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Minnesota Legislature

Notary public fee cap elimination

Published (2/24/2012)
By Mike Cook
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Randy Jessup owns a UPS Store in Roseville and another in St. Paul. In addition to packaging and shipping needs, his stores offer notary public services. However, they may not continue doing so because the cost-benefit ratio is not good.

Sponsored by Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines), HF1872 would repeal the maximum $1 fee that can be charged for notary services. “It’s sort of under the general broad category of getting government out of price setting and price controls and allowing the market to work,” she said.

Approved Feb. 16 by the House Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee, the bill awaits action by the full House.

Jessup said there are about 85,000 notaries public in Minnesota, down about 15 percent from three years ago.

“One of the issues, I think, that has caused that is that the cost of notary has gone up,” he said. “The registration fee with the secretary of state used to be $40; it’s now $120. You also have to register with the county that you are doing notary in. In Ramsey County, it’s an additional $20.”

Jessup said a number of store owners in the UPS system have decided, that because of the increased cost and liability concern, they’re no longer offering a notary public service. He said banks are also reducing their notary services, especially for people who are not customers.

He said the $1 fee is a good deal for Minnesota consumers, noting a similar store in Iowa charges $3-7 for notary public service, and other states charge $10 or more.

A companion, SF1660, sponsored by Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), awaits action by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

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