Need to Get Something Notarized? DO NOT Go to the Embassy

notary stamp

notary stampAccording to Wikipedia, there are about 4.5 million notary publics in the States vs. approx. 740 in England and Wales and 1,250 in Australia and New Zealand.

In the US, you can find a notary on every corner, and at least in NC, it costs about 5 bucks for a stamp.

I was recently sent a document that I needed to notarize and send back. Thing is, I’m in the Czech Republic. So I did what any good American would do while abroad, and checked out the US Embassy website in Prague:

“The fee of $50 per seal can be paid in U.S. dollars, Czech korun or by credit card.”

…what? $50? That shit costs $5 back home. Maybe it’s because there are far fewer notaries abroad, right?

So I checked with a few local notaries in Prague…35 CZK, or about $1.87 per stamp. Sure, it’s in Czech, but I emailed the lawyer and it doesn’t matter. Fuck the embassy and their “service to American citizens” in this case. Yes, I understand there may be some benefit to having the embassy do it that I haven’t seen, other than convenience, but the Czech stamp works just fine and costs $48 less. That’s enough for a well-timed RyanAir or EasyJet flight or two.

Don’t ever think it’s only foreigners trying to rip off tourists.

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