What is a notary?
A Notary Public is an individual who has been recognized by the state government as being able to serve as an objective witness and provide notarizations. A notarization is generally an assurance made by a Notary Public that a document's signature is genuine, that the signer acted without duress and that the signer intended the terms of the document to be in full force and effect.
What is needed for a notarization?
Most requests for notarization involve the signing of documents. In all cases, all signers and any required witness(es) must be present with the Notary for the notarization. You'll also be required to bring acceptable ID as required by your state. Be sure to bring all pages of the document being notarized (we suggest you don't sign or date the document before visiting a financial center because some documents must be signed and dated in the presence of a Notary).
How do I get a document notarized?
The following steps for notarization are defined by the state and not by Bank of America. The Notary will:
- Require all signer(s)/witness(es) to be present in person
- Examine the document for completeness and ensure all pages are included
- Obtain proper identification from all signer(s)/witness(es)
- Perform the verbal confirmation
- Complete the notarial certificate
- Record the notarial act in their journal (as required by the state)
What forms of ID are acceptable in order to get a notarization?
Acceptable forms of ID in most states include:
- State-issued driver's license
- State-issued identification card
- U.S. military ID
- U.S. passport (issued by U.S. Dept. of State)
- State, county or local government ID
In some states, acceptable ID may also include a green card, a foreign passport or a driver's license officially issued in Mexico or Canada.
What reasons might prevent a Notary from notarizing my document?
A Notary may be unable to complete a notarization when:
- All signer(s)/witness(es) are not present in person with the Notary
- A document has missing pages or blank spaces that affect the intent of the document
- The signer(s) cannot produce ID or is not known personally by the Notary (California Notaries are required to obtain ID in all cases)
- The Notary believes changes to the document may be made after it has been signed
- There is no notarial certificate on the document and the signer cannot tell which notarial act is required
- The signer and the Notary are not able to communicate with each other
- The Notary believes the signer does not understand the purpose or consequences of signing
For certain notarial requests that involve complex rules or unfamiliar notarial types, or due to other work obligations, the Notary may recommend that you obtain further consultation with other notary service providers or legal counsel.
Is there a fee for notary services?
No. Bank of America does not charge a fee for notary services.
Should I sign or date the document being notarized before I visit a Notary?
No. We recommend you don't sign or date any documents before seeing the Notary, since some documents must be signed in the presence of a Notary.
Will Bank of America provide witnesses (if needed) for a notarization?
In certain instances, a bank associate may be able and available to act as a witness. In some cases, a non-bank affiliated independent witness may be required. For these reasons, we recommend you bring any required non-bank independent witness to complete your notarization.