American Automobile Association, commonly referred to as the ‘AAA,’ is an auto association present for more than a century in the US and now in other countries. They have been offering services like providing maps, suggesting good highway hotels, giving on-road assistance exclusively for their members. Surprisingly, they also act as a notary and provide notarisation services.
Getting your official documents notarised is a dull but essential thing to do. If people have such a need to get their documents notarized, then usually they look forward to the banks. And why not, as most banks famously offer notary service free for their customers. But sometimes it might happen that banks don’t work out, so in such a case, where could you go?
For your knowledge, you could find notary services in the following places apart from banks
- Real Estate Companies,
- Insurance Provider Companies,
- Tax Preparation Firms,
- UPS Stores,
- And the place this post is all about, AAA offices
Does AAA provide Notary
All Branches of AAA across the United States provide notary services, while some are free, others are paid. You can use this service regardless if you are a member or not.
AAA has its presence in ‘nearly’ all states of the US. Collectively it boasts nearly 1000 office locations throughout the North American continent. Notary services are provided across all the branch locations in the United States.
People don’t need to be AAA members to avail notarisation from them, as this service is offered to both members and non-members.
Find Your membership number if you have lost it.
There is a plus point for people living in Arizona, Montana, Alaska, and Wyoming. Why? Because in these four states, AAA does not charge any fee for its notary service.
Do You know that AAA provides DMV services as well.
What is a Notary?
A notary public is commonly called a notary. It is when a professional appointed by the state witnesses a signature. This prevents fraud as the professional verifies the identity and willingness of the signer.
A professional notary signer specializes in real estate. It includes things like facilitating mortgages and loan documents. Similar to a notary public they witness signatures. They also review the document, provide necessary explanations, point out mistakes, etc.
What documents can a notary notarize?
An array of legal documents require a notary to authorize them. It is because they need a neutral third party to verify authenticity. If you want a document to be notarized, first call the notary. Ensure beforehand to make sure they are authorized to handle that particular document. Things that you can notarize include :
- Vehicle certificate which proves the ownership
- Complicated health directives
- Lien documents. This includes the release of liens or authorization to change the lien holder’s names
- Agreements of Guardianship
- Medical Authorization for minors
- Sales bill of a vehicle
- Service forms for bank transfer
- Marriage license applications
- Power of attorney documentation
- Promissory notes
Some documents need a notary and an additional party. You may require a lawyer in such a case.
What to bring to the notary
You must bring a form of ID issued by the government to the notary. It must be a current one within the expiry date. It should also contain a photo and a description of physicality. The examples that come to mind that satisfy this criterion are a passport, driver’s or non-driver’s license/ID issued by the state, or military ID. Some forms may require more than one sign. Then each signer must be present. All the signers must possess a valid form of identification.
The document you want notarized
You can fill out the information on your document prior to bringing it to the notary. You must not sign the notary until you go to the notary. Always be especially attentive towards any blank spaces on the document to be notarized. Double-check whether a blank space mustn’t be left blank. Put a line across the space. Else write NA (not applicable) or complete the blank, whichever is appropriate. If you have misspelled something, make sure to change the document before you notarize it.
You must always bring all documentation that you are notarizing. It’s not just the page or pages that require a signature. You must check if your document does not have all the numbered pages. You may not have it notarized in such a case.
Know the type of notarization you require
Before you go to the notary, find out whether you need an acknowledgment, jurat, or something else. It is vital if the notarial certificate isn’t attached to your document. Contact a financial institution if you require a gold medallion signature. Always ask the organization or person asking for notarization to give you a notarial statement. Else ask them to advise the type of notarial statement needed. Notarizations have serious legal ramifications. You must remember that notaries are not authorized to decide the type of notarization required as they are not attorneys.
On the day of your appointment bring the required items. Including you, all parties that need to sign must sign in the notary’s presence. The notary will add the official authorization. Your document is then fully legal and properly witnessed.
Types of Notaries
An acknowledgment is a declaration by the signer that she/he understands what the given document contains. It shows that the signer is willingly signing it.
The signer can sign an acknowledgment outside of the presence of the notary.
