Sometimes you need to get a document "notarized".
Getting a document notarized means:
- you sign the document in front of a notary public,
- that you have shown the notary proof of who you are, and
- you are signing voluntarily.
- A notary public is not same thing as the Spanish “notario”.
- A notary public is not a lawyer.
- It is against the law for a notary public to give legal advice.
How do I find a notary?
You can find a notary public in:
- city and town clerks’ offices,
- 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. 1
What do I need to give to the notary?
- The documents you need notarized, and
- Proof of your identity.
Only sign the documents when 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.
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.