Though the role of the notary dates to ancient Roman times, notaries still play a crucial role in modern American society today. There will likely come a time when you need to employ the services of a Montana notary. As authorized public officials, Montana notaries serve the public as impartial witnesses to important commercial and legal transactions by verifying the identities of the individuals involved in notarizations and witnessing them sign documents.
Reasons You Might Need a Montana Notary
There are numerous occasions when you might discover you need the services of a Montana notary. Some of these occasions include:
- You need your signature notarized on a Montana Motor Vehicle Title. Montana requires signatures on a vehicle title to be notarized before the title can become a "negotiable instrument." Only then can ownership be transferred to the person holding the title.
- You need to have your signature witnessed.
- You need to have an acknowledgement taken. For an acknowledgment notarization, you will state that you voluntarily signed a document before the notarization takes place.
- You require a verification upon oath or affirmation (jurat). For a jurat notarization, you will take an oath or make an affirmation stating that the information in a document is true. An affirmation involves making a vow of truthfulness without invoking a deity or using the word “swear.” An oath, however, involves vowing to the truthfulness of a document using the word “swear” and invoking a deity.
- You want a copy of a non-publicly recorded document, such as your high school diploma or a photograph, certified. For a copy certification, the notary will verify that a document is identical to the original.
- You need a notary to certify a fact, such as the fact that you are alive.
Things You Cannot Ask a Notary to Do
Please be aware that there are some duties a Montana notary cannot legally perform. A Montana notary cannot:
- Certify a copy of a publicly recorded document such a birth certificate, marriage license, death certificate, or school transcript. If you need a certified copy of one of these documents, you need to contact the document custodian, such as the Montana Office of Vital Records or your school.
- Tell you which notarial certificate to use on a document that does not have one. This is considered unauthorized practice of law. If your document does not have a notarial certificate, you will have to choose one.
- Notarize a record in which he or she is individually named or from which he or she will benefit. If your friend is a notary, and you leave him something in your will, for instance, he cannot notarize your will.
- Give you legal advice or draft legal records for you, unless the notary is also an attorney authorized to practice law.
- Consult with you on immigration matters or represent you in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration.
Choosing the Appropriate Type of Notary
When it comes time to choose a Montana notary public, you will want to consider which type of notary you need. Do you need a stationary notary who offers services at a place of business, a mobile notary who will come to you, or a notary signing agent?
A regular notary will notarize documents at his or her place of business, and you can also find notaries in banks and other institutions. However, this means you will have to take time to travel to the notary’s location. At a bank, you may even have to wait some time before the notary is available to service you once you arrive. If you prefer the convenience of a notary who will come to your home or place of business at an appointed time, you will want to seek out the services of a mobile notary.
If your notarization is a simple one-page document, a regular notary will do. But what if you are looking to have complex loan documents notarized? In that case, you should probably locate a notary signing agent who is especially trained to handle loan documents and assist in the final stages of the loan process. A Montana notary signing agent will often provide additional services beyond merely notarizing a signature. For instance, a notary signing agent might print loan documents, meet you at your house, show you where to sign, and notarize multiple signatures across several pages. If you find yourself in need of a Montana notary signing agent, and your mortgage company does not assign you one, you can use the Montana notary locator to find one.
Paying for Your Notarization
Montana notaries public are permitted to charge for performing notarial acts. However, a Montana notary cannot charge more than is allowed by law.
The maximum fee a Montana notary is permitted to charge you is $10 for:
- Taking acknowledgements
- Witnessing signatures
- Performing jurats
- Certifying copies of documents
- Certifying a fact, photograph, or that you are alive
If you secure the services of a mobile notary, that notary may also charge you a travel feel. However, the notary must first explain to you that the travel fee is in addition to the maximum fee for the notarial act, and you must agree in advance to the travel fee. Do not allow a Montana mobile notary public to surprise you with a non-agreed-upon travel fee upon arrival. Ask about travel fees when you make your appointment with your mobile notary. The fee a Montana mobile notary charges you must be equal to or less than the standard mileage rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service, which is 62.5 cents per mile as of June 2022.
Montana notaries may also charge an additional fee for performing notarial acts using communication technology. All notaries who charge for notarial work are required to publish their fee schedules in English.
Things to Consider Before Your Notary Appointment
In order to ensure you don’t waste any time and your notary appointment goes smoothly, you’ll want to consider a few things prior to your notarization.
- Does your document have any blank spaces? If so, make sure they are filled out prior to your notarization or that you have written N/A in any blank spaces. A Montana notary cannot notarize a document with blank spaces.
- Do you have a state-issued ID available for the notary to use to properly identify you? Make sure you have your ID on you prior to your notarization. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, a U.S. passport, and a state identification card, among others.
- Do your documents require more than one signer? If so, ensure that all signers are available to attend the notarization and that each one has proper state-issued identification.
How to Find a Montana Notary Near You
The American Association of Notaries (AAN) Montana notary locator is the easiest way to find a Montana notary, mobile notary, or notary signing agent near you. In mere seconds, you will locate an affordable notary who is able to provide you professional notary services.
Follow these simple steps to find a Montana notary near you:
- Search by notary name, zip code, city, county, or state.
- Select whether you are looking for an online notary, eNotary, or mobile notary.
- Narrow your search results as desired. AAN allows you to search for notaries that have their credentials and contact information verified by the American Association of Notaries. You can specifically search for a Montana notary with a verified notary commission, verified errors and admission insurance, a verified background check, verified notary signing agent credentials, and/or a verified email address and phone number. You can also ask the Montana Notary Locator to return only notaries who are AAN members or only those who have included a photo with their notary listing.
- Contact the notary.
- Ensure that the notary is qualified to handle your request.
- Agree on a fee, including any travel fee, if applicable.
To find a notary in Montana, visit AAN’s Montana Notary Locator at the following URL: https://www.montananotary.com/find-a-montana-notary.
To learn how you yourself can become a Montana notary, click here.