How to get something notarized

Now that you know what a notary is and what they do, let’s talk about how to certify something, whether you need one for a home loan or are considering creating a will or other important document.

Step 1 – Determine What Type of Notary Certification You Need

The first step in getting something certified is determining what type of certification you really need. If you’re going to close on a home loan, you’ll probably need an acknowledgment or signature attestation, but if you only need a certified copy of your driver’s license, you may only need a certified copy.

Step 2 – Make sure the document is complete and find a notary

Once you know which document you need to notarize, check that your document is complete. That means making sure there are no blank spaces, incorrect dates, or sections with incomplete information. Once you are sure the document is in good standing, you can find a notary.

There are many places where you can find a notary public. A good place to start if you’re not sure where to start is a local post office or attorney’s office. You can even get some notarial services done for you in the UPS store. There are some websites, like the American Association of Notaries, They also have resources to help you find a notary near you.

Step 3: Bring acceptable identification

For the purpose of acknowledgment or having a witness signature, please bring several forms of identification for the notary to use in verifying your identity. This includes things like your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, etc. In some cases, you can also bring a credible identification witness who can prove your identity to the notary.

In some states, there may be different rules about who can act as a credible witness. In Florida and California, for example, a credible identifying witness may not be someone who has a financial interest in the transaction related to the notarization. This means that family members often do not qualify as witnesses.

Step 4 – Make sure the name on the ID matches the name on the document

Before presenting your documents and identification to the notary, verify that the name on your identification matches the name on the document you are notarizing. If you have recently changed your first, middle, or last name and your ID does not match the name on your documents, the notary will not be able to certify them.

Step 5 – Make sure all signers are present

Before you meet with a notary, you should also make sure that everyone who signs or has signed the documents is present. If the signature of one of the parties is being certified, you must be there in person with the notary.

Step 6: Make sure the notary seals the document

Once the notary certification is complete, the notary will sign and seal your document to legitimize it. While your notary is unlikely to forget this important final step, it doesn’t hurt to review the documents before you leave.

Step 7: Pay Fees

Finally, after completing all the notarial services you needed, you can pay the associated fees. If you’re closing on a home loan, these fees will likely be part of the closing costs you pay on the closing date.