Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Best Place To Find a Notary

I have never used a notary before in my life, but I need one in order to roll over my old 401(k) plan into my new employer's plan. I thought this would be a huge hassle, but turns out it is only a small hassle. I just called my local Chase bank branch and they have a notary on duty today (Saturday). What great customer service!

Some guy on CraigsList wanted $50 to come and notarize something. I did some poking around and the most you can legally charge to notarize a signature in New York is $2. He must be claiming the $48 is his travel fee!

The point is, your first stop for notary services should be your bank's local branches. If you are paying someone to notarize something for you, look into what your state law says is the maximum fee they can charge.

Postscript: I just got back from Chase, and it was an extremely easy process. They were able to witness my wife's signature, notarize my document, and get me out of there in about 15 minutes. Now all I have to do is make some copies of the signed documentation, send it to the old employer's plan, and they will send me back a check for the amount in my 401(k). I will send this check to my new employer's plan along with instructions for where to invest the money (I am going to distribute it according to the same percentages I use for making my weekly contributions), and they will put it into my account for me. The result? One less account to worry about!


Tricia said...

Banks are a great place to start. But if you need a notary after-hours, some states have a database of registered notaries that you can search (just Google your state and notary search).

Some accounting firms may have a notary on staff as well ;)

MoneyMan said...

Thanks for adding that Tricia. I came across some of those lists during my search, but they all seemed to be private houses and I wasn't in a huge hurry, nor was I comfortable going to someone's house.

If I had a more pressing need, one of those notaries might have been just what the doctor ordered!

Anonymous said...

Banks don't generally notarize documents for visa purposes such as criminal background checks and college degrees. I got mine done at a credit union after finding out that Chase wouldn't do it. The credit union charged 12 bucks a page. I had 3 pages, but God bless that lady because she only charged me for one page. If you are a member of a credit union, the service is generally free.

Anonymous said...

Great story except most banks don't notarize documents. Ever consider the time to print, drive to you, prepare your document because chances are you don't know what and where you are supposed to sign, and time envolved to try to explain the notary vs. travel fee? $50 sounds like a deal to me, I would have charged you $70 :-)Start a business, then do ANYTHING for someone for $2. Good luck with that.

MoneyMan said...

Sounds to me like the previous anonymous poster is a notary. Maybe $50 sounded like a deal to them, but I preferred to pay $0.00 at Chase, a bank I've been keeping my money at for years despite them paying interest that some months does not even round up to a full penny.

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem: A Notary Public isn't supposed to BE a business, it is a public service and the minor honorarium for that service is minimal.