The Oklahoma Secretary of State appoints individuals of proven integrity to serve as impartial and unbiased witnesses to document signings. Oklahoma notaries public, serve four-year terms and perform a crucial public role in Oklahoma in reducing fraud by confirming the identity of signers. There may come a time when you find yourself in need of an Oklahoma notary public and ask yourself, “How do I find a notary near me?” That’s when you’ll want to make use of an Oklahoma notary public locator.
What Services Do Oklahoma Notaries Provide?
You will need to locate a notary near you in Oklahoma whenever you need to secure one of the following common notarial services:
1. Having your signature witnessed.
One of the main roles of the Oklahoma notary public is to witness or attest signatures on documents. This helps to ensure the validity of documents and prevent fraud. This means you, as the signer, will need to appear physically before the Oklahoma notary and sign the document in his or her presence. The notary in turn witnesses you sign. The Oklahoma notary will also verify your identification and complete the notarial certificate stating that the document was “signed or attested before” him or her on a particular date and location.
2. Having an acknowledgement taken.
An "acknowledgment" is a declaration made that you executed an instrument for the purposes stated in it. Unlike with a signature witnessing, in an acknowledgement, you can sign the document outside the presence of the Oklahoma notary public. You are “acknowledging” that you signed the document for its intended purposes.
3. Having and Oath or Affirmation Administered
An Oklahoma notary public can administer an oath or affirmation to you. This means you will swear (or affirm) to the correctness of the document your are signing. An oath makes reference to a deity and uses the word “swear,” while an affirmation does not, but both are binding. For an Oklahoma notary to administer an oath or affirmation to you, you must physically appear before the notary. The Oklahoma notary should ask you for proper identification if you are not personally known to him or her. When administering the oath or affirmation, the notary will ensure that you “swear to” (in an oath) or “affirm” (in an affirmation) the truthfulness of your statement.
4. Obtaining a Certified Copy of a Document
An Oklahoma notary public is authorized to certify or attest a copy of a document or other item. This means the notary determines that the copy is a full, true, and accurate reproduction. Oklahoma notaries cannot certify copies of official records such as birth certificates, divorce decrees, and transcripts. You will need to obtain certified copies of these documents from the original custodian (i.e., the appropriate state agency or university). An Oklahoma notary can only certify a copy of an original, and in the case of a birth certificate, the original is on file with the state.
Types of Oklahoma Notaries You Might Need
Before finding a notary in Oklahoma using a notary locator, you will first need to determine which type of notary best suits your purposes. There are three primary types of notaries:
1. A notary signing agent.
If you are selling, buying, or refinancing a house or need other complex loan documents notarized, you will want to use the Oklahoma notary locator to find a notary signing agent. Signing agents are specifically trained to handle complicated loan documents. Title companies and lenders often hire Oklahoma notary signing agents to aid in the final steps in a loan process.
2. A notary who is also an attorney.
Oklahoma notaries are prohibited by law from offering legal advice or assisting in immigration matters unless they also happen to be attorneys. If you need legal aid in addition to a notarization (for example, you need a will prepared as well as notarized), be sure to find a notary who is also an attorney.
3. A stationary notary public.
If you prefer to go directly to the notary, your financial institution is a good place to start. Banks often offer free notarial services to clients. Or you can search for a nearby notary using a notary locator. While a stationary notary will not travel to you, you can drive to his or her place of business to have your documents notarized. If cost is an issue, you can save money by employing the services of a stationary notary public. This way, you will avoid any additional travel fees.
4. A mobile notary public.
If convenience is a concern, you will want to use a notary locator to find a mobile notary public. An Oklahoma mobile notary will come to your home or place of business or other agreed upon location to notarize your documents. Although Oklahoma mobile notaries are convenient, be aware that a mobile notary public may charge a fee for travel in addition to the fee charged to notarize a signature.
