A notary public is an individual authorized by the state to authenticate legal documents. A notary’s stamp and seal indicate that a given document is valid and the signatures upon it are real. Some notaries charge fees for their services, but free notary services are available in just about every community.
When You Need a Notary
People need notarized documents for numerous reasons, including applying for passports, completing real estate transactions or giving instructions about medical care. Examples of documents that might need to be notarized include wills, title deeds and financial statements. Each of these document must typically be signed in the presence of the notary.
Banks and Credit Unions
One of the easiest ways to get free notary service is at a local bank or credit union where you have an account. If your bank offers free notary services, you can usually have documents notarized during regular banking hours without a special appointment. Larger banks typically have a special customer service desk for notary services. You might have documents notarized at a teller window along with your other banking services at smaller banks and credit unions.
Free notary service can be as close as your local public library. Be sure to make note of the library's service hours. The notary probably works as a full or part-time library staff member, so you might need to find out if they library has special notary hours or even make an appointment for service.
Campus Legal Services
If you're a student at a university, you might be able to get free notary service at the legal services department. Inquire ahead to find out if your campus legal services' office has a notary and if there are specific times when the service is offered.
If you reside in a senior community, you might have access to free notary services through local volunteer notaries. Check with your community events organizer to make sure you don’t miss the scheduled notary event.