Many legal documents, such as mortgages, loans, business agreements, medical claims, and settlements, often have to be notarized. Notarization essentially means that you’re swearing under oath in court. You’re stating that the facts contained in the document are true.
However, not everyone can notarize a document. This must be done by a notary public, who is appointed by the Secretary of State and authorized to witness the signing of legal documents. The notary public will go over the document with you, make sure you understand what you are signing, and ensure that you are the person you say you are by checking for a valid ID. You’ll then sign the document, and the notary will notarize it with their official stamp.
Finding a Notary
So now that you know the process, the next step is to find a notary. If you’ve never had a document notarized before, you may wonder: where can I get a notary? It can be especially challenging to find one if you live in a rural area, but the truth is that they are more common than you may think. In fact, they can be found in places that you frequent or pass by regularly.
Not many places advertise notary services, though, so sometimes you have to call or stop in and ask. Also, notary services may be limited at certain places, so even if your local bank offers notary services, it’s always good to call ahead first to be sure.
Here are some common places where you can notarize a document:
- Banks and credit unions
- Law offices
- Real estate offices
- AAA, car dealerships, and other automotive services
- Accountants and tax preparation services
- Parcel shipping stores (such as UPS and Mail Boxes Etc. stores)
- Photocopy shops
- Police stations
- Insurance agents
- City halls and other government offices
You can also check with organizations you belong to (such as military or employers) to see where to get notary services. At some places, you may be able to get notary services free of charge if you’re a customer (such as at a bank or an insurance company). Veterans and seniors may also qualify for free or low-cost services. Keep in mind that the most that a notary can charge you in Florida is $10 per signature, so it shouldn’t cost you too much to get your document notarized. Don’t use anyone who plans to charge you more.
If all else fails, you can check your local phone book or do a Google search online. In addition, some individuals offer notary services out of their homes, so you may have someone in your neighborhood who can notarize documents for you.
Mobile Notary Services
While there are many places where you can get notary services, sometimes you need convenience. Maybe you work in a busy office and don’t have the time to leave to see a notary. Perhaps you have young children to care for, and taking them with you to a notary is something you want to avoid.
In any case, a mobile notary can provide you with the services you need. A mobile notary travels to your location for the ultimate convenience. For a low cost, you don’t even have to leave your home or work.
The best place to find mobile notary services is online. Use a search engine, a service such as Angi (formerly Angie’s List), or even craigslist to find notaries in your area. Yelp may also be helpful.
Remote Notary Services
If you live in a rural area and can’t get mobile services, you may wonder: where can I get a notary? You’ll be happy to know that remote notary services are available in 24 states, including Florida. These notaries use webcam technology and virtual notary services like NotaryCam, Notarize, and DocVerify to notarize your documents.
While this service is convenient, not every company accepts notarized documents from remote notaries public. You may be required to see a notary in person for your notarized document to be accepted, so make sure to check with the document recipient first before going this route.
Contact Us Today
While the Florida Notary Association doesn’t provide services where you can notarize documents, we can help you become a notary if that’s your goal. There aren’t many requirements—just complete the application and take an online class. No special training is required, and you don’t need a college education. Contact the Florida Notary Association today to learn more!