The following are the most common questions asked by our customers regarding notary acts. However, if your question is not listed below feel free to contact us to receive an answer to your question.
What's the difference between an oath and an acknowledgment?
With an Oath, the affiant is swearing to the content of a document. With an Acknowledgment, the affiant is acknowledging that he/she did sign the document.
How much can I charge for a notarization in Florida?
As a Florida notary, you may charge up to $10 in notary fees for any notarial act. You may charge $30 to perform a wedding ceremony. Keep in mind, if you charge a higher fee than prescribed by law, the Governor may suspend your commission. The law does not address miscellaneous travel fees for notarial acts. In the absence of any rule, notaries are allowed to charge a travel fee as long as the signer is made aware prior to the notary travelling and the transaction occurring. Travel fees are not notary fees. They should be billed separately from any fee for notary service. They may appear on the same invoice as notarial fees, but as a separate line-item to avoid confusion.
Are the fees I collect considered taxable income?
Yes. The best way to keep track of the Florida notary fees you have collected is by recording them in your notary record book. Additionally, you may want to check with your tax professional about including notary fees as income.
Am I required to keep a record book?
Florida state law does not require that you keep a notary record book. However, we strongly recommend that you do so for your own protection. If a notarization you performed is called into question years later, are you going to remember the details of the transaction? Keeping a notary record book can provide evidence of what actually took place with details such as what ID was provided, the date and time, and the signature of the affiant.
Can I notarize for a family member?
No. By law, you cannot notarize for a parent, spouse, or child. Because a Florida Notary Public should be an impartial witness, we recommend you do not notarize for any family member.
Can I perform a marriage ceremony?
Yes, as long as you are within the boundaries of the State of Florida. You can even perform a marriage ceremony for family. Since you are not notarizing a signature, the rule against notarizing for family does not apply. A marriage ceremony is the only exception to this rule.
As a Florida Notary Public you are responsible for performing the marriage ceremony and filing the completed license with the appropriate county within 10 days. Our marriage kit can supply you with everything you need to perform a marriage ceremony.
Can I refuse to notarize?
Yes, if proceeding with notarization would cause you to commit a prohibited act, or if any of the required elements/criteria for performance of a proper Florida notarization are missing. Situations that may require you to refuse include when you doubt that the signer is competent or willing to execute the document; or you are being asked to bend a rule of notarization such as requiring the signer to be present before you; or the document presented for notarization is clearly incomplete.
If you are an employee-notary, your employer controls how you manage your time and tasks while on the job, so you may need to refuse a notarization requested during business hours. If you must refuse for this reason, you may offer to perform the notarization during non-work hours.
Use your best judgment, and always know and follow notarial law, when weighing whether you must refuse a notarization.