top of page

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

What to bring to your notary appointment

When you're preparing for a notarization, double-check that you have all essential items for the process to go smoothly. Here is what you'll need to bring with you when getting something notarized:

  • The completed document you wish to notarize

  • Valid photo ID that meets state requirements

  • Any other individuals (with proper ID) who will be signing the document

  • Payment for notarial services

1. Know what type of notarization you need

As the signer, you must tell the Notary what type of notarization you need. Notaries can describe what the primary notarial acts are, but they cannot recommend one over another. It's illegal for a Notary Public to give advice like this unless they are also a licensed attorney.

Generally, notarizations come in three basic types:

  • Acknowledgments — The purpose of an acknowledgment is to declare that you have willingly signed a document.

  • Jurats — The purpose of a jurat is for you to swear or affirm that the contents of the document are true.

  • Copy Certifications — The purpose of a certified copy is to have the Notary confirm that the copy is an exact match of the original. This is not allowed in all states.

 

If you're not sure what kind of notarization you need, contact the document drafter or receiving agency to confirm what notarial act they require before you visit the Notary. If in doubt, you may contact a lawyer for guidance.

2. Make sure the document is complete

Generally, a document must be 100% complete for a Notary to perform a notarization. Make sure there aren't any blank spaces on your document before you meet with a Notary because that could make the document more susceptible to fraud. For example, an empty line for critical date or interest rate information on a loan document could cause serious trouble for the borrower if the information is added after the form is notarized.

Many states require Notaries to either refuse a notarization on an incomplete document or tell the customer that the document must be completed before it can be notarized. A Notary is not allowed to advise you on the legal effects of a document or fill in any part of the document except the notarial certificate wording.

3. Bring acceptable identification

The primary duty of a Notary Public is to verify your identity as the document signer. The most common way they determine that you are who you say you are, is by checking state-issued identification documents, like driver's licenses and passports. Notaries need to see a form of identification that meets requirements set by state law, so make sure you have acceptable ID for notarization ahead of time.

If you don't have an ID credential that will work, you might be able to use "credible identifying witnesses." These are people who will swear to the Notary that they know you. If you're able to use this option, your witness(es) must have a form of identification that meets state requirements.

4. Ensure the name on your ID matches the name on your document

If you've recently changed your legal name due to marriage, divorce or other reasons, be sure that the ID you bring to the notarization matches your name shown on the document.

If there's a significant discrepancy — for example, your married name appearing on the document is "Mary Smith-Williams" but your ID contains your maiden name of "Mary Smith" — then the Notary will not be able to proceed with the notarization unless you can provide an alternate form of acceptable identification that matches the name on the document.

5. Have all signers present for the notarization

A signer must meet face-to-face with a Notary in order to have their signature notarized. Be sure that any person whose signature needs notarization is available and can attend your appointment with the Notary Public.

6. Be aware and willing to sign

One of the basic duties of a Notary is to screen document signers for willingness and awareness. That means a Notary will check that you are mentally aware and alert at the time of the notarization, and that you are signing the document voluntarily and not under duress.

While this is essential for persons of all ages, it is particularly important for the elderly or infirm. If you do not understand the details of your transaction, or you aren't sure you want to sign the paper in front of you, take steps to address these issues before going to a Notary appointment.

7. Know what you will be paying

In Utah, the maximum fees Notaries may charge are set by law

Travel fees for mobile Notary services in Utah cannot exceed the approved federal mileage rate. In addition, you may be subject to convenience fees when a notarization is taking place after hours, the weekend, or a holiday.

 

Alta Notary does charge a separate fee for these services. Before confirming your appointment, your Notary will discuss additional fees and provide you with an estimated cost of your notarization appointment. Please be aware that you will be required to pay the agreed upon travel fee in advanced before an appointment can be scheduled and confirmed. 

8. Can any document be notarized?

Virtually any document can be notarized. However, exceptions are vital records such as a birth, marriage and death certificates.

 

Notaries can't make or certify copies of these records. You must go to the government agency that issued the certificate to get copies.

bottom of page