Free Notary Services
At United Way Galveston County Mainland, we offer free notary services to the community. Before you get your documents notarized, please read the following information below.
What is a Notary Public?
According to the American Association of Notaries, a Notary Public is a person of proven integrity appointed by the Texas Secretary of State to serve the public as an impartial witness in taking acknowledgements, administering oaths and affirmations, and performing other notarial acts authorized by law.
A notarization is generally an assurance made by a Notary Public that a document’s signature is genuine, that the signer acted without duress, and that the signer intended the terms of the document to be in full force and effect.
To notarize your document, the Notary Public will:
- Require all signers/witnesses to be present in person.
- Examine the document for completeness and ensure all pages are included.
- Obtain proper identification from all signers/witnesses.
- Perform the verbal confirmation.
- Complete the notarial certificate.
- Record the notarial act in journal (as required by the state).
*Please do not sign the document prior to coming in for your notarization. United Way will NOT notarize a document that is already signed.
Types of Documents That We Do Not Notarize
- Self-prepared or handwritten documents
- Last Will and Testament or Codicil
- I-9 Forms
- Certified Copies
How To Be Prepared
The primary duty of a notary public is to verify your identity. Please make sure your identification matches your documents. The identification card or other document must be:
- Current (cannot be expired).
- Issued by the federal government or any state government.
- Contain the photograph and signature of the signer.
Any other individuals who are signing the document must also have a valid photo ID with them.
Common forms of acceptable identification are:
- State-issued driver's license
- U.S. Passport (issued by the U.S. Department of State)
- State-issued identification card
- U.S. Military ID
All signers must meet face-to-face at our office in order for documents to be notarized. All parties that are listed on the document that require a signature must be present. Please visit our Contact Us page to visit our location.
A Notary Public cannot notarize a document over the phone. Please make sure everyone is present for the Notary to witness all signatures.
You must bring all documents that need to be notarized. If the documents are missing pages, United Way is not obligated to notarize them. Please DO NOT sign the document without a Notary present. United Way will not notarize a document that is already signed.
A notary may be unable to complete a notarization when:
- All signers/witnesses are not present in person with the Notary.
- A document has missing pages or blank spaces that affect the intent of the document.
- The signer(s) cannot produce ID or is not known personally by the Notary.
- The Notary believes changes to the document may be made after it has been signed.
- There is no notarial certificate on the document and the signer cannot tell which notarial act is required.
- The signer and the Notary are not able to communicate with each other.
- The Notary believes the signer does not understand the purpose or consequences of signing.
- The Notary Public is not familiar with the type of notarization requested.
- The signer appears to be intoxicated or coerced into signing.
For certain notarial requests that involve complex rules or unfamiliar notarial types, or due to other work obligations, the Notary may recommend that the signer obtain further consultation with other notary service providers or legal counsel. UWGCM staff cannot serve as a witness to your document.
A Notary Public is not an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.