Notary services aren’t something you need every day, but they are necessary sometimes.
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If you’re signing a property deed, transferring a car to a new owner, or signing a power of attorney, a notary can notarize your documents, acting as a witness that the right people have signed them.
While notaries aren’t difficult to find in most areas, they can range significantly in price.
Many notaries are independent workers who are called on to notarize documents as needed, so they typically set their own prices.
Some may charge very little — usually, in the form of a price per document — while others might charge a higher rate for each document or set of documents.
Because prices vary so much, you might only have notaries in your area that charge much more than you were expecting.
To help you find more affordable services, I’ve researched several places that tend to have a notary on hand.
These places might not have been places you’d expect to find a public notary, so they’re good ones to check to see if one’s available with better prices.
How to Get Something Notarized
First, if you’re new to the notary process but need something notarized, you might be wondering how it all works.
Fortunately, getting something notarized is usually a simple process.
Basically, you find a notary.
Then, give the notary the documents.
They’ll let you know where to sign after looking them over.
Page by page, you’ll sign the documents while the notary marks them with a seal and signature to verify that you’ve signed the documents in their presence.
Usually, you’ll need to present a valid ID as well, just so that the notary can verify that you are who you say you are before you sign anything.
The notary will keep track of how many documents they needed to notarize and will charge you accordingly. You can pay when everything is finished.
Where to Find Cheap or Free Notary Services Near Me
Let’s move onto the notaries!
Notaries can exist in a wide range of places near you.
Because they’re independent workers, they get notary certification on their own.
You might even have a notary working in your local supermarket without knowing it.
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That’s why it’s always a good idea to ask places in your area if they have a notary on hand, because you never know where they could be.
The following list can give you an excellent place to start.
Many of them are the places you might not think about in your area as having notaries, but they often do, and you might just be able to find one that’s cheaper than another notary you’ve found.
Notary Website Directories
These places list notaries all over the country in each state, so you should be able to find one near you.
Of course, these sites don’t list all the notaries available, just those that have listed themselves with the site.
So it’s still possible that you have plenty of others in your area that aren’t on the site.
Virtual notaries are those that notarize documents online for you rather than you seeking out someone in person to do it.
They can be helpful for people with busy work schedules who can’t find notaries easily outside of normal business hours.
Notarize.com is one place that helps you do this.
You’ll meet with a real notary online, go through an ID verification process, and get your documents digitally notarized.
It’s important to mention that some places won’t recognize virtually notarized documents.
Instead, they’ll want you to get things notarized in person.
So always check with the agency the documents are from to make sure you can use a virtual service before taking the leap.
You might be able to look in local Facebook groups for a notary in your area.
Make a post asking if anyone in the group is a notary, and you might get comments back from people who are or from people who know notaries in the area.
You can also make a post on your Facebook feed to ask neighbors, friends, and family if they know of notaries in your area and how much they charge.
Check on Nextdoor
Nextdoor is a helpful place for finding out about a lot of things in your neighborhood and community, including events, store openings, and other information.
You can also post questions asking for help, so try putting up a post for help locating a notary.
You might even be able to gain some responses from notaries in the area who are able to help for affordable fees.
Look in your local newspaper’s classifieds section for notaries.
In many papers, you’ll find a section just for notary services within the Services category.
But if you live in a smaller area, they might all just be lumped together with other services, so be sure to check the full section for notaries.
A Family Member or Friend
Do you have any family members or friends that are notaries?
If you’re not sure, perhaps you can ask around your family or friend groups.
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Someone you know is much more likely to offer you free notary services, or at least cheap services, than someone you don’t know.
Again, a simple Facebook post can be really helpful, especially if you make it shareable.
There’s almost always a notary available at bank branches, especially if it’s a well-known bank that’s available throughout the country.
Most banks try to ensure that they have at least one notary public on staff at all times to help customers in need of one.
Just to be sure, call your local bank branch to double check before heading in.
Your attorney might be a notary public themselves.
But if not, you can probably still find one at a law office, like a paralegal, secretary, or legal assistant.
Notaries can come in handy in law offices, as many papers you’ll need for court cases require notarization.
