Do you need a Notary who can do prison notarizations? 123notary has many Notaries who offer mobile service to jails, prisons, correctional facilities, penitentiaries, and detention centers. Here are some issues involved:
1. Someone needs to meet the Notary at the jail. That person can be an Attorney, family member, friend, or paid assistant.
2. The inmate must have identification that is satisfactory to the state where the notarization takes place. It is ideal if the person meeting the Notary has a current ID for the inmate such as a valid and current driver license, ID card, passport, etc. However, if the inmate has a wristband or jail ID card that is acceptable to the state where the notarization is taking place.
3. A California Notary may accept an inmate identification card issues by the state Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.
4. Florida allows Notaries to accept inmate ID cards issued by the U.S. Department of Justice or Bureau of Federal Prisons.
5. Credible witnesses are allowed in most states. A credible witness is a person who can vouch for the identity of a signer who does not have ID. Typically the credible witness must swear under Oath as to the identity of the signer (exact procedure depends on state laws) and must be identified by the notary and sign the journal in the additional information section. Some states allow one credible witness who knows both the Notary and inmate while others allow two who both know the signer, but don’t necessarily know the Notary. Other states allow one or two, while some states do not allow identification via credible identifying witnesses.
6. In states that require a journal, you must find a way to get the journal to the other side of the glass. Normally a warden will be happy to assist you with this task, however wardens might keep you waiting for five or ten minutes in my experience.
7. Lock downs happen in jails. If a lock down happens, you might be asked to leave, or might be taken virtually hostage until the lock down is over.
8. The Notary must have full vision of the signer and the signer must appear before the Notary. It is okay if the signer is on the other side of a glass provided that direct communication is possible. In my opinion, the signers should be within about five feet of the Notary otherwise you cannot fulfill the “personal appearance” requirement of most Notary acts.
9. Power of Attorney documents are common documents to be notarize in a correctional facility. That document normally requires an Acknowledgment which is a common Notary act which just requires the signer to sign the document, and then sign a Notary journal (most states but not all states). The Notary would need to check whatever ID the inmate has available and enter that information into the journal.
10. You can find a Notary on 123notary.com to do your jail signing. It is best to bring cash, and pay the travel fee up front. Then pay waiting time and whatever fee there is per signature after the work is done. Each Notary has their own fee and method of collecting their fee. Paying in two stages makes it easier for the Notary as some people try to get out of paying the Notary at all if there is any type of problem getting the inmate to come to the visiting room or sign, or be identified.
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