verifying the identities and witnessing the signatures of major legal documents including:
    • Powers of Attorney
    • DMV Documents
    • Personal Legal documents
    • Consent Letters for Minor Child to Travel Internationally
    • Financial Documents
    • Acknowledgements / Affirmations
    • Wills & Trusts
    • I-9 Employment Verification Documents
    • Guardianships
    • Domestic Partnerships
    • Health Care Directives
    • Passport & Visa Authentications
  • Working with firms, individuals, and lawyers in regards to mortgage and loan agreements
    • First mortgage
    • Escrow Companies
    • First refinance
    • Mortgage Lenders
    • First & second / piggyback loan
    • Mortgage Broker
    • Home equity line of credit - HELOC
    • Title Companies
    • Reverse Mortgage
  • Notarizing documents of public record
    • Birth certificate
    • Death certificate
    • Land Deeds

Notary Service Fees

For performing these notary services, a notary public is going to charge a fee. This fee is normally regulated by the state and has maximum notary fees that can be charged. In most cases for small notary services, it will cost between $1-$10 per document. However this can increase for more important documents like loan documents, which can most around $175 in most cases. In addition many notaries, sometimes known as mobile notaries, travel to their clients. These notaries usually charge per mile or have a flat fee for travel within a certain radius.

Finding a Reputable Notary

There are many ways to find a reputable notary to perform the notary services that you need. Many people use friends and family to find a trustworthy notary public in their community. People working in the legal field, real estate, or medical field may know of notaries you can use since those fields often need the services of a notary public. In addition you can normally find notaries listed in the yellow or white pages. Always look for a notary that has experience and provides their pricing up front. Most states require this and it is a good sign that the notary you are choosing is trustworthy, reliable effective. Given the importance of properly executing these documents, choosing the right notary public is important and is something that should be taken seriously.