Questions to Ask Before Employing an Oklahoma Notary
It’s not enough simply to find a notary near you in Oklahoma using a notary locator. You want to make sure you are working with a competent notary. The American Association of Notaries (AAN) recommends asking an Oklahoma notary public the following five questions before securing his or her notary services:
1. How much do you charge for notarial services?
Fees should be discussed and agreed to before the notarization takes place. This is especially important when you are hiring a mobile notary public, who may charge mileage to travel to your location. Oklahoma mobile notaries are required to separate their notarial fees from travel fees and must provide you with a detailed invoice. Whether you are working with a mobile or stationary notary public, your notarial fees will depend on several factors: (1) the number of signers, (2) the number of witnesses, and (3) the number of documents or total pages to be notarized. Click here to learn the maximum fees an Oklahoma notary can charge.
2. Is your notary commission currently active?
An Oklahoma notary cannot legally notarize documents for you if his or her commission is expired. You have the right to look up a notary record on the Secretary of State’s website if you want the reassurance that the notary’s commission is currently active.
3. How long have you been commissioned in Oklahoma as a notary?
In addition to making sure the notary actually has an active commission, you might want to determine just how experienced he or she is. Notary commission terms in Oklahoma last four years from the date of commission. Notary public commissions may be renewed regularly. Find out how experienced your notary is by asking how long he or she has been commissioned as a notary in the state of Oklahoma.
4. Do you belong to a professional notary organization?
Oklahoma notaries benefit from belonging to a professional notary organization such as the American Association of Notaries (AAN). Organizations like AAN can ensure that notaries remain up to date about important changes in notary law and help notaries to maintain a high level of professionalism through continued notary training.
5. Do you have a notary errors and omissions insurance policy?
An E&O policy will protect you if a notary in Oklahoma makes an unintentional error. You can ask the notary public to e-mail a copy of his or her E&O policy. You can also ask an Oklahoma notary how much coverage is provided by his or her notary errors and omissions insurance policy.
Questions an Oklahoma Notary May Ask Clients
In addition to asking the above five questions, observe whether or not the notary also asks you important questions. A prudent Oklahoma notary will screen you, the client, before traveling to notarize a document. The notary may ask:
- What type of documents need to be notarized?
- What kind of notarial act needs to be performed?
- Does the document include a notarial certificate?
- How many signers are involved?
- Are any witnesses needed?
- Will all signers be present?
- Will all signers have valid identification documents available for examination?
How to Use the Oklahoma Notary Locator to Find a Notary Near You
If you want to know, “How can I find a notary near me in Oklahoma?”, the answer is simple: visit the Oklahoma Notary Locator on the American Association of Notaries website. The best way to find a notary signing agent, notary public, or mobile notary near you in Oklahoma is to make use of a notary locator. The American Association of Notaries (AAN)’s Oklahoma Notary Locator helps match potential customers with reliable notaries. The notary locator is free, convenient, and easy-to-use.
Here are two useful questions to ask yourself when finding a notary near you in AAN’s Oklahoma notary locator:
1. Does the notary have verified credentials listed on the notary locator?
The American Association of Notaries permits notaries to have their credentials and contact information verified before being listed in the notary locator. While searching for a notary public, you can use the Oklahoma notary locator to return results that contain certain verified credentials, including:
- Verified signing agent credentials
- A verified notary commission
- A verified background check
- Verified errors and omissions insurance
2. How long has the notary been listed in the Oklahoma notary locator?
While there’s nothing wrong with using an Oklahoma notary public who was only recently listed in the notary locator, an established listing may help you feel more confident about the notary you are hiring.
How to Narrow Your Search For a Notary
AAN’s Oklahoma Notary Locator allows you to search by any of the following:
- Zip code
- City and state
- Name of the notary
Once you’ve decided to begin your search for a notary, you can find AAN’s free Oklahoma notary locator here: https://www.oklahomanotary.com/find-an-oklahoma-notary
Now you know how to find a notary near you! Within a matter of seconds, you’ll have a complete list of Oklahoma notaries available to choose from. The American Association of Notaries Oklahoma Notary Locator is the quickest and easiest way to find a notary or a notary signing agent near you.
The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994. Becoming a notary in Oklahoma is a straightforward process. Click here to learn how to become a notary in Oklahoma.