The signer may sign on behalf of another person as their attorney-in-fact.
As a representative, he may sign on behalf of a corporation or other organization. It can also be some combination of these.
An acknowledgment requires the following steps to be correctly administered :
- You appear before the notary. It can be in person or via secure video conferencing. It depends on whether your state approves remote online notarization.
- The notary confirms the identity of the signer conforming to the state laws.
- You can sign the document before meeting with the notary. It can also be in the presence of the notary.
- The signer must verbalize that s/he is signing the document after fully understanding the given documents, their contents, and their intended purpose.
The vital job of the notary is to determine if the signer understands what they are signing. The notary also must determine if the signer is under no pressure to sign. Therefore, a notary must know how to communicate directly with the signer. If an attorney-in-fact is acting as a proxy this is not required. Most states do not allow requests to get a notary done with an interpreter.
Where are acknowledgments used?
An acknowledgment is needed for documents that involve valuable assets like:
In a jurat, you swear or affirm that the document’s content is accurate or truthful as far as their knowledge goes. Some states call this a verification upon oath, an affirmation, or an affidavit.
The signer must appear before the notary and sign at the notarial ceremony only. You take an oath or affirmation where you say aloud that you promise that the statements in the document are correct. No one can take this oath on behalf of you swearing to or affirming the document’s contents.
This notarial ceremony will result in serious legal consequences as you will be prosecuted for perjury if you are caught lying.
The basic steps required to administer a jurat successfully are:
- You appear before a notary. It can be in person or via secure video conferencing. It depends on whether your state approves remote online notarization.
- The notary confirms the identity of you.
- You must take an oath or affirmation ceremony where you respond aloud. Silent gestures are not permissible.
Where are jurats used?
You get jurats on vital legal documents used in trials like:
Oaths and Affirmations
You may need a notary to only administer the oath or affirmation orally. It may not be required as a part of a jurat, affidavit, or other written document. Affirmation and Oath are used to compel the individual to truthfulness.
An oath is taking a pledge to a higher power that You are giving authentic statements. An affirmation is a pledge of your honor.
Steps for both oaths and affirmations include:
- You must appear to take the oath or affirmation physically at the notary’s office. Oaths and affirmations are administered remotely by phone or email.
- Any ceremonial gesture like raising a hand, holding a Bible, or other religious text is encouraged. It is to make you aware of the importance of your statement. This isn’t required but is still customary. You take the Oath or Affirmation according to the procedure listed by the state in the presence of a notary.
- You shall answer with a Yes or I do. The notary must hear you say it.
Which Documents can be notarised at AAA locations
Various different kinds of documents can be notarised at AAA locations and all are mentioned below.
These documents are legal papers that are used to prove an affirmation to a statement by someone, e.g., Domicile, Marriage, etc. Affidavits are admissible at other govt offices too.
Permission Slip for minors
These papers are usually sought by schools who are asking for the guardian’s permission to take their ward on a trip, journey, etc.
Passport Application for minors
The title itself is self-suggesting; AAA does notary for minor’s passport applications.
Transferring Car Title
This ‘transferring’ document is used to change a vehicle/car ownership from one person/body to someone else.
Legal papers which bind two parties to an agreed set of guidelines.
Health Care directive
This legal paper is a declaration by a person that states the directive to be followed towards his medical treatment when the person himself/herself would not make any decisions.
Power of Attorney
This is a legal declaration by a competent party transferring his/her power and authority for decision-making to someone else.
Not all types of Documents could be notarised at AAA, like the following
Sometimes you need to legally verify that the photo you are presenting is actual and genuine. E.g., For sending photographs via post for Passport, you might need to send notarised copies of your pictures to prove that the person in the picture is you.
These sorts of documents are needed for real-estate-based transactions and real estate-backed loans.
This form is required to be filled and submitted by hirers in the United States. It shows the details and states the eligibility of the employees hired to work in the US.
The heading is self-explanatory. AAA cannot notarise Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates.
AAA doesn’t involve in business or commerce-related notary. For any business document to be notarized, you could consult your legal or financial advisor; perhaps banks could help get this sort of documents notarised.
