can a notary public charge a traveling fee

Understanding if a Notary Public Can Charge a Traveling Fee

Notary publics often wonder if they can charge signers an additional travel fee during mobile notary assignments. The answer varies from state to state. Some states have fixed travel fees, while others provide guidelines or allow notaries to charge the actual and reasonable expense of travel. Six states and the District of Columbia set specific travel fees, while 13 states provide general guidelines. The remaining states either allow notaries to set their own travel fees or do not regulate travel fees at all.

Key Takeaways:

  • Notary publics in the United States may or may not be allowed to charge a traveling fee, depending on state regulations.
  • Six states and the District of Columbia have specific traveling fees set for notaries.
  • Thirteen states provide general guidelines for traveling fees.
  • Some states allow notaries to set their own traveling fees, while others have no regulations in place.
  • It is important for notaries to understand the regulations in their jurisdiction and communicate fees transparently with their clients.

States that Set Travel Fees

There are six states and the District of Columbia that set the fees notaries can charge for travel. These states are Connecticut, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia.

In Connecticut, notaries can charge 35 cents per mile for travel, while New Hampshire allows 20 cents per mile when traveling to swear witnesses for a deposition.

The laws in the District of Columbia, Idaho, and Virginia do not set an actual fee, but notaries can only charge the actual and reasonable expense of travel.

New Mexico currently sets a travel fee of 30 cents per mile, but starting January 1, 2022, notaries will be able to set their own travel fee. Nevada has unique laws regarding travel fees, where notaries and signers must agree on an hourly rate of travel in advance, and the maximum hourly rate varies depending on the time of day.

States that Base Travel Fees on Mileage Rates

Nine states in the United States base their travel fees for notaries on mileage rates set by state or federal agencies. These states are Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Utah, Wyoming, and North Carolina.

In Arizona and Nebraska, the state provides specific mileage rates that notaries can charge for travel. In Indiana, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wyoming, notaries base their travel fees on the per-mile rate set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

It’s important to note that the authorized mileage rates can change from year to year, so notaries in these states should always confirm the current rate before charging a travel fee. Additionally, North Carolina requires customers to agree to the travel fee in writing before travel.

travel fees based on mileage rates

States that Base Travel Fees on Mileage Rates

  • Arizona
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • North Carolina

Notaries in these states should be aware of the specific mileage rates set by their state or the IRS. They should ensure they are charging the correct travel fee and inform customers in advance about the cost of travel.

By following the regulations and guidelines related to mileage-based travel fees, notaries can provide transparent and professional services to their clients while adhering to the standards set by their state or federal agency.

States with Travel Fee Guidelines

Thirteen states in the United States do not set specific amounts for travel fees but provide general guidelines for notaries to follow. These states are Arkansas, California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington.

In these states, notaries have the flexibility to determine their own travel fees within the given guidelines. The guidelines for travel fees in these states are usually published in state notary handbooks or available online. For example, in California, notaries are permitted to charge fees for traveling and other services completed as part of their notarial service, as long as the customer is informed of these charges in advance.

It is important for notaries in these states to familiarize themselves with the specific guidelines issued by the state and follow them accordingly. Notaries should also inform customers of the travel fee in advance to ensure transparency and avoid any misunderstandings.

States with Travel Fee Guidelines:

  1. Arkansas
  2. California
  3. Georgia
  4. Michigan
  5. Minnesota
  6. Mississippi
  7. Missouri
  8. North Dakota
  9. Ohio
  10. Oregon
  11. Pennsylvania
  12. South Carolina
  13. Washington

States Allowing Notaries to Set Their Own Travel Fees

Notaries in certain states have the flexibility to set their own travel fees, or they operate in states without travel fee regulations. This gives notaries the freedom to determine reasonable fees based on their individual circumstances and the specific needs of their clients.

States that allow notaries to set their own travel fees include Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

While notaries in these states have the autonomy to establish their travel fees, it is important to exercise professionalism and fairness when doing so. Notaries should consider factors such as time, distance, and any additional expenses incurred during travel. Communicating these fees to clients in advance and providing clear explanations of the travel fee payment policy can help establish trust and prevent any misunderstandings.

Best practices for setting travel fees in states without regulations:

  • Keep travel fees separate from notarization fees to maintain transparency.
  • Explain the travel fee payment policy, including any payment terms and methods accepted.
  • Request travel fee payment in advance, if desired, to ensure financial arrangements are settled before travel.
  • Record the travel fee separately in the notary journal for accurate documentation and record-keeping.

