What if I need to have something notarized?

Sometimes you need to get a document "notarized".

Getting a document notarized means:

  1. you sign the document in front of a notary public,
  2. that you have shown the notary proof of who you are, and
  3. you are signing voluntarily.

How do I find a notary?

You can find a notary public in:

  • city and town clerks’ offices, 
  • courts,
  • local banks,
  • real estate, insurance or law offices,
  • travel agencies,
  • at your local drug store or pharmacy, or
  • in the phonebook.

You do not have to be a client of the bank or office to use a notary public. Notaries are public servants.1

What do I need to bring to the notary?

Bring the documents you need notarized, and proof of your identity. Do not sign the documents until the notary tells you to.

The notary needs to check:

  • your identity, and  
  • that you are signing the document of your own free will.

For proof of identity, you can use a Massachusetts I.D. card, driver's license, passport, or other government-issued photo I.D.

How much does it cost?

It costs $1.25 to have a document notarized.

Notaries may charge no more than $1.25 for each signature.2

What if the notary says it costs more?

A notary should not charge more than $1.25 for a signature. If a notary says it costs more, call the Governor's Legal Counsel, 617-725-4030.

Note

A notary can witness Massachusetts or out-of-state documents. But you and the notary must both be in Massachusetts when he or she notarizes your document.

Endnotes

1 . Executive Order 455: Standards of Conduct for Notaries Public.

2 . G.L. c. 262, § 41.

Produced by Attorneys Jeffrey L. Wolf and Cortnay Varela for MassLegalHelp
Created December 2013

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