Notary Public Fees: How Much to Charge?

Great! Now that you know what a Notary Public is and a Notary Signing Agent, too, and what they are and not, let’s talk about money!

How much can a Notary Public make?

Well… that depends! As I said on a previous post, this is not a get rich quick idea or scheme; besides from being able to earn extra money, becoming a notary can add value and make you interesting for companies that want to hire people who are because of the benefits that you can provide them, and also it gives you some credibility since you have been appointed by the State to perform those duties. Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not naïve enough to believe that all notaries have integrity and are completely trustworthy. Unfortunately, we find those who aren’t in all areas. What I’m referring to is, that at least, you & your documents have been checked and you, as a notary, were placed under oath. So if you lied, it’s perjury and the state will prosecute you for that starting by revoking your commission. No, they cannot check for integrity of character; a reputation based on principles of trust & integrity is something you will need to build in your dealings with your customers.

Now let’s discuss the fees!

Notary Public fees are set by the state to the maximum that you can charge per notarial acts; they may not exceed those provided by law to the clerks of the circuit court for like services. A notarial act is the act performed by the Notary Public in his or her official capacity, such as in authenticating the signature of a signer on a document by witnessing it and placing the notarial stamp or seal on it.

Notary Public

Notary Public

Florida Notaries may charge for the following NOTARIAL ACTS (Maximum fees per notarial act) in 2012:

* Reminder: some acts vary by state; those refer particularly to Florida.

NOTES:

  • Each signature notarized is a notarial act; each page that you need to notarize is also a notarial act. Example, if two people appear before you, the Notary, and sign a document with one page and you take their acknowledgments, you can charge a maximum of $20.00. If the document has two pages and there are two people signing it, you can charge $40.00 ($10. per signature in each page)
  • Charging more than the maximum legally prescribed fees for notarial acts  is reason for the Governor to suspend a Notary’s commission. (F.S. 117.01[4][i])
  • If you charge fees for other services that are not notarial acts, provide your customer an itemized list of chargesbeforehand. (Example: Travel fees, wedding Services – not the actual notarial act, etc.) You should provide a list of charges to your clients in advance and explain they are apart from the notarial act they need. Take a look at this Notary who performs weddings in Florida for the fees she charges apart from the notarial act of solemnizing the rites of matrimony §117.045 of Florida Statuses.
  • NOTE: Financial or Beneficial Interest: A Notary should not perform any notarization related to a transaction in which that notary has a direct financial or beneficial interest. (F.S. 117.107[12]
  • Notary fees are considered income and should be reported when filing annual income tax.
  • Also, keep a detailed journal of those transactions, the acts performed and charges.
So as you see, notaries can charge other fees apart from notarial acts they perform as a State Public Official; there is room to earn some money. Just be straightforward, honest about your charges and price them reasonably. For Notary Signing Agents, you can charge more per notarial act. Read more on Notary Quest.

It is very important for your client to know in advance and understand the difference between  a notarial act and other fees you may charge them to perform the notarial act. It is perfectly admissible for a Notary Public to charge for travel, time, for after hours or for service during major holidays…, and other extra services such as preparing weddings, etc. as long as his or her clients know and agree to pay for them. What is not admissible is not to inform them in advance (remember that trust is the foundation of ALL relationships),  and if he or she doesn’t explain what those charges are and let them think those charges are part of notarial acts, his or her commission can be on the line!  They might report him or her to the state. So be fair, keep your word and commitments, be upfront about your charges apart from notarial acts, and you should build trust and a great reputation with your clients!

Good luck on your endeavors!

by Alessandra Gomes

On My Way FL Notary S.A.

http://www.onmywayflnsa.com

Read more: How to Build a Lucrative Career as a Notary Signing Agent 

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