Library branches usually have a notary public on hand to help out the community with notary services.
You might be able to find out on the library’s website, but if not, just give them a call or stop in to check.
You may need to pay a small fee, but as with most things at the library, it should be very affordable compared to other places, especially if you have a library card.
Does your place of employment have a notary on hand?
It might, and you may not even know it.
Check with your boss or your HR department if you aren’t sure.
If you’re part of a large company, there’s a good chance that at least one person there is a notary, and you can probably get it done for free.
Local Government Offices
Check with local government offices, like the health department, tax offices, or job and family service departments, to see if there are notaries available.
If so, you can probably get affordable rates for the service.
One perk of staying at a hotel if you’re traveling is that they usually have notaries available, at least during regular business hours.
However, this may not be true for smaller hotels.
If you’re in a large hotel, check with the front desk or visit the hotel’s business center, which should have information about a notary service if it’s available.
Hospitals and nursing facilities sometimes contract with notaries in the area, and some even have notaries on hand.
You can always ask the front desk or information center if notary services are available.
If your documents pertain to your time as a patient or are for a hospital patient, you may be able to get them notarized for free.
Your Accountant or Tax Preparer
If you have an accountant who oversees your finances or a tax preparer that helps you organize and file taxes, ask them if they can notarize documents.
Many accountants and tax preparers do try to earn this credential as part of their services so they have something extra to offer to clients, many of whom could benefit from notary services.
If you don’t have one of your own, look for accountants and tax preparers in your community.
Your College Campus
College campuses will often have a notary public on staff to help students get documents notarized.
Check with the library or main office of your college to see if there’s one available.
If so, you should be able to get documents notarized for free.
Police or Sherriff’s Department
You might not need to look any further than your local police department or sheriff’s office for notary services.
There’s likely someone on staff who can help you get your documents signed, at least during business hours.
If it’s outside of regular business hours, you could try scheduling with someone who can meet you at a time that works for you.
Your Real Estate Agent
Do you need documents signed and notarized for a home purchase?
Your real estate agent might be able to help you with that.
Notarizing is a service many real estate agents offer because their clients often need it.
So, ask yours.
If they don’t do it, they probably know another agent who can help.
Your Credit Union
Like banks, credit unions usually offer notary services, and they could be free for people who are members as one of their benefits.
Call ahead to make sure a notary is there before you stop in to save yourself a trip.
As an AAA Premier member, you can get free notary services at your local AAA branch.
Even if you’re not a Premier member, you can get reduced price notary services at a AAA if you’re a basic member or a non-member.
Just call your local branch to see how much it charges.
The finance department of some car dealerships have notaries to make it easier for people who need notarized documents for car buying and title transfers.
If you’re buying a car at a dealership, you probably don’t even need to go outside of the dealership to get everything notarized, and it might be free as a paying customer.
Delivery Service Offices
Delivery services, like UPS and FedEx, sometimes have notaries on hand.
This is especially true for UPS stores, so if you have one in your area, it’s a good place to check.
Are you a member of any organizations in your community?
If so, see if anyone in your organization is a notary or if your organization provides the service.
The Post Office
Your local post office may have a staff member or two that’s available for notarizing documents, so it’s a good place to check if you need to make a visit any time soon.
Your Home or Auto Insurance Company or Agent
Your insurance agent or company likely has a notary on hand, and the service will probably be free for you as a paying customer.
Your Military Base
Do you live on a military base as a service member or part of their family?
You can probably get notarization done for free.
Check with your base’s legal office for more information.
Some notaries travel around to places as needed, and they can be a good way to find affordable notary services in your area.
These are especially helpful for people in rural areas without a lot of the places above nearby.
Mobile notaries meet you at a place that’s convenient for you, like your home or workplace.
You can use Google to see if any of these services come to your town.
Find a Notary Public Near You
Notary publics can be super helpful when you need a witness as you sign important documents.
But, like most services, they don’t all charge the same, nor are their services equal.
Use the list above to find a free or cheap notary public in your area.
It’s just another easy way to save some money on a necessary service.
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