What are the Notary charges at AAA
If you live in these four states Montana, Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming, then congratulations, as AAA doesn’t charge any notary fees for these locations. But the ‘freebie’ is not applicable everywhere, and it is not uniform too. Checkout the notary charges for few states below-
Utah’s mountainous and tourist-friendly state has two different plans, one for members and the other for non-members.
Utah’s AAA charges $3 per notary from its members, whereas non-members would have to shed $5 for the same.
This US state is mainly known for its tax friendliness, and some also remember it being the first legislature with a female majority in the US. But how is it related to AAA and notary? Nowhere, it was just a fact bonus.
So, the Nevada AAA charges $10 from members and $15 from non-members for its notary services.
So, just like the two states mentioned, California also has two plans, and its plans are the same as Nevada. $10 for AAA membership holders and $15 for non-AAA membership holders.
Just like these states, various states may have similar or different pricing plans. For your convenience, you could call your nearest AAA office for the exact details. Find your closest AAA office with this link: https://www.aaa.com/office/.
What is the process of notarization?
According to QUICKdocs, the process of notarisation includes the following five steps
The person on whose name/s the notary is to be done should be duly present personally at the site where the notary would be performed.
Willingness and Awareness
The notarizing authority would interrogate a few questions to the signing authority/s. This Q and A would be to establish the awareness and knowledge of the signing party about the reason and document he/she is supposed to sign.
The personnel would ask for identification documents to verify the legality of the identity you have stated. The documents which you could show are Passport, Driving License, any other state-provided legal document proving your identity, etc. The personnel would also record the details of the identification record/s shown.
After witnessing the signature process in person, the notarising person would check the document to find any missing space to get the signature on and other details, if any, to be seen.
Recording the notary
Post the last step; the notary would input the details of this notary in his/her records and stamp and sign the document to give it the status of being notarized officially.
How to contact AAA?
Gladly, all the AAA locations across the US perform notarization. Some do it for free, whereas some charge an amount for it. You should have a call with your nearest AAA office to get the information on costs. But how exactly can you get in touch with them?
It’s easy; they are available on the phone and the internet.
To contact them via phone, you may call the central helpline of AAA, which is 8009228228. This number is exclusive to the members.
Via the internet, they could be found on AAA Office Locator. This website could provide you with your nearest AAA’s contact details by entering the ZIP Code.
What documents to carry?
This varies from case to case. But all the necessary papers linked to the case and the physical presence of all the signing parties are needed. This, too, could be confirmed via a phone call before visiting the AAA office.
To conclude, you get a notary when a professional notary witnesses a signature. It prevents fraud as it verifies the identity and willingness of the signer. Getting a notary is a hassle but essential in some cases. AAA helps you out in case other places such as banks that you get notaries from, don’t work out.
You must always call the notary beforehand to ensure he can authorize your notary. The place that wants the notary will inform you of the type of notary needed. Make sure to research and keep all relevant documents ready beforehand.
You and all the signers must always carry a valid government ID card with you when you are going to sign the notary. The notary will use it to verify your identity. Fill out your documents as accurately as possible and correct all mistakes before you sign on them.
There are different types of notaries. An acknowledgment is to determine that the signer understands the contents of the concerned document. Jurats are to confirm that the person has filled in the correct information as far as their knowledge goes. Oaths and Affirmations are to determine the truthfulness of the signer.
All AAA branches in the USA offer notary services. Members and nonmembers can avail of this service. In some states, this service is free. It is not free in other states.
At the AAA you can notarize Affidavits, Permission slips, or Passport Applications for minors, contracts, etc.
To get a notary you must personally appear at the Notary’s office unless the state law specifically allows for a virtual meeting. You must understand the contents of the document and must consciously be willing to abide by it. Then if you have the correct documentation, take the necessary oaths, and sign, you will be issued a notary.
If you still have doubts, you can contact our nearest AAA office. They will be more than happy to help you out with any troubles that you may face.
By now, do you feel well equipped with the details of the notary, and particularly the notary at AAA?
It would be good for you if you do, as it might help you get your next notary done.
If you feel that this post might help someone you know, you could share this with them.
And meanwhile, take care of yourself!