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Should I Become a Notary Public?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Rex, May 14, 2010.

  1. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    The command wants me to become a notary; they are willing to pay for the seminar and certification; they want a civilian who will always be here to be able to notarize documents with contractors. It's good for four years in PA and I can use it outside of the office if I so choose.

    Is anyone here a notary and can you tell me what the good and bad points of it are?
    Vash01 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    My husband is one. The only downside is that your relatives will remember and may ask you to notarize documents when you'd rather be doing something else. The other annoyance is that you have to find another notary for your own documents.

    MOIJTO Banned Member

    It never hurts to have other sources of income potential!
  4. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    I'm a notary. I don't know that there are any particular good or bad points to discuss. :p It's convenient to have a notary around, so your command will appreciate it. You aren't responsible for legal content; all you have to do is verify identity, sometimes have someone swear an oath, watch people sign their papers and then sign and stamp behind them to verify that you checked their identity, adminstered the oath and witnessed the signature.

    It's pretty painless. But don't tell your personal friends and family members about it, because as sure as you do, they will want you to notarize their shadier transactions. I don't mind notarizing car titles and things for people, but when they come to me with forged papers--even though they have really good stories for why they have to sign this car title even though they don't actually own the car--it can get a bit tense.

    If you're willing to risk that, you can hang out a shingle and charge people for notarizations, but if PA is anything like Ohio, you won't make any money at all.
  5. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    Thanks, kids. I'm gonna do it as soon as they approve my waiver.

    Why is that? I was thinking about a little extra coin.
    Prancer and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    You might want to check your state fee schedule first.

    This is Ohio's:

    A notary public is entitled to the following fees:

    (A) For the protest of a bill of exchange or promissory note, one dollar and actual necessary expenses in going beyond the corporate limits of a municipal corporation to make presentment or demand; (that means you can charge mileage, basically, on the very off chance that you are asked to travel)

    (B) For recording an instrument required to be recorded by a notary public, ten cents for each one hundred words;

    (C) For taking and certifying acknowledgments of deeds, mortgages, liens, powers of attorney, and other instruments of writing, and for taking and certifying depositions, administering oaths, and other official services, the same fees as are allowed by section 2319.27 of the Revised Code or by law to clerks of the courts of common pleas for like services; (the statute allows for one or two dollars, depending)

    (D) For taking and certifying an affidavit, one dollar and fifty cents.

    Now before a million people run in to tell me that they have been charged more than that and blah blah blah--yes, there are people who charge more. Yes, some people are entitled to do so and in some states, notaries are allowed to charge for various expenses. Fees vary from state to state. But most notaries who charge more than $5 for anything are overcharging. I've even had some tell me that they didn't know there were set fees. Uh, yes. And that's usually covered on the exam, along with the jail sentence you can get for overcharging people.

    I never charge anybody. I just can't bring myself to stamp something and say "That'll be one dollar."

    ETA: I think I found PA's. You can charge more, but still--you'll have to do a lot of notarizing to make more than the occasional Big Mac with fries: http://www.notariesequipment.com/052805.htm
  7. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    OMG - it hardly sounds worth it. Think I'll use it for just job purposes.
  8. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    Since so many places have free notarizations--banks, law offices, real estate offices, etc,--there really isn't a whole lot of demand for entrepreneurial notaries, so no, don't expect to rake it in.
    Rex and (deleted member) like this.
  9. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Oh yes. I'm a Notary in Fla. A negligible amount of earnings comes from being a Notary. I did it because it gives my resume as a paralegal @ a law firm a boost.
  10. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    It can be a useful thing to have at work, and it really isn't much trouble. These days, and extra skill that may help differentiate you from someone else is never a bad thing.
    Rex and (deleted member) like this.
  11. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

    I'm a notary in Michigan, have been for over 15 years. I just use it at work, though, nowhere else.
  12. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    Wow, why is it so cheap? I paid $40 just to get my ID verified for a criminal records check :yikes:
  13. Norlite

    Norlite Well-Known Member


    Yeah, there's always a charge in Canada unless perhaps you get your lawyer or her clerk to do it.

    $40. sounds like a lot to me but I know my kids have been charged anywhere from $15 to $25.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I may be thinking of a commissioner for taking affidavits. I always get the two mixed up.
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  14. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    How does the notary public system work in Canada?
  15. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    There is an article in the paper today that indicates that you are not to notarize things for relatives, not in Nebraska anyway. Some loan documents for a business are being declared invalid because the guy's brother-in-law notarized them.
  16. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    In BC, notaries take some course and once a notary, they can only set up shop when a spot in a specific area in the province opens up.

