Can you notarize my letter?

We get many calls for information.  A common question is “Can you notarize a letter from my boss saying where I work?” Another frequent request comes from people who need documents notarized in order to renew passports or visas.  These documents typically arrive without a notary certificate so one has to be added.

The common belief is that you can just sign and stamp the letter.  Wrong. I’m not familiar with notary laws in other states but in Texas, this is the rule.

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There must be a “certificate” on any notarized document.  Most notaries have a rubber stamp or typed sheet with a certificate.  The rubber stamp puts the certificate directly on the page.  If a separate certificate is used, it is attached to the document with a note about the document to which it is attached. You must be able to tell the notary which type of certificate you need because the notary cannot make the choice for you unless the notary is also a licensed attorney.

Every Texas notary must have a notary book and record the information in the book.  You will also be asked to sign the book.

People also want the notary to provide the document they are notarizing.  This is another no no. We do not create documents for you.  We may however post links to forms which are available elsewhere.

Scheduling and Fee Update

Travel Fees

As a mobile notary, we spend a lot of time waiting.  We wait for witnesses, doctors, staff and numerous other professionals who are not ready at the scheduled time. Our time is important too so effective immediately, we have a 1 hour minimum time and travel fee.

We are a mobile notary service and we do not have a public office where people can come for notary services.  We show a couple of public locations in the 75075 area code of Plano, one being the new UPS store at 15th and Custer and the other being The Mailroom at 15th and Mill Valley Drive (across from the Fire Department and PISD.) We are not affiliated with them in any way.

A notary will meet you at the Custer & 15th Starbucks but the 1 hour minimum travel fee applies in addition to the signature fee.

If we are called to go to an area which will generate significant travel fees, in order to save you money, we make recommendations based on the location but we really only know about the 75075 zip code.

We appreciate your understanding and hope this will save unnecessary steps so you can find a notary more quickly.

Please review our updated rates and travel fee page for additional information.


Scheduling

24 hour advance notice is desired. When 24 hour notice isn’t possible, we will do our best to work you into our schedule but there are times when we cannot.  Rush charges may apply if you need our services with less than 24 hours notice.  We will do our best to accommodate your needs without a rush fee when we can.

A rush fee may also be applied for after hours and weekend appointments.

Does your document require witnesses and a notary?

Banks may not notarize your documents

Many businesses, including banks, are restricting the types of documents their employee notaries can notarize.  Many are only allowing them to notarize documents produced by the bank or corporation. I regularly receive calls from banks on behalf of a client they can’t help.

Wills are at the top of the list for documents the bank won’t notarize.  Wills typically require two witnesses and a notary.    The will requires the maker to sign in the presence of the witnesses and the notary. The signer, witnesses and the notary must all be together in the same room at the same time. Since the document is self-proved, the witnesses will also have to provide their home addresses for the notary record book. The notary record book is a public record.

Financial documents like a power of attorney are also near the top of the list of documents they won’t allow their staff notary to sign.

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Getting witnesses from a public place?

Some people want to snag witnesses in a public place.  It probably isn’t a problem as long as each witness is okay with having their home address written in the notary record book and in most cases on the actual document.   The form of the document will depend on the attorney preparing it.  I’ve seen versions prepared under a recent statute which don’t require witness addresses but most I’m seeing continue to request the witness’ home address on the document.

If a local attorney prepares your will and other estate planning documents, most will include providing a notary and witnesses as part of the fee.

Remember, a notary cannot give legal advice, prepare documents or tell you which type of certificate your document requires.  If you know the type of certificate you need, we can attach one but cannot advise as to the legal nature of the chosen certificate.

There’s a new kid in our neighborhood

UPS Store at 2024 West 15th Street, Plano, TX 75075There is a new UPS Store in the neighborhood.  It’s good for those of us who have been driving a few miles to drop off packages.

As a mobile notary working by appointment, I often get calls so now there is another retail location where people can go if they are able.  There are a couple of caveats.  They do not do “Last Will and Testaments”, “Powers of Attorney” and possibly other financial documents.  I find this strange since Legal Zoom recommends UPS Stores to clients as their notary of choice.

They are next door to the Starbucks.  If you want to know what they notarize, it’s probably best to call first.  You can reach them at (469) 814-0620.  Tell them about your AAA membership for discounts.

Telephone depositions and notaries

Some jurisdictions will allow testimony/deposition by phone when a witness cannot be in the same location as the court.  The person must be properly identified by a notary public.

In this case you aren’t actually putting your signature and seal on a document but you are verifying a person’s identity and in most cases placing the witness under oath. The witness information is recorded in the notary record book.

The biggest problem is that courts don’t always start when it’s time to do so and the notary may be waiting for long periods of time while things are happening in another location.  This can be costly depending on how the person charges for their time. It can however be much less expensive than traveling to the other location.

Be sure to ask how you will be charged and how much time the person can allocate to waiting. The notary should provide a breakdown of fees charged.  Separate fees for signatures from non-notary fees such as travel and time.

I always give people an estimate of the cost for travel, etc. before agreeing to the task.