Choosing the Right Notary Service

Whether you require a notary public for a one-time transaction or have ongoing business needs, it’s important to choose the right service for the task. There are many companies out there offering notary services, but not all will deliver the top quality customer care you expect and deserve. Here are a few of the factors you should consider as you’re researching companies to act as your notary public or signing agent.

Credentials:

In most states, a notary public must file proper documentation and pay filing fees in order to provide notary services. Some states even require applicants to complete an approved educational course, including California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The agency that regulates notary services in each state has more information on what’s necessary for an individual to become a certified notary public.

Specialization:

While it may not be necessary for a notary professional to be specially trained in a certain field, there are advantages to retaining notary services that have experience in different areas. Most notaries will display their qualifications on their website or social media profiles, so look for specializations that indicate knowledge base. For instance, if you need someone with a legal background, seek a notary that focuses in law; when you need a notary with an in-depth understanding of real estate transactions, ask about that person’s experience with closings and documentation.

Location & Mobile Services:

If you’ll be using their services often, you should consider location when trying to decide on the best notary for your business or personal needs. Time, gas, traffic and other circumstances cost you in more than just money; they take away from your daily routine. Try to find a suitable notary service near where you need to have documents executed to make the best of your time and bottom line. And if possible, consult with a mobile notary service that can be anywhere you need them, at any time that you’d like to schedule.

Professional Associations & Memberships:

There are many national, state and local professional associations that manage notary public memberships. These organizations typically require members to meet certain standards for professional development, including number of work hours, continuing education and other training. When choosing a notary service, look for these types of affiliations so you know your notary is up to date and well trained in the most recent developments in the field.

Fees:

Notaries will charge fees for their services, so always ask about costs in advance. Some may bill by a flat fee per usage, while others may work on a monthly retainer basis. In any event, there are limits to what a notary can charge for services. Each state has set a cap by law and this information is available on the Secretary of State’s website.

A mobile notary that travels onsite to execute documents is allowed to levy charges separate from the fees for actual services. These “convenience” fees are intended to cover the costs of transportation and can be as high as $150 in addition to the notary fee. This is why it’s important to ask about fees beforehand.

Customer Service & Communication:

While a notary may only provide services on a one-time basis, the business relationship isn’t terminated. In the event that you need to verify a signature or attestation, you might need to be in touch with the notary. When you’re choosing a notary, ensure that the lines of communication will remain open and get a sense of their dedication to customer service.

Not all notary services were created equally, so it’s important to do your homework and find the right agent to handle your needs. These are just a few of the factors you need to consider when looking at notaries, but there may be others depending on your circumstances. Above all, it’s essential that you retain a notary service that provides the quality customer care and professionalism to ensure the process is done properly.


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