This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  jmalone 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #13927

    sqdancer48
    Participant

    I’m in California. I know that you can only charge a fee of $10 per signature for an acknowledgement notarization in California. How does this apply if an individual is signing a document of several pages long which requires more than one signature for that person? Can you charge the $10 fee for each signature for that individual or because it is only one person signing are you limited to $10?
    Also, if you are administering an oath, can you charge $10 for the oath in additional to $10 for the signature? If that is the case, can I assume that each of the subparagraphs of Section 8211 of the code can be in addition to the $10 fee for the signature as applicable?

    #14112

    jmalone
    Moderator

    If the document is, say for instance 5 pages and each signature requires it’s own notarization, then you would charge the $10 per signature notarized. Otherwise, if it is only one notarization page, it is $10. Makes no difference if it is the same person. How many of those signatures need notarization?

    I think in Section 8211, you are looking at depositions (Subparagraph (c). When you do a Jurat notarization, including giving oath or affirmation and sealing, the fee is $10 per signature.

    #14113

    sqdancer48
    Participant

    Thanks

    #14114

    SANTACLARITANOTARY
    Participant

    A quick note on fees in general – I’m in California and I recently read that it is legal to charge $10 per each signature notarized plus a maximum of $25 as a “convenience fee,” and $.55 per mile (which may differ from state to state).

    #14115

    jmalone
    Moderator

    Where in the California Notary Handbook did you read that you can charge a maximum of $25 “convenience fee”? The “maximum” you can charge to notarize a signature is $10. Some notaries charge less per signature.

    As a mobile notary, for general notarizations, you would charge $10 maximum per signature notarized and we can charge for travel. This is whatever is agreed upon between you and client before you go. Some notaries in California charge $65 with up to 3 signatures notarized included, some charge $50 for travel, plus the $10 per signature, others charge $5 per signature plus travel fee. It is whatever is agreed upon between you and client. I wouldn’t travel 30 miles one way for $25.

    Also, I think you are thinking of reporting purposes for the IRS. Business mileage deduction for 2012 is 55.5 cents per mile. You can find this on the IRS website under mileage rates.

    If there is a new law regarding a $25 maximum fee, I am unaware of it.

    #14116

    LindaHFL
    Participant

    @santaclaritanotary wrote:

    A quick note on fees in general – I’m in California and I recently read that it is legal to charge $10 per each signature notarized plus a maximum of $25 as a “convenience fee,” and $.55 per mile (which may differ from state to state).

    This is a prime example of a problem with forums (not this one in particular but all in general) – as much as I love the wealth of information out there, you need to be able to separate fact from opinion from individual business practices. The true facts are in your state’s handbook and laws; the rest, especially fees outside those set by your state, are individual opinions/business practices and, as such, one size does not fit all.

    Joan is right about the mileage – that $.55.5 is what IRS says you can use as a business deduction on your Schedule C. What you charge for travel is an individual business decision based on many factors, not the least of which include whether your state limits your charge for mileage and what type of vehicle you drive.

    #14117

    Paul Pitt
    Participant

    You can charge whatever it costs for going to another place. But competition will predicate against you when it gets higher than others are charging. (just like hamburgers)

    #14118

    cinsmobile1
    Participant

    I was just wondering about the fee the notary has to charge. The way I understood the law was all notaries have to charge all clients the same 10.00 a signature? We are not allowed to charge some clients 5. 00 a signature, right?? Thats why I can’t understand how some title companies can get away with telling us they will only pay 50.00 a package when sometimes there are over 5 signatures?

    #14119

    jmalone
    Moderator

    cinsmobile1, Welcome! The law in California states, the maximum you can charge per signature notarized is $10.00. Many notaries consistently charge only $5 per signature to compete against other notaries. If a good friend comes to you for a signature to be notarized and you don’t want to charge them the $10, it is okay to put $0 and an explanation in your journal. “Notarization for friend, no charge”.

    The key is consistency. Personally, I charge the $10 per signature, friend or not. You don’t want to show any bias in your journal. For instance, you consistently show that you charge $10, because you don’t agree with someone’s religious beliefs, while others you only charge $5. Big no,no. We are impartial and must notarize anyone’s signature that is a lawful request and has proper I.D. We are not concerned about the contents of the document, unless you know it to be obviously fraudulent.

    Your last question regarding Title companies. I would never do a loan signing for $50. That is an insult and Title companies and Signing Services will try to get newbies to do loan signings for that fee. You need a business plan to figure your expenses to do a loan closing. This includes, gas, toner, paper, wear and tear on vehicle, cell phone cost, computer cost, time spent printing, time on road with traffic, time confirming appointments, size of package, any fax backs, POA signing (more time consuming), Trust signing, etc. Too many people do not put a value on their time, so important. An average loan signing from first phone call to dropping docs, can take 3 to 3 1/2 hours. At $50, you would be paying the Title company or Signing Service to do the job, after all expenses have been deducted. Remember you are running a business. You are an independent contractor. If Title or S.S. can get someone to take a job for $50, they win and don’t care that you lost money. It’s all about the bottom line for them. Do not undervalue the profession or integrity of the job you do.

    I have a flat rate I charge for loan signings that is all inclusive. Sometimes, I need to raise the price due to distance, time of day with traffic, size of package or POA signing, etc. You cannot count the number of notarizations in a loan package, some have 4 signatures to notarize and you’re getting paid $100. Others may have more, but it does balance out, if you charge the proper fee to begin with.

    With loan signings, we wear two hats. One is the Notary Public hat and the other is the Loan Signing hat. Don’t mix them up.

    Hope this helps.

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