Notary fees are set by each state’s notary division. Some states have their Secretary of State run their notary division, others have the Department of State do it. For Alabama Notary applicants, they need to see the Probate Judge. Each state is like a separate country in many ways. Notary fees could be “unspecified”, or there could be a minimum, a maximum, a 25 cent fee, or a notary fee of $10 per notary act. Notary Public Fees can vary tremendously.
Notary Public Fees or Notary Application Fees?
The next area of confusion is that there are fees to become a notary which are very different than fees for notarizing or performing notary acts. There could be notary application fees, fees for administering the Notary Oath of Office, and other fees.
What are Notary Fees in my State?
What are notary fees? How much are notary fees? How do I find out what notary fees are in my state? What are fees for notarizing?
What is the notary fee in my state? What is the maximum notary fee?
Then, click on the name of your state.
How can a notary make a living with 25 cent notary fees?
There are many states with ridiculously small notary fees. In my opinion, anything less than $5 per notarized signature is not enough and many states only allow $2 per signature for example. Notaries in these states cannot make any real money notarizing. However, many states allow notaries to charge a travel fee. Additionally, many notaries make a good living doing loan signings if they don’t live in what we call an “Attorney State” where only Attorneys can do signings. In my opinion, many state governments are decades behind and don’t understand how important it is for notaries to make a living. If Notary fees are too low, then nobody will want to provide notary services which could be horribly detrimental to old folks in convalescent homes who desperately need Powers of Attorney notarized. It would also be a huge time waster for business people who need their contracts and Real Estate documents notarized. Nobody has time to spend the day chasing after a notary.
What SHOULD notary fees be if we lived in a perfect world?
If I were in charge of the planet, it would be very much harder to become a notary. The training would be hands on and last for at least a week. There would be routine check-ups, and “scrutinizations” with “undercover” signers who are really state agents doing a secret inspection to see if the notary knows what they are doing and to make sure the notary follows all applicable notary laws. In my world, notaries would get at least $40 for the first signature if clients came to them. Additional signatures might be $20 or less depending on how many there were. Traveling notaries and loan signing notaries would have a state mandated minimum fee of $150 per signing with no maximum. Yes, notaries would make more with me in charge, but the quantity of notaries would be only 1% of what it is now, and they would be 1000% more skilled than the type of people who have notary commissions in today’s world.