Prepare For Your Notarization

Notaries must follow strict practices and procedures while serving clients, so preparation on your part will help get your notarization done right. To avoid any issues — or the possibility of having your notarization declined — make sure you:

Are present, willing, and aware

Whether in person or online through remote technologies, a document signer must communicate face-to-face with their Notary. Also, know that your Notary will ask you if you are signing your document willingly and if you are aware of its contents. If these two requirements are not met, you cannot get your document notarized.

Know what type of notarization you need

It’s essential that you know the specific type of notarization you need. The Notary cannot advise or choose for you. Chances are, you’ll need one of the following types of notarizations:

  • Acknowledgment
  • Jurat
  • Copy Certification

If you’re unsure what type of notarization you need, contact the document drafter or receiving agency to confirm.

Have a proper form of identification

A Notary cannot perform a notarization unless you present an acceptable form of identification. Make sure you have one of the following:

  • State-issued driver’s license
  • State-issued ID card
  • U.S. passport issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. military ID
  • State, county, and local government IDs
  • Permanent resident card or “green card” issued by the U.S.

Keep in mind that acceptable identity documents can vary from state to state. If you don’t have proper ID, you may be able to use a credible identifying witness—a person with an acceptable ID who will swear to the Notary that they know you. For more information, ask your Notary.

Check for blank spaces on your document

Watch out for blank spaces, missing dates, and empty lines on your document. In most cases, a Notary must refuse a notarization if the document isn’t complete. This protects you from potential fraud.

Bonus Pro Tip: Understand your Notary’s fees

Notary fees vary state-by-state, and sometimes travel, administrative, and technology service fees can apply. It’s a good idea to discuss fees with your Notary before your appointment so your signing goes smoothly!