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 .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.
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!!!
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 different states might charge. For example, 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.
2. Banks and Credit Unions
Call your bank or credit union and see if they’ll do it for free for account holders. 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. 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, 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
Some city government offices offer free notary services. One example is the office of the city of Carbondale, IL. Google for possible free notarizations in your city government office.
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 is one example from the police department of Rexburg, ID.
10. 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!
11. 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. This is a privately-owned store, not one of the big chains though (Mail Boxes, Etc. and the UPS Store don’t offer free notarizations).
12. 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 willing to do it for free or for trade.
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). Or you can Google around for a notary service in your area. Surprisingly, the FedEx store does not notarize.
What are some other places that you’ve found that will notarize for free? Please comment below