How to Become a Notary Signing Agent September 1st, 2022 / Notary Association of America
Are you a notary public looking for something to bring out your stamp's true earning potential? Or maybe you saw some viral TikToks talking about the lucrative notary industry? No matter your background, becoming a notary signing agent can be a great career move!
Yes, it's true that as a signing agent you can earn between $75 and $200 per signing appointment. For the most part, signing agents also get more work opportunities compared to standard notaries.
While the exact process of becoming a signing agent depends on your state or employer, this article covers the basic steps that will help you see if a notary signing agent career is right for you.
What Is a Notary Signing Agent?
Notary signing agents work with loan documents, especially mortgage loans. The responsibilities are similar to those of traditional notaries, but the special nature of loans usually requires more training. According to Quicken Loans, notary signing agents "are responsible for printing loan documents, witnessing and verifying the signing of these papers and then sending them where they need to go."
Notary Signing Agent Certification Process
If you already have your notary commission, the hardest part is over! The exact process for becoming a signing agent will vary depending on the loan company. But these are some general steps to take if you're considering a signing agent position:
- Become a commissioned notary public in your state
- Complete a notary signing agent training course
- Pass an exam (if required by employer)
- Complete a background check (if required by employer)
- Purchase errors and omissions insurance
Do I Need Training or Certification?
Training requirements for notary signing agents are usually determined by individual states or specific employers. While no training or certification is nationally required, looking for signing agent opportunities without training is like walking into a job interview with no relevant education or experience and expecting to be hired.
Our online notary signing agent training course covers everything you'll need to get started, including:
- How to market your signing agent services
- How to develop a client base
- The requirements for notarizing a signing
- How to keep your notary journal
- And more!
Our Notary Signing Agent course is available completely online, meaning you can take it at your own pace and spend as much time as you need on each section. You'll have up to 90 days to complete the course, and when you're done, we'll send your signing agent certificate by mail.
Is Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance Necessary?
By law, no. But getting home insurance isn't required either! Just because it's not required, that doesn't mean it's not important. Since signing agents work with high-value, high-risk documents like mortgage loans, the personal and professional liability is greater.
That's why errors and omissions insurance is vital for new and experienced signing agents. It's a form of liability insurance that helps cover legal fees if you make any mistakes during a loan signing and your client sues.
Based on feedback we've received from customers and lenders, we recommend purchasing an E&O insurance policy with at least $100,000 of coverage.
» View our comprehensive E&O policy options
Will I Need to Get a Background Check?
Most likely, yes. Because loans contain sensitive financial and personal information, you should expect your state or employer to require a yearly background check. This expectation is common for real estate transactions, where borrowers trust you with their financial assets to make a home purchase.
Can I Work from Home as a Notary Signing Agent?
As a notary public, you may offer remote online notarization or remote ink-signed notarization services, but signing agents are not usually considered mobile. Most of the time, they are present at the institutions that require their services, such as banks or insurance companies. This is why it's important to have reliable transportation as a signing agent.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Signing Agent?
Becoming a notary signing agent is a lucrative career move with a relatively low cost of entry. Your specific cost will depend on your state or employer.
Here's a cost breakdown example:
- Notary Public Commission (if needed) — $75 to $189. Our online packages include supplies and certificates.
- Notary Signing Agent Training Course — $99
- E&O Insurance — $25 to $100 for $25,000 of coverage. The cost varies depending on the level of coverage you select.
- Background Check — $15-$100+ on average. The cost varies greatly depending on the type of check needed.
- State Notary Application Fees — $10 to $30+
How Long Does It Take to Become a Signing Agent?
If you've decided that becoming a signing agent is the right choice for you, we can help! The amount of time it will take depends on a few things:
- Notary Public Status — Are you already commissioned? If not, this will add extra time.
- Background Check Speed — The type of background check you need depends on your state or employer.
- Completion Time for Signing Agent Training — Our course is online and self-paced.
Once you've completed these steps, and the others outlined above, you'll be ready to start your signing agent work.
Please reach out to us anytime during your certification process. We're here to answer your questions and make sure your training goes smoothly!