By following these best practices, notaries in states where they can set their own travel fees can provide exceptional service while maintaining professionalism and integrity.

Notary Public

Understanding the Relationship Between Notarization Fees and Travel Fees

When it comes to notary services, it’s important to understand the relationship between notarization fees and travel fees. These are two separate charges that notaries may apply during mobile notary assignments. Notarization fees are regulated by state law and vary depending on the type of notarial act being performed. On the other hand, travel fees can be set by the state, set by the notary within guidelines, or left to the discretion of the notary.

Separating travel fees from notarization fees is crucial to maintain transparency and avoid confusion for both the notary and the signer. Notaries should clearly communicate the breakdown of fees to customers, ensuring that the travel fee is separate and not combined with the notarization fee. This helps the signer understand the cost associated with the notary’s travel expenses.

It is recommended for notaries to agree on the travel fee in advance with the signer to avoid any confusion or disputes. By discussing the travel fee beforehand, both parties can reach a mutually agreed upon amount that is fair and reasonable. This way, the signer is not surprised by the travel fee and the notary can provide their services without any complications.

If required by state law, notaries should also record the travel fee separately in their notary journal. This ensures accurate documentation of the fees charged and provides a clear record of the transaction. Keeping a proper record of the travel fee is not only good practice but also helps in case of any future legal documentation or audits.

Best Practices for Charging and Recording Travel Fees

When it comes to charging and recording travel fees as a notary public, there are several best practices that can help ensure a smooth and transparent process. By following these guidelines, notaries can maintain professionalism and avoid disputes with signers.

1. Keep travel fees separate from notarization fees

It is important to clearly communicate to customers that travel fees and notarization fees are separate charges. By keeping these fees separate, notaries can provide a breakdown of costs to signers, promoting transparency and avoiding confusion or misinterpretation.

2. Agree on the travel fee in advance

Prior to providing notary services that require travel, it is recommended to agree on the travel fee with the signer in advance. This helps set clear expectations and prevents any misunderstandings. Notaries should communicate the travel fee amount, payment method, and any other relevant details before proceeding with the assignment.

3. Record the travel fee in the notary journal

Recording travel fees in the notary journal is crucial for documentation purposes. It provides a record of the services rendered and the corresponding fees charged. Notaries should follow the requirements set by their state regarding the recording of travel fees in the journal, ensuring compliance with regulations and maintaining accurate records.

  • Keep travel fees separate from notarization fees
  • Agree on the travel fee in advance
  • Record the travel fee in the notary journal

By following these best practices, notaries can effectively charge and record travel fees, promoting transparency, professionalism, and compliance with state regulations. Clear communication, separate fee structures, and accurate documentation are key to ensuring a positive experience for both notaries and signers.

best practices for charging and recording travel fees

State Fee Schedules for Notarial Acts

Each state has its own fee schedule for notarial acts, including acknowledgments, jurats, verbal oaths/affirmations, and travel fees. It is important for notaries to be familiar with the fee schedule in their jurisdiction to ensure compliance with state regulations. Some states have specific dollar amounts for each type of notarial act, while others provide a range or allow notaries to charge any fee up to the maximum allowed under state law.

Notaries should carefully review their state’s fee schedule and understand the requirements for each type of notarial act. For example, some states may require an additional fee for administering an oath or affirmation, while others may include it in the standard notarial fee. By adhering to the fee schedule, notaries can ensure that they are charging the appropriate amount for their services and avoid any potential legal issues.

Understanding the Variation in Fees

It is important to note that notary fees can vary significantly from state to state. Some states have higher fee amounts to account for the notary’s expertise and responsibility, while others may have lower fees to make notarial services more accessible to the public. Additionally, certain states may have different fee schedules for remote or online notarizations compared to traditional in-person notarizations.

Notaries should also be aware of any changes or updates to the fee schedule in their state. It is recommended to regularly check for any updates or revisions to ensure that the fee information is up to date. By staying informed and following the fee schedule, notaries can provide transparent and accurate pricing to their clients.

Consulting State Resources

To obtain the most accurate and current fee information, notaries should consult their state’s official resources. These resources may include the Secretary of State’s website, the state notary handbook, or direct communication with the appropriate state agency responsible for regulating notary services. By referring to these reliable sources, notaries can ensure that they have the latest fee schedule and comply with state requirements.

