Public notaries charge a fee for their services.
A notary fee is a fee paid to a notary public in exchange for their services. Notary fees may vary depending on the type of service required and the region. Many regions have a specific table regarding the amount of the notary fee per service, so it may be wise to find out these maximum fees before authenticating documents or participating in other services under a notary’s jurisdiction.
The type of service provided by a notary can determine the fee.
A notary is an official authorized to witness and administer certain legal functions, such as signing wills and agreements and administering certain oaths. The training process to become a notary varies widely; in most of the United States, trainees attend only a few classes, whereas in other parts of the world, obtaining a notary’s office can take years of training and require a government appointment to the position. In most cases, notaries receive their salary on a commission-only basis, charging a notary fee.
Some documents are not legally permitted without notarization, which means that the services of a notary are often considered a public necessity. For this reason, notary fees are generally quite low, but may vary based on applicable minimums. In some areas, the notary may choose to exempt from fees, but in other regions, a fee is required to be paid for each legal notarization service. Notaries may sometimes charge less than the designated maximum for a service, usually at their discretion. If the service is performed by a notary who is employed in another capacity, such as by a lawyer who also performs notarization for a law firm, it is important to be certain whether the fee is paid to the employer or directly to the law firm.
A list of maximum notary fees is usually available on regional law websites. These sites may also contain links to local resources where notaries can be found. Depending on local laws, a notary public may have a private office, share space with other companies related to documentation, or even work from home. Government agencies and private companies may also hire notaries on a long-term basis if their services are consistently needed.
If the notarial fee is above the maximum allowed by law, it is important to inform law enforcement authorities and any regulatory bodies that have jurisdiction. Overcharging is an illegal practice and a means of defrauding the public by charging beyond the limits allowed for what is often a necessary and mandatory service. A notary found guilty of overcharging may have to repay excess payments and face disciplinary action, and be barred from continuing to practice.