Having to notarize documents during probate and other legal proceedings is pretty common, and even when it isn’t required, notarizations can be a nice and inexpensive way to ensure the validity and acceptance of estate planning and estate settlement documents.
Notaries are also commonly used in:
- Real estate
- Loan documents
- Property deeds
- Estate planning documents such as wills and trusts
- Official communication between courts and individuals
What are Notary Fees?
Notary fees are any fee paid for the act of notarizing a written oath, document, or any other legal statement.*
Notary publics are state servants who exist to deter fraud and ensure that any participant in a legal signing is of sound mind and is the correct participant. In other words, it's an assurance that you are the person you claim to be, and that you have the capacity to do whatever legal thing you’re about to do.
Most people can apply and become certified to be a notary, and once certified, they are allowed to charge a fee for their services. Most states set ceilings for how high a notary can charge, and then the individual notary can set any fee up to that ceiling.*
How Notary Fees Work
Notaries tend to charge on a per-signature or per-person basis, and max fees, types of fees, and fee transparency vary by state. For example, in Indiana, the max fee is $10 for acknowledgements, jurats, and verbal oaths, but those are charged on a per-signature basis*. Public notaries may also charge for travel fees, and some states set maximums on how much a notary can charge for their services.*
For example, New Mexico has a travel fee of 30 cents per mile, but also requires notaries to inform their customers in advance about the fee.*
2023 Notary Fees by State
Here are all known fees and considerations by state. Notaries are allowed to charge any fee (or none) up to the maximum set by their state. All research and data here is via the National Notary Association.
* These fees are temporary and will end when the emergency order for remote notarization expires.
** There's a $15 flat fee for performing these notarial acts in real estate transfers (regardless of how many there are)
† Signer must agree to travel charge in advance.
‡ Fee per signature. In Guam, acknowledgment and jurat fees are $10 for the first two and $8 for each additional signature.
States Without Specific Notary Fees
Keep in mind that there are some states without specific or established fee schedules, which simply means the notary fees are variable and not set by law. When you’re in one of these states, you’ll need to negotiate exact fees directly with the notary.*
These states do not have a specific fee schedule:
- Alabama (but signer must agree to fee ahead of time)
- Puerto Rico fees are variable depending on type
- Tennessee ($25 for RON)
Types of Notary Services and Fees
Acknowledgments are when a notary verifies identity and confirms that a person has willingly signed a document.
An acknowledgment requires*:
- That the signer and notary be in person
- That the signer be positively identified
- That the signer can sign in advance or in person
- That the signer must declare that the signature / purpose of the document is valid
Acknowledgements generally cost between $2-$15 + travel fees, depending on the state.
Jurats are used to affirm the truthfulness of affidavits, which are written statements considered legal testimony in the eyes of the court. This means that lies in a notarized affidavit could subject you to perjury*.
A jurat requires:
- That the signer and notary be in person
- That the signer be positively identified (certain states)
- The notary administers a spoken affirmation and the signer must respond out loud.*
Jurats typically cost between $1-$15 + travel fees, depending on the state.
Verbal Oath / Affirmation Fees
Verbal oaths and affirmations are similar to jurats, except a written document or affidavit may or may not be involved*.
Verbal oath and/or admiration fees range from $1-$20 plus travel fees, depending on the state.
Travel fees for notaries are more loosely defined but tend to have caps set by state law. Charging by mile is common (e.g. $0.35 per mile), although charging by the hour for travel time is also possible. Some states require notaries to state the fee in advance, others don’t.
Remote Online Notary (RON) Fees
RON fees are any fees paid to notaries who perform their duties digitally. Although becoming more common during and after COVID, RONs are only allowed in certain states including Arizona, Hawaii, and Florida*, and some states may get rid of RONs after emergency orders allowing them expires.*
RON are commonly around $25 but vary by state.
How to Get Something Notarized
Finding a notary is a straightforward process. Most banks, law firms, title companies, and other businesses who need notarizations often have a few notaries in the office.*
- Figure out what type of notarization you need
- Find a notary by going through a business, using the NNA database, or googling “public notary near me”.
- Ask for the fee in advance
- Double-check that you’ve completed the document (if needed)
- Bring the required identification (usually an ID)
- Make sure your ID and name on the document match
- Coordinate with all signers to be present for the notarization
- Be of sound mind and willing to sign
- Pay notary fee
Useful Notary Links and Resources
National Notary Association — official notary organization and resource
Online Notarization — find someone providing RON
Becoming a Notary — see steps in your state to become a notary