I recently had to get a document notarized. I went online and the first thing that came up was the UPS store. So, I went to the downtown store, but they said the guy who notarized was out. He was the owner and came and went as he pleased. The clerk told me that banks would notarize though.
There were two other banks in the immediate area. I tried TD bank. They were very courteous, but their notary guy was busy with a customer. I waited for ten minutes and there was no sign of him finishing. They advised me to try another bank.
So, I went across the street to try another bank (a smaller one, which I don’t remember the name of), but they said they’d only notarize for account holders, even if I was willing to pay them.
1. The Auto Club
I was getting frustrated until I saw a AAA (Auto Club) office with a sign that said “financial services”. I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a try, and walked in there. To my delight, they said they could do it. They asked for my membership card, which I gladly provided. I was out of there in less than ten minutes. Only later did I realize that I didn’t have to pay for it!!!
Note that the AAA in other states might charge. For example, in California, notarizations are free for Premier members, $4 for Plus members and $7 for Classic members. In Rhode Island, it was free for all members.
2. Banks and Credit Unions
If you’re not a member of the Auto Club, or if yours charges, call your bank or credit union and see if they’ll do it for free for account holders. Many will, including big banks like Bank of America. Call your branch to be sure.
3. Public Libraries
Some public libraries will also notarize for free. Check the website for your local branches.
Reader Natosha pointed out that some courthouses will notarize for free! I confirmed by checking the New York courthouse, as sure enough, they do it!
5. City and County Government Offices
Some city and county government offices offer free notary services. Examples include the offices of the city of Carbondale, IL and Cobb County, GA. Google for possible free notarizations in your city or county government offices.
6. Police Departments
Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed this one, but reader Solyda clued me in. Some police stations offer free notary services. Here is one example from the police department of Rexford, ID.
7. Colleges and Universities
If you are a student, faculty, or staff member of a college or university, you might be in luck. Just by Googling around, I found a number colleges and universities that will provide free notary services to teachers, students, and staff, such as Teachers College Columbia University, Western University in California, NC State, and Penn State.
UNC Charlotte offers free notary services to teachers and staff, but not students unfortunately.
If you are affiliated with a college or university, check to see what notary services they offer. You never know!
8. Your Real Estate Agent
If you are friends with a real estate agent, or maybe have one that you’ve used in the past, some of them are also notaries.
What are some other places that you’ve found that will notarize for free?
If none of the solutions above work for you, some shipping stores such as the UPS Store notarize for a small fee (you may need to schedule and appointment though). Or you can Google around for a notary service in your area. Surprisingly, the FedEx store does not notarize.