Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selecting a Washington Notary
Notaries play a crucial role in Washington State. As authorized public officials, Washington notaries serve the public as impartial witnesses to important commercial and legal transactions by verifying the identities of the individuals involved in notarizations and witnessing them sign documents.
There will likely come a day when you find you need to employ the services of a Washington notary. Before using a Washington notary locator to find a Washington notary, however, you should first ask yourself the following questions:
What type of notarization do I need?
Do you need an acknowledge certificate, a certificate for witnessing or attesting a signature, a certificate for attesting a copy of a record, or a certificate for verification upon oath or affirmation? Usually, the wording of the notarial certificate on your document will tell the notary which type of notarization you need. There are several types of notarizations:
- For an acknowledgment, you will make a statement indicating that you voluntarily signed a document before the notarization takes place.
- For an oath, you will vow to the truthfulness of a document using the word “swear” and invoking a deity.
- For an affirmation, you will make a vow of truthfulness without invoking a deity or using the word “swear.”
- For a jurat, you will take an oath or make an affirmation stating that the information in a document is true.
- For a copy certification, the notary will verify that a document is identical to the original. Please note that Washington notaries cannot certify copies of publicly recordable documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, or university transcripts. These must be obtained from the document custodian, such as the Washington State Department of Health or the school in question.
If your document does not have a notarial certificate, you will need to select one. A Washington notary may offer you a selection of loose notarial certificates from which to choose, but he or she cannot tell you what type of notarial certificate to use. Unless the Washington notary is also a licensed attorney, telling you which certificate to use is considered unauthorized practice of law. If your document lacks a notarial certificate, and you are unsure which type of certificate to use, contact the source of your document to inquire.
2. What type of notary do I need?
Do you have a simple document to be notarized, or a complex loan document? Do you have time to travel to the place of business of a Washington notary, or would you prefer that a mobile notary travel to you? These are the types of questions you should consider before locating a notary.
If you have a complicated loan document that requires notarization, for instance, you will want to find a notary signing agent who is specifically trained in handling loan documents. A Washington notary signing agent can assist you in the final stages of the loan process by printing loan documents, showing you where to sign, and notarizing multiple signatures on several different pages of documentation. While your lender may provide you with a notary signing agent, you may find you need to search for one of your own using a Washington notary locator.
If you have the time, you can travel to a notary’s place of business to have your document notarized. Banks and packaging stores (such as FedEx or UPS) often have notaries available to notarize documents, but you may have to wait in line. If you don’t have the time to visit a regular notary, you may want to employ the services of a Washington mobile notary. A mobile notary will travel to your home or business at an appointed time convenient to you in order to notarize your documents.
3. How much am I willing to pay for a notarization?
The maximum allowable fees a Washington notary public may charge for notarizing a signature are set by the Washington Department of Licensing. Some notaries may charge less than these allowable fees, but a notary cannot legally charge more. The maximum fees Washington notaries may charge are as follows:
- Taking an acknowledgment - $10.00
- Administering an oath or affirmation - $10.00
- Taking a verification upon oath or affirmation - $10.00
- Certifying that an event has occurred or an act that has been performed - $10.00
- Witnessing or attesting a signature - $10.00
- Certifying or attesting a copy - $10.00
- Performing a remote notarial act for a remotely located individual - $25
Some notaries may waive notarization fees altogether. While a packaging store will typically charge you the full price for notarization, a bank will often offer you a free notarization provided you maintain and account there.
Although the maximum fees for notarization of a signature are set by Washington law, the fees a Washington mobile notary may charge for travel are not. Be aware that mobile notaries will likely charge you a travel fee in addition to the notarization fee. A Washington mobile notary may charge a set fee, or a fee per mile travelled, or both. Make sure you discuss and agree to any fee prior to your notarization.
4- How many signers will there be?
Do your documents require multiple signers? Then make sure all signers are available to attend the notarization and that each one has proper state-issued identification. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, a U.S. passport, and a state identification card. Even if you are the sole signer, make sure you have a proper identification on you to avoid having to reschedule your notarization.
5- Is my document ready to be notarized?
Does your document contain any blank spaces? If so, make sure these spaces are filled in prior to your notarization. If the spaces do not need to be filled in, write N/A in the blank. A Washington notary cannot notarize a document with blank spaces.
How to Find a Washington Notary Near You
The American Association of Notaries (AAN) Washington notary locator is an easy and convenient way to find a Washington notary. Whether you need a mobile notary, a notary signing agent, or a traditional notary, in mere seconds, you will be able to locate an affordable Washington notary who is able to provide you professional notary services.
Follow these straightforward steps to find a Washington notary near you:
- If you know the name of the notary you wish to locate, enter it in the search bar. Otherwise, you can search by (a) zip code, (b) city and state, or (c) listing number.
- If you only wish to employ the services of a notary who is also a member of the American Association of Notaries, click the AAN Member box.
- Select which verified credentials you would like. AAN verifies the credentials of notaries in the Washington Notary Locator. If you only want the locator to return notaries with certain verified credentials, check the corresponding boxes. You can search for notaries who have a verified Washington notary commission, verified errors and admission insurance, a verified background check, verified notary signing agent credentials, and/or a verified email address and phone number.
- Choose a notary from among the results returned.
- Contact the notary.
- Ensure that the notary is qualified to handle your request.
- Agree on a fee, including any travel fee, if applicable.
To find a notary in Washington, visit AAN’s Washington Notary Locator at the following URL: https://www.washingtonnotary.com/find-a-washington-notary.
If you’re interested in becoming a notary in Washington State yourself, AAN can help. We have been assisting individuals with the notary application process since 1994. We can guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Click here to learn how to become a notary in Washington State with the help of AAN.