I recently had to have a document notarized, so I stopped by the nearest package shipping store since such stores typically employ a notary public. After getting my single-page document notarized, I was surprised when the notary charged me $4.00. That’s because Maryland law specifically limits the fee I can be charged in this situation to $2.00. I was in a hurry, and the notary was a large, scary man who lifts heavy packages for a living, so I quickly shelled out my four bucks and was on my way. (I was also tempted to pay by credit card in defiance of his “Minimum of $5.00 for credit card purchases” sign, since card-accepting merchants cannot place minimums on card purchases under most merchant agreements with Visa, MasterCard, et al. But again, this guy was massive and looked like he hadn’t had lunch yet.)
I also recall a moment from my childhood when I was with a relative who needed something notarized and was charged $10.00 for a single page. What a rip-off! Well, the days of overcharging notaries are numbered because here’s a handy-dandy chart detailing the fees a notary public can charge in each state for a single-page notarization. There may be additional fees for more pages, copies, or other services, so I also link to each state’s notary division website which typically lists the applicable laws you can cite to make notaries cave to your demands to be charged fairly.
Maximum Fees Allowed For Most Single-Page, Single-Signature Notarizations By State*
|District of Columbia||$2.00|
*As of September 19, 2007 (If any of these fees change, please comment below and I’ll do my best to keep this table up to date.)
**States which specify no fee schedule for allowable notary charges typically also state that such fees charged should be reasonable.
Fees and laws associated with notary commissions can change at any time, so please check for the latest fees before you yell at your local notary public.
As for you notaries out there, be warned: many states provide for severe fines or even imprisonment for notarial misconduct. So unless you think a couple extra bucks is worth five to ten in the state penitentiary, make sure you charge fairly–even if you are an incredibly large man.