How To Get Something Notarized
Now that you know what a notary is and what they do, let’s talk about how to get something notarized, whether you need to for a home loan or you’re considering creating a will or other important document.
Step 1: Determine What Type Of Notarization You Need
The first step to getting something notarized is determining what type of notarization you actually need. If you’re going to be closing on a home loan, you will probably need to have an acknowledgment or signature witnessing, but if you just need a certified copy of your driver’s license, you may only need copy certification.
Step 2: Ensure That The Document Is Complete And Find A Notary
Once you know what document you need notarized, verify that your document is complete. That means making sure there are no blank spaces, incorrect dates or sections with incomplete information. Once you’re certain the document is in good shape, you can find a notary.
There are many places you can find a notary public. A good place to start if you’re not sure where to begin is a local post office or lawyer’s office. You can even have some notarial services done for you at the UPS Store. There are some websites, like the American Association of Notaries, that also have resources to help find a notary near you.
Step 3: Bring Acceptable Identification
For the purposes of acknowledgement or having a signature witnessed, bring multiple forms of ID for the notary to use when verifying your identity. This includes things like your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, etc. In some cases, you may also be able to bring a credible identifying witness that can prove your identity to the notary.
In some states, there may be varying rules surrounding who can act as a credible witness. In Florida and California, for example, a credible identifying witness may not be someone who has a financial interest in the transaction related to the notarization. This means that family members often do not qualify as witnesses.
Step 4: Be Sure The Name On The ID Matches The Name On The Document
Before presenting your documents and identification to the notary, check that the name on your ID matches the name on the document you’re having notarized. If you’ve recently changed your first name, middle name or surname and your ID does not match the name on your documents, the notary will be unable to certify them.
Step 5: Ensure That Every Signer Is Present
Before meeting with a notary, you should also make sure everyone who is signing or has signed the documents is present. If a party’s signature is being certified, they must be there in person with the notary.
Step 6: Make Sure The Notary Stamps The Document
Once the notarization is complete, the notary will sign and stamp your document to legitimize it. While it’s unlikely your notary will forget this important final step, it doesn’t hurt to check the documents before you leave.
Step 7: Pay Fees
Finally, after all the notarial services you needed are complete, you can pay the associated fees. If you’re closing on a home loan, these fees will likely be a part of the closing costs you pay on your closing date.