How Much to Charge for Mobile Notary Services?

This is a somewhat sticky question for most mobile notaries. Why? Because how much you charge depends on a number of factors.

First, several states mandate how much a notary public can charge per notarial act, per signature notarized, or both. Other states allow a notary public to charge a travel fee, while many don't. Additionally, some states don't have a statutory fee schedule for notaries.

Then, there are those notaries who do not abide by their state notary laws and set their own fee schedule, for example when they charge an additional fee for adding a notarial certificate to a document. (When I called my Secretary of State's Office about this, they laughed, as it is not allowed in Texas.) Some notaries even charge to complete the notarial act in a different language. (By the way, charging extra for explaining the notarization process in a different language is also not allowed in some states.) Some charge an additional fee for using an embosser in lieu of a notary stamp or charge more for notarizing after hours or on weekends. These notaries risk the suspension or revocation of their notary commissions.

So how much do you charge? That depends on what your state allows. In most states, it is against the law to charge more than the allowable fees established by the state. If you are a mobile notary public, and if your state allows it, you can charge an additional travel fee when you are meeting your client at a location other than your office. However, you are required to provide the signer with an itemized receipt that separates the notarial fees from travel and other fees charged.

As a mobile notary public, whenever I get a call from a potential client who asks how much I charge, I explain that my fees are based on the number of notarial acts to be performed and how far I have to travel. I also let the potential client know the location I will most likely be traveling from based on the appointment date and time. That way, once the appointment time and location is set, we have also agreed upon a fee for the service.

However you decide to price your services, I'd strongly suggest you follow the guidelines set by your state. If you choose to tack on any additional fees, make sure those are approved by your state. Not following the notary public laws established by your state could be cause for revocation of your notary public commission, implementation of some pretty hefty fines, or both.

By Phyllis E. Traylor, U.S. Army Retired, Contributing Writer with the American Association of Notaries.

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