top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is a Notary Public?

  • Here is a great description from the National Notary Association: A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government — typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. These official acts are called notarizations, or notarial acts. Notaries are publicly commissioned as "ministerial" officials, meaning that they are expected to follow written rules without the exercise of significant personal discretion, as would otherwise be the case with a "judicial" official.

2) What does a Notary Public do? ​

  • Essentially Through the process of notarization, Notaries deter fraud and establish that the signer knows what document they're signing and that they're a willing participant in the transaction. Here is a more thorough description from the NNA; A Notary's duty is to screen the signers of important documents for their true identity, their willingness to sign without duress or intimidation, and their awareness of the contents of the document or transaction. Some notarizations also require the Notary to put the signer under an oath, declaring under penalty of perjury that the information contained in a document is true and correct. Property deeds, wills and powers of attorney are examples of documents that commonly require a Notary.

  • Impartiality is the foundation of the Notary's public trust. They are duty-bound not to act in situations where they have a personal interest. The public trusts that the Notary's screening tasks have not been corrupted by self-interest. And impartiality dictates that a Notary never refuse to serve a person due to race, nationality, religion, politics, sexual orientation or status as a non-customer.

  • As official representatives of the state, Notaries Public certify the proper execution of many of the life-changing documents of private citizens — whether those diverse transactions convey real estate, grant powers of attorney, establish a prenuptial agreement, or perform the multitude of other activities that enable our civil society to function.

3) What are your rates for general notary services?

  • For each notarial act $10

  • Flat fee of $50 for travel fee up to 15 miles.

  • After 15 miles, add .50 cents per mile round trip.

4)  What type of ID is acceptable?

  • An identifying document or card must be current, or expired not more than three years before the notarization. A passport, driver's license, government-issued non-driver identification card, or other form of government identification is acceptable. The ID must contain the signature or photograph of the individual.

5)  Why do I have to be present for a notarization?

  • As per Washington State law (RCW 42.45.040), the principal signer must personally appear before the Notary at the time of the notarization. The Notary and the signer must be face-to-face when the notarization takes place. This is for fraud prevention.

6) How do you determine willingness and awareness?

  • Notaries are required by law (RCW 42.45.010[1] ) to determine if a person is signing a document willingly and not being forced or coerced into signing something they don't want to. A notary may ask to talk to the signer alone or may simply ask if they agree with what they are signing, or ask if they are signing of their own free will.

  • In the general conversation, the notary will determine the signers awareness. If a patient is in a medical setting, a notary may need to consult with the signer's doctor for a professional opinion.

  • Special note for foreign language signers: There should always be direct communication between notary and signer. The notary cannot rely on a translator. If a notary and signer cannot directly communicate, then a notary cannot determine willingness and awareness of the signer.

7) What is the difference between an oath and an affirmation? 

  • An oath is a solemn promise to God and an affirmation is a solemn promise on one's own personal honor. If your notarial act requires an oath or affirmation, the notary will ask you to choose one of these.​

8) What is RON (remote online notarization) and how does it work?

  • If you would like a quick video overview of how RON works, watch this short video from the National Notary Association.

FAQ: Text
bottom of page