Can a Post Office notarize?

PandaDoc Notary knowledge center

Have you needed a notary public for legal or work documents but struggled to find the time to leave your office and find a notary locally? Getting something, such as legal documents, notarized is the formal procedure of having an action witnessed and attested by a neutral third party.

There are certain situations and cases where it becomes a necessity to hire a notary. You may need a notary public to notarize various documents and forms, such as custody agreements and car title transfers. It may make you wonder: Can a post office notarize? Does USPS provide notary services?

Certain documents and forms must be notarized to have legal effect and be legally binding. Given the formal nature and significance of legal documents that have to be notarized, it is best to use reliable notary services to assist with their execution. Learn more about who can notarize documents.

Keep in mind that the United States Postal Service doesn’t notarize documents. This is because, as a federal government entity, USPS is not authorized to perform or offer notarization services, as the notarization process happen at the state level.

Did you know that more than 1.25 billion documents and papers are notarized yearly in the US? This ensures that the document has legal authenticity.

Does the post office have a notary? 

When you’re on a deadline to get important documents signed and delivered, you have to go through the extra step of getting your signature witnessed by a notary public. Notarization helps prevent fraud, complications, and misunderstandings, which may cause headaches. Contrary to popular belief, the US Post Office doesn’t have a notary public on staff to offer notarization services.  

You should know that USPS employees are employed by the US federal government. As a result, they don’t have the authority to offer state-level services like document notarization. So, they don’t perform notary services. Out of more than a billion documents that are notarized each year, a significant portion includes powers of attorney and wills.

Can a post office notarize?

A licensed notary public in the US is a public official whose job is to authorize official documents, such as affidavits, deeds, and civil marriage certificates. You may have thought about getting your documents notarized at your nearest post office through a post office notary. The USPS is a federal institution that provides many services. However, because the USPS is a federal institution and notary public licenses are issued by the relevant states, USPS cannot offer notary services.

However, you will be pleased to know that many US Post Office locations have formally contracted with private businesses and organizations within the same building in order to perform notarization services. So, while you would go to the United States Post Office to have your legal documents notarized, the notary would be an employee of a private business and not be employed by the United States Post Office.

If you are considering notarizing your own documents or notarizing for family, you have to keep in mind your state laws and rules.

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What documents need to be notarized?

More than a billion notarizations are completed every year in the US at locations, such as law firms and post offices. In most cases, notarization is required to prevent fraud and an online notary can help in this regard. Common types of documents and forms that may require notarization include:

  • Wills
  • Deeds
  • Trusts
  • Contracts
  • Affidavits

Not every legal document that needs signing needs to be notarized. Keep in mind that only specific types of paperwork and documents require a notary’s seal. Although laws and regulations vary considerably from one state to another, they usually require notarization of specific agreements and documents, such as those relating to real estate transactions. Many financial documents, certain legal documents, and some healthcare-related forms also need conventional or online notarization.

Legal documents

Most legal forms and documents require notarized signatures. These documents include the following:

  • Wills and trusts
  • Advanced directives
  • Guardianship and custody agreements
  • Executorships
  • Power of attorney documents
  • Court documents

Property and loan documents

Notaries are usually employed by individuals or organizations to oversee the signing processes for financial documents, such as loan documents. Keep in mind that banks, title companies, investment firms, and other financial institutions, such as credit unions, require notarization for various documents and processes. You will have to pay a notarization fee for the notary services work. Financial documents that usually require notarization include:

Business documents

Businesses and companies also need notary services from an online notary or traditional notary service. Although not every important document or form that a business organization uses must be notarized, most can be notarized. These documents and forms include:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Vendor contracts
  • Memorandum of understanding (MoU) documents
  • Commercial leases
  • Construction agreements
  • Employment contracts

Where to get documents notarized? 

A qualified notary or government official is responsible for witnessing document signing and notarizing documents. So you cannot get your documents and forms notarized at the public post office. So, where can you go? You will be happy to know that many places offer a notary service, including signature notarization, starting with small local offices. Learn more about notarizing an electronic signature.

If the US Post Office near your home or office does not offer notary services, you can consider other locations, such as:

Mobile Notary Services

You may know that mobile notary services are easily the most convenient since they will come to your office or home to notarize your documents. However, they are also usually the most expensive option as they charge a high notary fee.

Banks

Many banks and credit unions have a notary public on hand and offer notarization service. You will be pleased to know that some banks and credit unions will notarize documents and forms for free if you’ve an account at their branch.

You may prefer to try a local bank or financial institution, including big names such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo. You should check the nearby locations for availability and also make an appointment. You will need proper identification documents, such as a government-issued license or government issued photo ID.

Online notarization

When you need quick, reliable, and secure notarization of any legal document or contract, you can use PandaDoc Notary. It’s one of the best online notaries and offers the simplest and most affordable way to get your documents signed and sealed. The platform offers notarization services in many locations, such as

Courthouses

Did you know that courthouses have a public notary available during standard business hours? Generally, the county clerk’s office fulfills or completes notarization requests.

Packing and shipping stores

Many packing, parcel, and private shipping stores in the US, such as UPS, have a notary on staff for identity verification. It’s best to call ahead in order to confirm that a notary is available.

Real estate firms and law offices

Many real estate firms and law offices also have public notaries.

You may also try other places, such as local libraries, universities, accounting offices, and AAA offices.

How to get documents notarized?

With the PandaDoc Notary platform, it is simple and quick to get your power of attorney, promissory note, last will and testament, and other documents notarized by an impartial witness.

Some simple steps involved in getting a document notarized through PandaDoc Notary include:

Step 1

You can take a picture of your form or document or upload a PDF file from your computer. You can also upload from a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox. No matter the time of day or location, or device, PandaDoc Notary has notaries ready to complete all your notary requests!

Step 2

Now, you just have to confirm your identity with PandaDoc’s verification process. The platform uses identification verification technology in order to verify government-issued photograph IDs and passports.

Step 3

You can connect to a live notary anytime and confirm your identity on a secure call or face-to-face on a webcam. Connect easily with a licensed and professional electronic notary public over live video in order to sign and notarize your document. The PandaDoc Notary agent will verify your identity and witness your signature, assisting you throughout the process.

Notarize documents online with PandaDoc Notary

When you need to get a document or form notarized, it may mean waiting in a long line at a local bank, FedEx or UPS. This can be a big hassle for people who cannot take time off work or leave home in order to find a notary public. USPS doesn’t notarize documents, as it is a federal organization, and notaries usually operate on a state-by-state basis.

However, there are many options to receive notary services, including major banks, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, local notary offices, and your local UPS store.

You can also try PandaDoc Notary. PandaDoc Notary’s mission is to make notarization simple, convenient, hassle-free, and secure for everyone. Whether you are an individual or run a business,  PandaDoc Notary will help you notarize personal and business documents. With a simple and convenient online platform and flexible times that fit your unique schedule, PandaDoc Notary makes things simple. It is an online notary you can trust.

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