Florida law provides that a Florida notary public may charge up to $10 for performing any one notarial act under Part I of Chapter 117, Florida Statutes, excluding marriages. Notarial acts listed under Part I, for which a notary may charge up to $10, include the taking of acknowledgments, administering oaths, and the attestation of tangible or electronic records (also called “notarizing a copy” in Florida law).
For notarial acts not specified under Part I (which would include the verification of vehicle identification numbers, safe-deposit box inventories, and protests), the law no longer specifies a maximum fee. However, fees charged should be reasonable and agreed to in advance.
In general, according to the Florida Executive Office of the Governor, notary fees should be calculated on a “per certificate/per seal” basis.
For example, two people appear before a notary public and acknowledge execution of a deed. The notary completes one certificate of acknowledgement, which contains both parties’ names and all of the other information required by law. The notary signs his or her name and affixes his or her seal one time. The notary could collect up to $10 for this notarization. However, if the notary completes two certificates, each listing one party, the notary could collect up to $20.
Notaries are not required to charge fees and should be reasonable when setting fees. Fees should be agreed to before the notarial act is performed. Notary fees are taxable, so be sure to keep proper records of all notary fees collected and speak to your tax-preparation professional about how to report the fees accurately on your income tax return.
Travel notary fee
A notary may also charge reasonable travel fees. If the notary is providing other services in addition to the notary services (such as selling blank legal forms or providing flowers for a wedding), the charges should be itemized and agreed to beforehand. An invoice should be provided to the client and appropriate records should be kept of the payment.
Performing wedding ceremonies
A Florida notary public may charge the same fee as the clerk of the circuit court for solemnizing matrimony (performing a marriage ceremony); that fee is currently set at $30, but a notary is allowed to provide additional services, such as photography, flowers, music, calligraphy, etc. The fee for these additional services should be discussed before the fact and the notary should present an itemized bill.
Opening of delinquent safe deposit boxes
Some Florida notaries have even found a niche market in safe-deposit box inventories by successfully networking with local banks. (Safe-deposit box inventories involve the notary witnessing the drilling of a safe-deposit box and making an official, written inventory of the box’s contents. Refer to section 655.94, Florida Statutes, for more
Charging fees in excess of notary laws
Remember, any fees charged by a notary public should be reasonable and agreed to in advance. Charging fees in excess of those allowed by Florida law is grounds for suspension from office as a notary public and should be reported to the Florida Secretary of State.
Under Title X 117.05 (b) a Notary Public may Not Charge for the following service
A notary public may not charge a fee for witnessing a vote-by-mail ballot in an election and must witness such a ballot upon the request of an elector, provided the notarial act is in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
We hope that you find this information helpful and please Contact Us for any of the services we provide.