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Notary Public Underwriters Blog

Disclose Notary Fees Before Charging Them


A legal action filed by an unhappy UPS customer has highlighted notarization fee-charging practices by notaries and by commercial businesses that employ them.

The dispute involves a $4 “clerical services” fee charged by an Illinois UPS Store, which was in addition to Illinois’ statutorily-allowed fee for performing a notarial act (only $1 at the time the notarization was performed). The unhappy customer argues that at the corporate level, UPS Stores conspired with its franchisees to overcharge for notary services in violation of Illinois’ Notary Public Act.

To avoid potential fee disputes, we recommend that notaries everywhere follow these baseline fee-charging practices:

  1. be certain of your state’s current, maximum fee for performing an authorized notarial act (oath/affirmation, acknowledgment, signature witnessing, etc. depending on your state);
  2. be certain of your state’s requirements and limitations on fee-charging practices;
  3. before you notarize, always provide the customer with a fee schedule that separately line-items each fee you intend to charge, including the notary fee and any fee for travel (if not prohibited in your state) or for any other “service” you are offering to provide (again, if such additional fee is not prohibited);
  4. be certain the customer agrees to any fee or fees you intend to charge prior to doing anything that incurs an expense for which you intend to collect compensation.
  5. record your fees in your record book (journal) entry for each notarization performed, and clearly list the notarial-act fee separately from any other fee.

Related Article(s)

Declining a Notarization: A Guide to Handling a Delicate Situation With Professionalism

What Do I Do With My Record Book (Journal) Entry When a Notarization Is Cancelled (Not Completed)?

How to Handle Out-Of-State Documents

Tips to Protect Your Notary Stamp and Journal

What to Do When the Notary Certificate Is Missing?

Category: Notary Blog