What is a Notary Public?

A notary public is a state appointed individual who provides services to the public. The notary verifies the signer’s identity using their approved identification and takes acknowledgment of the signer executing the document, or administers an oath and witnesses the signing of the document. The notary public cannot give legal advice, complete documents, or verify that the documents are true or legally binding. The California notary public only verifies the person’s identity.

What does a Notary Public charge?

The pricing of a notary public’s service is at their own discretion. The fees vary based on distance traveled, and number of signatures notarized. The state mandates a maximum fee per signature which all notary publics abide by, however, they do not mandate what the maximum is that can be charged for other fees. The maximum fee per signature is $15 mandated by the State of California.

Why get something notarized?

Because its required by law on some documents. Or to have an impartial witness to the signing. Some courses of business require notarization of signatures when the signer is not present to sign at the destination the document will be going to. For example, if a document that is being sent to Washington, and the individual is in California, some businesses request notarization to feel more confident that the signer actually signed the document that they were mailed.

Why can’t I notarize a blank document?

It is required by law to be complete at the time of signing. This is both because it is required by the Notary Public, and because it is a good way to prevent fraud. If a signer signs an incomplete document, someone else can alter it in an unfavorable manner that the signer did not intend to sign.

Can a Notary Public refuse to help me?

No. If a Notary Public is presented with proper identification, documents, and a request by the member of the public, they may not refuse to provide their services unless they are unable to complete the notarization because the document is not filled out, or ID is not presented, etc. If a paying customer makes the proper request, the notary shall provide service.