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Filing papers with the county (marriage license applications, for instance) requires notarized signatures. The county clerk won't do it for you. And somehow, when you're in a hurry, all the usual places seem to be the wrong places. The notary is out to lunch, home sick or otherwise gone for the day. What do you do? Look somewhere else, of course.
When in need of a notary, many people head straight for their bank or credit union. As a customer, notary services at your bank are often free of charge, although you may have to wait for the loan officer to finish up with customers ahead of you.
Almost everywhere else, there will be a small fee of $5 or so.
Mail service centers (i.e. Mailboxes Etc. and Mail Plus)
Copy services such as Kinkos
Office supply stores
Check cashing and/or paycheck advance businesses
Sometimes you have to look beyond the more usual places. Try to think "out of the box." Car dealers, for instance, generally have a notary on staff. So do TV and radio stations, which must notarize their stats. Some museums and libraries have notaries, as do most wedding chapels. (You can use their notary without getting married there.) Any business that must legitimize numbers or signatures is a possibility.
When all else fails, you can call for a mobile notary. You'll find them listed in the yellow pages. The service is a bit more costly, of course. But when you really have to have one, it's worth it.