How to Find a Notary Public
A notary public serves an important function in society. In a world where everything seems to be increasingly digital, and where security is conducted by machines, a notary stands as a human deterrent to fraud and intimidation. Whether it's a transfer of property agreement, a mortgage loan, or a simple business contract, a notary's stamp assures that the paperwork is genuine, and was not coerced. The devices in our pockets can let us make video calls to the other side of the world, but we still need notaries to make sure our business dealings are kept above-board, and on the level. Which is why, in many circumstances, documents won't be considered valid unless they've been notarized.
This is also why knowing where you can find a notary public is so important, for both average citizens and business owners alike.
How To Find A Notary Public
Perhaps the simplest way to locate a notary public in your area is to get online and use the search tools you have available. While going to your search engine of choice, and typing in the name of your city, and the words "notary public" would likely work, you would still have to sift through the results. You'd have much better results using a site like Notary Rotary, or contacting the National Notary Association to see if they have any members in your area who can perform the services you need.
Of course, there will be times your digital resources fail you. Or, even if they do provide you some options, that doesn't necessarily mean they're giving you all the options in your area. Sometimes you'll need to do the additional legwork, or at least make a few calls, in order to locate every notary public in your area.
For example, most banks have someone on staff who is a notary public, due to the sheer number of documents banks generate that require a notary stamp. If you're a bank customer, your bank's notary will often be made available to you during regular banking hours. In addition to banks, though, you can find notaries in most UPS stores (offering their services for a fee to those who need business documents notarized before they're mailed), as well as in most local government centers. Additionally, if none of the other locations have yielded solid leads, you can often find notaries working in local real estate offices, or car dealerships. And, even if there are no notaries on staff in any of these locations, chances are good that employees working there will be able to tell you where the local notaries are, since they'll need to use their services on a regular basis.
Notaries Are Everywhere
There's no such thing as a universal notary, because different people become notaries for different reasons. Some notaries might set up an office, advertise, and sell their services for a small fee. Others may get their notary license as a secondary skill; something to put on a resume to make them seem like a better employee, and to guard against a downturn in the job market. Because of these differences, it may be easier to find some notaries than it is to find others.
With all of that said, there are more than 4.4 million notaries in America, according to the National Notary Association. That means that, even in fairly remote areas, there should be at least one notary public who can handle your needs. The key is to find that notary, and to determine when he or she is open for business so you can get your documents taken care of.