Many Notaries just don’t learn to be business-like. You have to get burned a dozen or more times to snap out of it. If you do notarizations at a hospital or for the elderly, they rarely have a current ID. If they do, then they can’t find it. In general, when you do notarizations, you need to verify that the signer has ID. Unfortunately, if you do hospital jobs, the daughter will insist that mom has her ID. When you ask for them to read the ID number to you over the phone they quickly discover that they have no IDea where the ID is. Hmmm. Have them call you back with the serial number and most important — the expiration date. If the expiration date is from 1964 you will not be able to notarize — sorry!
Then, there are the hospital visits that end prematurely because the signer was just drugged by the nurse. It is not legal to notarize someone who doesn’t know which end is up. So, if you notarize for folks in hospitals, tell them that you will cancel the notarization if the signer is drugged or not able to communicate in an intelligent way (or hold a pen.) However, the party involved might not want to pay you after your 45 minute drive since you “didn’t do anything!” But, I drove here you exclaim!
Get your travel fees at the door. Explain when you book the appointment for a hospital, office or jail that you need your travel fee at the door and waiting time. People in Law Offices are never ready on time. They will hold you hostage for two hours without a second thought. They value their own time and not anyone else’s. In fact , their entire business model is based on making everyone else wait for them. So, make them pay for your time.
$40 to $80 travel fee at the door in cash. Sorry, but nine states have restrictions on travel fees which is not constitutional.
Jail and hospital jobs take longer by definition and should have a higher travel fee. Office and home visits are normally fast unless you are dealing with Attorneys who make you wait.
$20 waiting time the minute twenty minutes elapse, and every twenty minutes after before the signatures and ID’s are ready.
$? per signature depending on what your state allows.
So, you walk in the door. Before you see the signer, or any hospital rooms or jail cells you get your $40. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, rather, collect your $40 before you even go in the building. Then, you proceed to wherever you are lead. In a jail, you might have to fill out forms and wait in the waiting room. In a hospital you go up to the room and then there will be a twenty minute conversation about, “How are you feeling, and do you think you are up to sitting up?” The conversation always lasts for at least ten minutes before the topic of the Notary being there and please sit up and sign something starts. The Notary’s time is taken for granted at 90% of hospital Notary jobs which is why you charge a waiting fee. At $1 per minute people will either not hire you, or treat your time (and possibly you) with respect.
In the event that your prison inmate has been transferred, escaped, or is in lock down, you will be happy you got your $40 travel fee. For jails, I recommend charging $80 to $120 travel fee. You might get stood up, and there is a lot that can go wrong. Please read our blog’s other articles on jail signings to be a pro at dealing with cons!
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