  1. Check the Secretary of State’s website for the most up-to-date notary fee schedule.
  2. Review the state notary handbook for specific instructions and guidelines regarding fees.
  3. Contact the state agency responsible for notary regulations for any additional clarification or questions.

By utilizing these resources, notaries can confidently determine the appropriate fees for their notarial services and provide accurate information to their clients.

States without Set Fee Schedules

In several states, notary fees are not regulated by law or have flexible fee schedules. In these states, notaries have the freedom to set their own fees, but it is crucial to charge reasonable and fair rates to maintain a professional standard. States without set fee schedules include Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Vermont.

While notaries in these states have the flexibility to determine their fees, it is still important to inform customers in advance and establish clear communication regarding the charges. Notaries should exercise professionalism and transparency when setting fees, taking into account factors such as the complexity of the notarial act, time, and any additional expenses incurred during the process.

Notaries in these states should also familiarize themselves with any guidelines or regulations related to fees. Some states may have specific requirements regarding fee disclosure or fee agreements with signers. By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining open communication with customers, notaries can ensure a smooth and satisfactory experience for all parties involved.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the regulations and guidelines surrounding notary public travel fees is essential for notaries to provide quality services to their clients. The rules regarding travel fees vary from state to state, with some states setting specific fees, others providing guidelines, and some allowing notaries to set their own fees.

Clear communication with customers about travel fees is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes. Notaries should separate travel fees from notarization fees and inform customers of the fees in advance. By adhering to best practices and recording travel fees appropriately in the notary journal, notaries can ensure transparency and accountability.

It is also important to note that travel fees and notarization fees are separate charges. Notarization fees are regulated by state law, while travel fees can be set by the state, within guidelines, or at the discretion of the notary. By clearly communicating the breakdown of fees to customers, notaries can establish trust and avoid any confusion.

In summary, notary public travel fees are a complex topic, but with a thorough understanding of the regulations and best practices, notaries can navigate these complexities successfully. By following the fee schedules, adhering to guidelines, and maintaining clear communication with customers, notaries can provide exceptional notary services while ensuring compliance with state laws and regulations.

FAQ

Can a Notary Public charge a traveling fee?

The answer varies from state to state. Some states have fixed travel fees, while others provide guidelines or allow notaries to charge the actual and reasonable expense of travel. It is important for notaries to understand the regulations and guidelines in their jurisdiction.

Which states set travel fees for Notaries Public?

The states that set specific travel fees are Connecticut, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia. In these states, the fees are either set per mile or based on the actual and reasonable expense of travel.

Are travel fees for Notaries Public based on mileage rates?

Yes, in nine states, travel fees are based on mileage rates set by state or federal agencies. These states are Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Utah, Wyoming, and North Carolina. Notaries in these states must confirm the current mileage rate before charging a travel fee.

Which states provide guidelines for travel fees?

Thirteen states provide general guidelines for notaries to follow regarding travel fees. These states are Arkansas, California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. The guidelines for travel fees in these states are usually published in state notary handbooks or online.

Can Notaries Public in some states set their own travel fees?

Yes, some states allow notaries to set their own travel fees or do not regulate notary or travel fees at all. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

What is the relationship between notarization fees and travel fees?

Notarization fees and travel fees are separate charges. Notarization fees are regulated by state law and vary depending on the type of notarial act. Travel fees, on the other hand, can be set by the state, set by the notary within guidelines, or left to the discretion of the notary. Notaries should clearly communicate the breakdown of fees to customers.

What are the best practices for charging and recording travel fees?

Best practices include keeping travel fees separate from notarization fees, agreeing on the travel fee in advance with the signer, explaining the travel fee payment policy if the notarization cannot be completed, requesting travel fee payment in advance (optional), and recording the travel fee in the notary journal if required by state law.

What are the fee schedules for notarial acts by state?

Each state sets its own fee schedule for notarial acts, including acknowledgments, jurats, verbal oaths/affirmations, and travel fees. The fees vary from state to state, and notaries should be familiar with the fee schedule in their jurisdiction. Some states have specific dollar amounts for each type of notarial act, while others provide a range or allow notaries to charge any fee up to the maximum allowed under state law.

Which states do not have set fee schedules for notarial acts?

States that do not have set fee schedules include Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Vermont. In these states, notaries have more flexibility in setting their fees, but it is still important to charge reasonable fees and inform customers in advance.

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