Prepare For Your Notarization

From adoptions to home loans and powers of attorney, Notaries play a part in some of life's most important moments. Therefore, they must follow strict practices and procedures to serve you, their clients.

To avoid any issues—or the possibility of having your request declined or the notarization rejected—preparation on your part will help get your notarization done right. And it all starts with finding the right Notary for your needs.

Hire a Notary Public that’s right for you

Like doing business with any professional for hire, it's a good idea to do some research on a Notary before booking an appointment. On, you have all the necessary information to help you choose, including:

  • Commission information including verification of an active Notary Public license by the Secretary of State or other state authority when available.
  • Date of the background check showing how recently it was completed. To be listed on FindaNotary, a Notary must pass a background check annually.
  • Notary services and biographies so you can learn more about the Notary you’re considering and the areas they may specialize in like healthcare or estate planning.

Know what type of notarization you need

Because the Notary cannot advise or choose for you, it's essential that you know what type of notarization to request. Of the various notarial services available, these are three of the most common:

  • Acknowledgment
  • Jurat
  • Copy Certification

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

Check for blank spaces on your document

Scan through your document for blank spaces, missing dates, and empty lines before you arrive for your notarization. In most cases, a Notary must refuse a notarization if the document isn't complete. This protects you from potential fraud.

Have a proper form of identification

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

  • 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.

Be 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.

Bonus 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!