It isn’t often that you have to get a document notarized. So when you need a notary, you may not even know where to find one, let alone someone who will do it for free! Here is what you need to know about getting your document notarized for free.
What is a Notary?
You might find yourself wondering – what does a notary actually do?
Well, according to the National Notary Association, a notary is an official of integrity appointed by the state government typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts. Notaries are publicly commissioned as “ministerial” officials, meaning that they are expected to follow written rules without the exercise of significant personal discretion, as would otherwise be the case with a “judicial” official.
Examples of documents that may require notarization include real estate transactions, prenuptial agreements, legal agreements, employment offers, and more.
Where Can You Get a Document Notarized for Free?
If you need to get a document notarized urgently, you can always go to UPS and pay a small fee. However, if you have the time, you can get your important documents notarized for free. Here are a few places to look.
Surprisingly, some public libraries provide free notary services. Even major cities, like Seattle, allow you to get free notarization at their public libraries. Score!
If you are a member of AAA, you may be able to make use of free notary services, depending on your membership. Not all AAA locations and membership types offer these services, however, so call ahead of time.
Most employers have at least one notary within the company. Why? Well, just think about how many documents a company has to get notarized. It’s always good to have someone on hand!
So, ask around your employer to see if there is an on-site notary and if he or she would be willing to help you out. Best of all, you don’t have to go running around town to get a document notarized – just bring it into work and presto!
If you live near a courthouse, give them a call to see if they offer free notary services. Many small county courthouses will do it for you for free. And if you live in a large city, don’t hesitate to check – even the New York courthouse offers free notary services.
Friends or Family
Finally, ask around in your network to see if any friends or family members could notarize a document for you. It doesn’t take long to do, and you are likely to find people are happy to help!