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Can I charge a "service fee" along with my Notary fee?

I am involved with several Notary groups on Facebook. Some Notaries in these groups charge a service fee in addition to the regular notarization fee. Someone recently posted that it's against the law to charge a service fee in Pennsylvania. Can you or can you not charge one?D.G., Pennsylvania

The statute says, “A notary public may not charge or receive a notary public fee in excess of the fee fixed by the department” (57 Pa.C.S. 329.1[b]).

The following appears on the Department of State’s website: “Notaries public may charge a clerical or administrative fee for services they have provided related to the notarial act, such as copying documents, postage, travel and telephone calls. These clerical or administrative fees are not set by the Department. Such clerical or administrative fees must be customary and reasonable for the geographic area and for the service rendered. Customers should be informed prior to the notarization of a document if a clerical fee is being charged in addition to the notary public fees. The customer's receipt should itemize these fees. Clerical and administrative fees, if charged, must be separately itemized in the notary journal.”

This description states a clerical fee must be customary and reasonable for the service rendered. While the Department does not present an exhaustive list, it does mention a fee for copying documents, postage, travel, and telephone calls specifically, but does not mention a “service fee.” You would be safest not charging a service fee for each notarial act.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

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Della Steele

24 Aug 2021

Have you heard of an I-9 form for a remote hiring where you represent the company and verify the person they’re hiring remotely? Am I allowed to notarize this? I’m in TEXAS. It’s very involved and lengthily. Copies required also. What do I charge?

National Notary Association

27 Aug 2021

Hello. Please see this article for more information:


14 May 2022

Notarizing an I-9 is equivalent to notarizing your own signature. One may act as an authorized representative by only signing the I-9. This is the policy of The UPS Stores after the legal department of The UPS Stores, Inc. informed franchisees not to perform actual notary services for I-9 forms. Generally, we seek permission to act as authorized representative from their new employer.

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