There are four basic rules about the fees a notary public can charge.
First, there are maximum fees allowed by law that a notary public can
charge. A notary public cannot charge more than those maximum fees.
California Government Code section 8211
Second, except for notaries public employed for and on behalf of a state
or county public agency, a notary public is not required to charge a fee
at all. A notary public could decide, for example, not to charge a fee
for completing a certificate of acknowledgment or providing a
photostatic copy of his or her journal pages. Also, a notary publicís
employer could make it a condition of employment that the notary public
charges no fee for notarial services.
Third, whether or not a notary public charges a fee, the notary public
must record the actual amount charged in the notary publicís sequential
journal, including writing zero to indicate no fee was charged. In other
words, a number or zero must be reflected in the notary publicís journal
to complete the record for each notarial act.
Code section 8206(a)
Fourth, no fee is prescribed for notaries public employed by a financial
institution who can perform a protest in the course and scope of their
employment since it is part of the notary publicís service to the
California Government Code sections 8205(a)(1),
California Commercial Code section 3505
Section 1. Maximum Fees Allowed
The maximum fees a notary public may charge are:
For an acknowledgment or proof of a deed, or other instrument, including
the seal and writing the certificate, $15 for each signature
For administering an oath or affirmation to one person and executing the
jurat, including the seal, $15.
For all services in connection with the taking of any deposition, $30,
and an additional $7 for administering the oath to the witness and $7
for the certificate to the deposition.
For certifying a copy of a power of attorney under California Probate
Code section 4307, $15.
$.30 per line item copied from the notary publicís journal.
Section 2. Required Fees
If a notary public is appointed to act for and on behalf of a state or
county public agency as an employee of the agency, fees must be charged
for all services and those fees must be remitted or turned over to the
employing agency. California Government Code sections 6100 and
The actual fee charged must be entered in the notary publicís sequential
journal. California Government Code section 8206(a).
Section 3. When Fees Cannot Be Charged
There are very specific times
when a notary public is prohibited from charging a fee:
Notaries public appointed to military or naval reservations cannot
charge a fee for any notarial service or act.
Code section 8203.6
A notary public acting in his or her official capacity on behalf of
the State, city, or county or any public body cannot charge for
notarization of an affidavit, application, or voucher in relation to
securing a pension. California Government Code section 6106
A notary public cannot charge for notarization of a signature on an
application by a United States military veteran for a claim for a
pension, allotment, allowance, compensation, insurance or any other
veteranís benefit. California Government Code sections 6107 and
A notary public cannot charge to notarize signatures on vote by mail
ballot identification envelopes or other voting materials.
Government Code section 8211(g)
A notary public cannot charge for notarizing any nomination document or
California Elections Code section 8080