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Quiz: Notary Fee Misconceptions

Notaries and signers alike are often confused about the rules for charging fees for a notarization. Take our quiz and see how many fee misconceptions you can spot.

ANSWERS:

1. How much are Notaries allowed to charge for notarizations?
A. Whatever amount is set by the Notary’s employer
B. Any amount the signer agrees to pay prior to the notarization
C. Up to the maximum amount allowed by state law
D. Notaries are not allowed to charge fees 

ANSWER: C. A Notary may charge up to the maximum notarization fee set by state law. This can vary significantly between states — Rhode Island only permits Notaries to charge up to $1 for some notarizations, California’s maximum fee is $15 and Tennessee permits its Notaries to set their own fees.

2.  If a document signer is identified by one or more credible witnesses, the Notary may:
A. Charge one fee for notarizing the signature, and another administering any oaths to witnesses
B. Only charge the document signer a fee
C. Only charge a fee for any oaths taken by the credible witness or witnesses
D. The Notary must waive any fees charged

ANSWER: B. Some Notaries have contacted the NNA asking if they may charge fees if a signer must be identified by one or more credible witnesses, since the Notary must administer an oath or affirmation to the witnesses. The answer is no — only the signer may be charged a fee. Administering an oath or affirmation to a credible witness is simply part of the identification process, not a notarization for which you can charge a fee.

3. True or False. A Notary may always charge less than the maximum fee set by state law.

ANSWER: True. Notaries may choose to charge a lower fee to customers, or to waive a fee entirely. However, Mississippi has an unusual minimum fee rule — while they may choose to waive customer fees entirely, if Mississippi Notaries do choose to charge a fee, they cannot charge less than $2.

In Arizona, Notaries may charge any amount less than the maximum or may charge no fee at all. If Notaries do charge for their services, fees should “be consistent. That is, the same fee should be charged for each notarization.”

4. Which of the following is true about Notaries charging travel fees?
A. Travel fees are considered separate from fees charged for notarizations
B. It’s a good practice to contact a signer and agree on any travel fees in advance
C. Some states regulate how much Notaries may charge for a travel fee
D. All of the above

ANSWER: D. Rules for Notaries charging travel fees depend on each state’s laws, but a travel fee is always considered separate from the fee for notarizing. Some states, like Missouri and Nevada, set a specific amount Notaries may charge for travel. Others, like South Carolina, do not set a specific travel fee amount, but require the Notary and signer to agree on any travel fees in advance. Even if not required by law, it’s a good practice to contact a signer and agree on a travel fee before the notarization takes place.

5. True or False. Notaries may never accept a fee to endorse products with their official seal.

ANSWER: True. Notaries are never allowed to use their commissions or collect fees to endorse a product. For example, if someone offered to pay you to use an image of your seal and say, “As a Notary, I certify that Bosco Waffles are a great-tasting product!” in an advertisement, you would have to say no, because you can’t use your commission that way.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

20 Comments

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Christie

29 Apr 2019

Surprised myself. Good questions and refresher.

Jennifer Brittenum

29 Apr 2019

Good information

Wendy Taylor

29 Apr 2019

Took the quiz

Sylvia Morales

30 Apr 2019

This questionnaire is awesome because it keeps me informed .tfQlLh

Nichelle Russine

01 May 2019

The test was pretty easy except the question number 2 I don't get clients with credible witnesses much so that was a little tricky. The other questions were no brainers. I would like to take these more often to sharpen my skills.I actually enjoyed it.

National Notary Association

02 May 2019

Thank you Nichelle, we're glad you found the quiz helpful!

Barbaa Sekerak

01 May 2019

Good refresher quiz!

Ramesh Verma

02 May 2019

It was good brainstorming exercise. I enjoyed.

Delores Evans

02 May 2019

Thanks so much for the training, I need the information given, please give me more, I am willing to learn as much as I can, this is a good class. class.

Theresa Tanner

03 May 2019

Great refresher, thank you.

Rick A Dover

06 May 2019

Great idea and quick refresher. Please continue.

Tracy Morowski

06 May 2019

This was great to keep us reminded of the small but important details of being a notary. I am looking forward to more of these. Very helpful!

Orquidea Wirges

06 May 2019

What's the maximum notary fee in Texas??

National Notary Association

07 May 2019

Hello.The maximum fees that a Texas Notary or the Notary’s employer may charge for a traditional notarial act are (GC 406.024[a]): 1. Taking an acknowledgment or proof: $6 for the first signature and $1 for each additional signature; 2. Administering an oath or affirmation, with certificate and seal: $6; 3. Providing a copy of a record or paper kept in the Notary’s office: 50 cents per page; 4. Taking a deposition: $6 for the oath, certificate, seal and other business connected with the deposition, plus 50 cents per 100 words; 5. Protesting for nonacceptance or nonpayment, register and seal, $4; each notice of protest, $1; certificate and seal to a protest, $4; protesting in all other cases, $4. 6. Certificate under seal not otherwise provided for: $6 7. Performing any other lawful notarial act: $6. “An online notary public or the online notary public’s employer may charge a fee in an amount not to exceed $25 for performing an online notarization in addition to any other fees authorized under Section 406.024” (GC 406.111).

Ellis C. Collom

14 May 2019

I'm just starting as a notary. I'm retired and this seemed a good way for more income. Thank you for this site, it is great education.

Judith

14 May 2019

True or False. A Notary may always charge less than the maximum fee set by state law. You should never use the word 'always' in a question. Certain govt employees are not allowed to charge less, to say nothing of any agreement you may have with your employer

Ramesh Verma

15 May 2019

This quiz was very interesting and helpful. I always enjoy quiz as it works as refresher.

Ramesh Verma

15 May 2019

Please advise what amount of a travel fee, an notary from state of California, may charge.

National Notary Association

17 May 2019

Hello. California does not set the amount Notaries may charge for travel. However, the Secretary of State's 2017 Notary Newsletter states, "Other fees, such as travel fees and/ or loan signing fees should not be included as fees charged for the notarial service. You may note other fees charged in the additional information portion of your journal." We recommend that if you choose to charge a separate travel fee, contact the signer prior to the notarization and agree upon the fee in advance. For more information, please see this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/06/five-tips-notaries-charging-travel-fees

Jerry Lucas

24 Nov 2019

Notaries cannot endorse products in their notarial capacity. But a customer could write a testimonial as a notarized sworn statement. This could be useful to add credibility to the many fake online reviews. In the Old West, patent medicine companies used notarized customer testimonials as a form of advertorial marketing in newspapers. In the late 1800s, Dr. Williams Pink Pills for Pale People used notarized advertorials in 82 countries claiming a miracle cure for many ailments. I wrote a notary history blog post about it at https://abclegaldocs.com/blog-Colorado-Notary/notarized-testimonial-medicine-advertising-1898/

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