    They can do conveyances and wills too.

    Biggest thing is always get at least 2 pieces of ID, one with photo. And never notarize a doc already signed (you won't believe how many people do that!).
  17. Susan1

    Susan1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for reminding me. I have to get mine renewed before August or I have to take the test again. I've been a notary for about 16 years now. The company I was at at the time paid for the book and test and stamps and everything. Then when I got the job at NCR, they paid for the renewal every four years. I hardly ever used it. Nowhere I have worked since then pays for me to get it renewed so I haven't done it. It's on my resume, so I should get it, just in case.

    One time I spent a couple hours signing and stamping tons of documents for a coworker who was applying to adopt a child from another country, and then the adoption fell through. It was my boss's friend, so he didn't mind me taking work time to do it. And I have never charged anything.
  18. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Yeah! Rex wants to be entrepreneurial!

    Prancer is right, you can’t make much money being “in-the-office” Notary Public, because you can’t charge more than the allowed amount in you State.

    However! While you can’t charge more than $1 to $10 USD (depending on the State) for the actual notary service, you CAN charge for “extra conveniences”.

    a) Mobil Notary Service to client’s home or office (you come to their location on call) - $ 50 USD on week-day. $ 100 USD on weekend.

    b) After hours service - $ 25 USD. If your official “daytime” notary service is 8/9 am to 5 pm, you CAN charge extra for “after hours waiting/staying”.

    It's a good idea to have a price list, stating your Regular Fees (which match the state limits, in case the authorities look at your service) and Extra Services fees - which are "what the market can accept".

    You will need to advertise localy for the "After hours, and Mobil/Home/Office visits".

    You can also make a deal with local firms (Brokers, Real-Estate, other businesses) who do not have notaries to "call you as needed" and then you can split the "out of the office visit" fee with them.

    Good luck!
  19. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

    You can't in Michigan, either.
  20. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    In some states, yes. In some states, no. In this one, for example, I am not allowed to charge ANY of those fees, except transportation for out of municipality work. Some states allow you to charge by signature, some only by document. And so on.

    All of that will probably be covered in Rex's seminar.
  21. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    I am pretty sure that in most states if the home or office visit fee is stated to the client IN ADVANCE, and accepted prior to visit, there are no restrictions for a fee above the "transportation expenses".

    "Transportation expenses" may be "normed", but out-of office notary is also allowed to also charge: additional fee for emergency/rush service, extra time at signing location, holidays, and after 7 or 6 PM (depending). All that can add up to $25 to $50 or even more.
  22. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    Well, it's either this or selling bean pies :lol:. We'll see what happens.
  23. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    I'd be more likely to buy a bean pie from you than your fancy stamp. Just sayin'.
  24. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    I am a notary as well. In my profession you have to be. Honestly, there is nothing to it. Always remember that you are only responsible for the actual signature not tha accuracy of the document. So, if the document is written in german and it says that the person is going to bomb a bank, thats not your problem and you cant be held liable. As long as those people appeared before you with adequate ID and you SAW them sign it, you are ok. Its pretty easy.
  25. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

    What kind of bean pies? :hat1:
  26. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

    Ooh, you gonna be a moozle selling bean pies at intersection islands before the onramp?

    This is all very fascinating. The only time I went to a notary (for traveling abroad as a student), I got overcharged, and didn't know it.

    But my friend is a notary in CA, and it makes a full-time income for him! He's never told me the details, but I know that he drives to the customer, and it's hundreds of pages of real estate stuff usually.
  27. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    Bump. Two-year old bump.
    FINALLY got approved for online training, which I am taking a break from now. They kept saying that they needed to find the funding available - the course is less than $200USD!!! Should be done by day's end. I hope anyway. And I will make it clear that it will be for Coast Guard-related stuff only. There is a state rep's office where they can get personal stuff done.
  28. doubleturn

    doubleturn Rinkside on my iPhone

  29. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    But you'd have to do that even if you weren't a notary!
  30. Patsy

    Patsy Active Member

    Yikes! I'd suggest any Notary never never never notarize something for family or close friends! Definitely not "best practice" as the expression goes and notarizing something for your family is illegal here in ND. My stamp stays in a drawer at work.

    If swomething is brought in already signed, I make the person re-sign it in front of me.