Dear Editors,

Many legal documents including wills, powers of attorney, contracts, leases, court documents, deed transfers and many more require that they be notarized. Notarization involves verifying a signer’s identity, their willingness to sign without intimidation and their awareness of the document’s contents. Getting legal documents notarized is an important process for those reasons.

The New York State Legislature recently passed a new law that requires all notaries to comply with cumbersome new record keeping requirements. This law, however, was not accompanied by an increase in the $2 fee that notaries have been allowed to charge for their services for the past 30 years. As a result of this new law, most small businesses and most banks have stopped offering notary services and it has become increasingly difficult for individuals to find someone willing to provide these services for such a small fee. We The People legal document preparation services at 233 W. 14th St., for example, has been forced to cease doing public notarizations due to this new law. This business had provided this service to the community for over 17 years and is regretful that they must now stop offering this service. The low $2 fee is unreasonable considering the cost of everything else has risen over the past 30 years and the increased amount of time and work required for the new record keeping. Most other states permit notaries to charge at least $5 or more for their services, making it more likely that individuals will be able to find someone willing and able to provide these important services. New York State residents should contact their state legislators in order to update the new notary law and permit a reasonable fee be charged so that these important services can become more widely available again.

—Walter Boxer
We The People of NY, 233 West 14th Street