Need to get a document notarized, and want to do it for free? Depending on where you live or who you know, it might be possible! Check out this list of places that might notarize your document for free.
1. The Auto Club
Check out or call the Auto Club in your state to see if they will notarize for free for members. In the state of Rhode Island, it was free for all members!
Note that the AAA in other states might charge for notarizations. In California, notarizations are free for Premier members, $4 for Plus members, and $7 for Classic members. While this is not free, it’s a pretty good price. Elsewhere, it can cost $15. So, if you can’t find one of the free solutions below in your area, go to the Auto Club for the cheapest price!
2. Banks and Credit Unions
Call your bank or credit union and see if they’ll notarize for free for account holders. Here’s an example at Bank of America. Another example is SF Fire Credit Union. The issue is that the notary might not be on-site all of the time. That’s what happened to me last time I checked a few banks near me.
Note, some banks won’t notarize wills or real estate documents due to liability issues, so be specific when you call.
3. Public Libraries
Some public libraries will also notarize for free. One example is the La Porte County Public Library in Indiana. Another is the Mercer County Library in New Jersey. Check the website of your local branches.
4. Your Real Estate Agent
Real Estate offices often have notaries and some agents are themselves notaries. If you’ve used them to buy a home in the past, or if you’re friends with them, they’d probably be happy to help you out with a free notarization.
5. Your Insurance Agent
Check with your insurance agent to see if they’d be willing to notarize your document for free. It worked for reader Dana!
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! Check a courthouse near you.
7. City Clerk Offices
The city of Lacy, Washington will notarize for just $3, which is a steal. Google for free or cheap notarizations by your city.
8. County Clerk Offices
Similarly, some county clerk offices offer free notarizations. One example is the Franklin County Clerk/Recorder in Illinois. Just be sure to differentiate between services for notaries (i.e., certificates for people who want to become notaries), and actual notary services.
9. Police Departments
Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed this one, but reader Solyda clued me in. Some police stations offer free notary services. Here are some examples from the police departments of Rexburg, ID and Danbury, Texas.
10. Your Tax Preparer
Some tax preparation firms offer notary services. Check to see if yours does.
11. Your Place of Employment
If you work in a large company, odds are there’s a notary working there, either in an official capacity or moonlighting.
12. 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!
Many lawyers have the ability to notarize documents (as long as they are not involved in a case involving that document). If you have a friend or relative who is a lawyer, ask them about it.
14. Some Mail Box Stores (for members)
There is an independent mailbox/shipping store near me that offers free notarizations for customers who have a mailbox there. If you renting a mailbox, check to see if they also do free notarizations!
15. Family and Friends
You can put it out on your Facebook feed that you need a notary and see what comes up! You might have a friend who is a notary, real estate agent, lawyer, etc. and is willing to do it for free or for trade. This worked for me, but I made sure to buy her lunch for her trouble!
What are some other places that you’ve found that will notarize for free? Please comment below – Brian.
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 an appointment though). Some currency exchanges also notarize for a fee. Or you can Google around for a notary service in your area. Note, the FedEx store does not notarize anymore due to some legal issues they had.
If you don’t have time to drive around looking for a notary in your neighborhood and wait in line, etc., consider using an online notary service like NotaryLive. They notarize 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! It’s not free but the cost is well worth it if your time is valuable! And, with COVID-19 still around, it’s not a bad idea to do as many things virtually rather than in-person as possible:
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