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Becoming a Part Time Notary Public in San Francisco

San Francisco and the Bay Area represent one of the most populated urban regions in Northern California. The three main cities in the Bay Area are San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, but there are also several smaller urban and rural areas, all cumulating approximately.

San Francisco

San Francisco Bay Area has known an outstanding growth in population, industry diversity and overall economy within the last century. Being a coastal area, prone to a lot of outside modern influence, has made the San Francisco Bay Area a place notorious for its diversity – cultural, ethnic, religious, culinary etc. – entrepreneurship, liberal politics, education.

San Francisco Bay Area is the only area in the State of California where the number of people coming in from other places in the US and around the world, is significantly larger than the number of people leaving the region. This is explained by the high quality of life in the area and the income per capita, which is much higher than the average income in the United States.

The yearly income determines the quality of life, so having an additional source of revenue can help improve on those income opportunities. Becoming a notary public in the Bay Area can prove to be a very lucrative career choice, especially since working as a notary public gives a significant level of flexibility and a number of choices to a person. One can choose between providing notary services on a full-time basis or just part-time. Also, one can choose to work within a company or perform this job independently. The number and frequency of notary jobs that each notary public decides to take on, depends solely on the level of involvement that he/she is willing to have.

Becoming a notary public in California is not a difficult task. One must take a course, pass an exam focusing on the theoretical and practical knowledge of performing this job, pass a background check and file to have their notary commission issued by the Secretary of State. Given that a notary public makes on average $60,000 per year in California, which is much more than the average $45,000 per year in the US, becoming a notary public is a valid career choice.

Per law, the notary public is a person invested by the government with the authority to act as a witness to the signing of documents. The notary public, by way of notarizing, does not make the document valid, nor does this make the document produce legal effects or attest to its legal nature. The notarization simply refers to the fact that all signers have been present before the notary public and have signed the document themselves, without being coerced or unable to understand what is happening. For this scope, the notary public verifies the identity documents of the signers and tries to observe any signs of red flags suggesting that the signers are not willing to sign, are forced by way of physical or mental violence, or are in any state of mind which would prevent them from fully understanding the consequences of their actions – are intoxicated, under the influence of medication or mentally incapable of consenting for any other reason. In any of these situations, the notary public should and is obligated to refuse to notarize the document altogether.

Notary Public

The signing of a document – aka the notarization – is done before the notary public. This means that the actual signature must be given when the notary is present and not before the actual meeting, even if all parties attest that it is in fact them that have previously signed the document. Signing in front of the notary public, with the notary proceeding to place the notary seal on the document, along with any information that allows other people to keep track of the records pertaining to said document, completes the notarization process.

Notary public services are subject to a notary fee, which may vary depending on the place where a client gets a document notarized, the type of document in question and the peculiarities of each notarization – there is a traveling or a non-traveling notary, there are documents that need being printed by the notary etc.

In California, a notary public is free to determine the fees that he/she wants to charge. However, this freedom is not unlimited, as there is a maximum fee that a notary may charge, which is determined by law. Currently, Section 8211 of the California Government Code, as amended on January 1st 2017, contains these maximum fees for each type of notary service provided. The notary cost may range from $15 for taking an acknowledgment or proof of a deed, for administering an oath or for certifying a copy of a power of attorney, to $30 for taking a deposition. However, one must keep in mind that these are only maximum fees imposed by law, which means that each notary may ask for a fee that is lower or even waiver their notary cost altogether. In the case of a loan signing document, an agent could make way more than that. A loan signing agent can make anywhere from $100 to $150-200 for getting loan docs signed. The reason is that loan signing typically takes way more time than a normal notarization, namely a couple of hours. Also, the loan signing agent is responsible with printing the loan documents, which implies a cost for paper and toner.

Another element that may come into play when in need of notary services is the age-old question of “where can I find a notary public in San Francisco”? Well, the answer is quite complex and it depends on each particular situation, namely the urgency of the matter, the time of day when a person needs a notary public and the venue where the notarization takes place.

San Francisco Map


Basically, you can find a notary public in several places, starting with your local bank or any other financial institution. The fees are quite small and the process is usually fast. Also, you can find a notary public at other places of business, such as shipping stores, post office, office supply stores, law offices or even car dealerships and real estate agencies. The only issue with these solutions is that you have to work around their business hours and in-house procedures, as there is not much flexibility in their working procedures.

Another option is to simply browse the internet for a notary public in your location. Most notaries have a constant web presence, as this is a business and, done right, it can actually be very lucrative. Investing money in a well-built website, in online publicity and keeping a Yelp account, where clients are able to leave positive reviews on their notary experience, is an effective strategy for any notary.

Depending on the expectations and needs of each client, finding a notary public may also imply opting for the services of a mobile notary public. A mobile notary is a person that travels to the location requested by the clients, thus making the entire notarization process easier and more efficient for the signers. A mobile notary typically offers more flexibility, as he/she usually works more spontaneously, sometimes even during the weekends or outside business hours. The client ends up saving a lot of time and energy, saving the cost of traveling to the notary public and with this flexibility comes a higher amount of comfort and a huge stress relief, which is usually the manner in which most signers describe any notarization process – uncomfortable and frustrating.


Notary Public San Francisco


The drawback from using the services of a mobile notary public is that a mobile notary will factor into the calculation of the total cost of notarization, in addition to the normal notary fees, an extra cost for traveling to the client. A mobile notary will normally travel up to 50 miles for a single notarization. However, the distance may be even bigger depending on each case. This means that a San Francisco mobile notary may accept assignments in the entire Bay Area, but this comes at an extra cost for the signers.

In conclusion, there are multiple viable solutions for having a document notarized in San Francisco and the Bay Area, all adapted to the particular needs of each individual. Each client should opt for the solution most suitable for them, based on the extensive amount of information available.

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