From time to time, we all need a notary. A notary is someone who witnesses the signing of important documents. They verify the identity of the signer or signers, their willingness to sign the document, and their awareness of the contents of the document. Institutions need notaries so they can have complete faith in important documents.
There are many times when you’ll need a notary, like when signing a contract or deed.
You may need one for:
- Car title transfers
- Medical documents
- Passport applications for minors
Notarization helps to deter fraud and ensures a document is authentic and can be trusted.
Notary services do not have to be expensive though. In today’s post, I’ll cover ways to get a cheap or even free notary.
What will I learn?
How much does it cost to get something notarized?
You can actually get items notarized for free in some places. In others, you’ll have to pay a fee, which can range from $2 to $20 according to the National Notary Association.
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The notary fees you pay will depend on which state you live in.
Visit the National Notary Association to learn more about notary fees in your state. I noticed that online notaries (more on those below) charge more than $20.
What forms of ID do I need to get something notarized?
While each state has its own rules for the forms of ID needed to get something notarized, these forms of ID are usually accepted:
- A government-issued ID that includes a signature, photo, and physical description of the person
- A valid state-issued driver’s license
- A state-issued ID card
- A military ID
- A U.S. passport
Your state may have its own requirements though.
Cheap or Free Notary Services Near You
Like I said above, a notary service doesn’t need to cost you a lot. In fact, it can be free!
Here are some places to find a cheap or free notary.
Most people think of the UPS as a mail delivery service and one of the places where you can buy stamps and mail supplies, but it also offers other services.
You can find notary services at many UPS Store locations. Just take a government-issued photo ID with you. Some documents may require witnesses in addition to the notarization. Call your local store to see if they have signature witnesses available if that’s a requirement mandated by the laws of your state.
You may have free access to a notary if you are a member of the AAA club. Many AAA branches offer free notary services to their members, so just call your local club to check if it offers this service.
H-E-B has 340 locations in Texas and Northeast Mexico and many of them offer a notary service.
PostalAnnex offers shipping and business solutions including shipping supplies and even fax services near you. One of the services it provides is a notary service. With more than 300 locations across the country, you may have a PostalAnnex location near you.
To get more information on the cost of notary services at PostalAnnex, make sure you contact your local store.
5. At Work (Just ask your boss first)
You could have a notary working in your office. Not all companies have a notary, but in many workplaces, you will find someone in the office who is a notary. They may be willing to notarize your documents for a low cost or even for free. If you work at a large organization, it’s likely that you have a notary in the office. Just ask around.
6. At a Hotel
Some hotels offer an affordable notary service. Just contact nearby hotels to ask about their notary services. Or if you’re a guest, then enquire at the desk.
Disneyworld offers a notary service in its Business Center, which are located at various Disney Resort hotels. It costs $10 per seal.
7. University and College Campuses
Many universities and college campuses offer a free or cheap notary service to students. Just ask around campus to find one. You could ask a counselor or ask at the library.
8. Your local library
In addition to offering books, newspapers, and magazines, many libraries provide services, like a notary service. Some libraries offer this service for free or for a small fee. Contact local libraries to see if they offer a notary service.
9. Your local bank
Many banks offer a notary service to their customers for free, and to non-members for a fee.
Here are a few examples of banks that offer free notary services:
10. Your local credit union
Lots of credit unions offer free or cheap notary services. Again, like with banks, it’s often free for customers, but non-members will have to pay a fee.
Here are some examples:
11. Local Police Stations
Some police stations provide public notary services to people in their community. Not all stations do this, but it’s definitely worth calling your local police department to ask. Usually, you’ll need to pay a small fee to get something notarized at a police station.
12. Local Government Offices
Many local government offices have a notary public on staff for their documents. So, this can be a good placed to get something notarized. Usually, you’ll just pay a small fee, making this a cheap option.
Local government offices that may offer a notary service include:
- City hall
- The courthouse
- School districts
- Special districts, like the park district
Just call your local government offices to find out if they offer a notary service and to see how much it would cost to get something notarized.
13. Check with organizations you belong to
Do you belong to any kind of organization? Maybe a community organization? Or perhaps you’re a member of the PTA?
Whatever it is, if you are part of any group, you may be able to get access to a notary. Some groups offer a notary service as a way to add value to the membership or because they have members who are notaries for necessary jobs within the organization. So just ask if there’s somebody who would notarize your documents.
14. Insurance provider
If you have insurance of any kind, like home or auto insurance, you may be able to ask your insurance company to notarize documents for you. While it’s not a common method for getting something notarized, it’s a good option if you’re in need!
15. Real estate agent
If you have a real estate agent, they can notarize something for you at a reasonable price. Many real estate agencies have a notary that they use for their own business purposes. So, a real estate agent may be able to help you out.
16. Military Base
You likely have access to free notary services if you’re a part of the military. Many officers are authorized to act as a notary for other members of the military and their dependents.
17. Online directories
An easy way to find a notary is to search online directories.
Here are some online directories where you can find a notary.
Search on these sites, and you should be able to find a cheap notary near you.
18. Google search
Another option is to search for a notary on Google. Just type in, “notary service [name of your state, city, or town, or your zip code].” This should yield plenty of results.
Can You Get Documents Notarized Online?
Yes. But only in certain states. Previously, in order to notarize something, you used to have to sign it physically in the presence of a notary public. Now, though, you can notarize your documents entirely online in most states.
I think that while convenient, having something notarized online is on the expensive side. It costs around $25 to notarize one document.
Now, if you would like to get something notarized online, then you might want to give these places a try:
Notarize.com offers legal online notarizations that are available 24/7. It connects you with licensed electronic notaries by live video call. You can use it on any computer or smartphone. It costs $25 to notarize one document.
With NotaryCam, you can get your document legally notarized in minutes. You can use its service on any device and at any time of day. You’ll connect to a live notary and confirm your identity face-to-face on a webcam.
With OneNotary, you can get your documents notarized with an online notary in 15 minutes. It costs $25 to get one document notarized with one notary certificate, plus $6 for an additional certificate.
We all need to use a notary at some point. But if you’re on a budget, you may not want to have to spend a lot for a notary public service. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get a cheap or even free notary.
Although online notary services are convenient, they aren’t cheap, so I wouldn’t recommend those if you’re looking to save money – for convenience yes, but not for when you are looking for cheap or free notary services.
Give our tips a try and feel free to share yours with us in the comments section below.