How to Get a Notary Stamp

By Pauline Gill

  • Overview

    At some point in life, most people will need to sign documents in front of a witness. It may be a contract, an employment form or a legal paper. State governments authorize notaries to bear witness or "attest" to the authenticity of a signature. A notary is also responsible for insuring that the signer is cognizant of the material he is signing. Notarization is an official third party testimony to the legitimacy of the document you are signing.
    How to Get a Notary Stamp
    How to Get a Notary Stamp
    • Step 1

      Study the entire document to assure that you understand its purpose and the consequences of signing it. Identify what you need to fill out and where to sign the document. Some documents require that pertinent information be completed in front of the notary as well as the signing of the document. The notary will ask if you are aware of the content.
    • Step 2

      Gather the material needed. Before going to the notary, make sure you have a recent government-issued identification like a driver's license, passport or military-issued identification. The notary cannot attest to your authentic signature without proof, which includes a recent picture of yourself.

    • Step 3

      Look for a notary. Notaries are available at government buildings and any business that processes legal paperwork. Check the local banks, law offices, city municipal buildings, town offices, real estate offices, superintendent's office in the local school district, insurance agencies, post office, courthouse, library, and in the private sector. People in the private sector usually display a sign outside their homes. You'll find a link in our Resources section to further help you locate an authorized notary.
    • Step 4

      Prepare to pay between 10 and 20 dollars for a notary, although it is sometimes more. Regardless of where the notary is located, there will be a fee for notarizing the document. Call before going to a notary to assure he is available to assist you.
    • Step 5

      Present the document and identification to the notary. It is the responsibility of the notary to verify who you are by studying the identification. Sign the document in front of the notary. The notary will then stamp the document with a self-inking stamp or an embossing seal. The stamp includes the notary's name, commission number and expiration date. Pay the fee, and you are ready to submit your completed and authorized document.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: Ask around for the nearest notary. Many people have documents notarized and know of a notary.
    • Warning:
    • Never sign a document before going to the notary.

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