Notary Signing Agent: Your Guide to Becoming a Certified Professional
If you are a notary public looking to expand your horizon, then becoming a notary signing agent is the obvious next step. Therefore, it is clear that in order to become a notary signing agent, you first need to become a notary public. A notary signing agent is generally responsible for loan closings for the mortgage finance industry. The industry is big and the scope for earning is higher. Once you become a notary public, go through with the following steps to become a notary signing agent.
Steps to Become a Notary Signing Agent
Cliff notes version:
Most states have not specified any additional requirements for notaries to perform the duties of signing agents. However, a notary is ultimately hired by lenders, title companies, and signing services as a signing agent. All these players of the mortgage industry have set some standards to hire notaries as signing agents. You need to complete the following steps to increase your chances of getting hired as a notary signing agent.
Get your commission as a notary public.
Enroll yourself in a loan signing training course and complete it.
Clear an exam and pass a screening test as per Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW).
Purchase signing agent supplies.
Purchase an E&O insurance policy of at least $25,000 (depends on state)
Work as a notary signing agent.
Put yourself out there by joining Notary Signing Agent directories.
The role of a Notary Signing Agent (NSA) is a vital one in the real estate industry, facilitating the completion of loan documents and ensuring the smooth transfer of property ownership. If you're interested in pursuing a career as a Notary Signing Agent, you're stepping into a profession that offers flexibility, autonomy, and the opportunity to play a crucial role in the home buying process. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps to become a certified Notary Signing Agent, from meeting the prerequisites to mastering the necessary skills and obtaining certification.
Understand the Role of a Notary Signing Agent: Before diving into the process of becoming a Notary Signing Agent, it's essential to have a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities associated with this profession. Notary Signing Agents are commissioned notaries who specialize in overseeing the signing of loan documents, such as mortgage agreements and refinancing documents, on behalf of lenders, title companies, and signing services. Their primary objective is to ensure the accurate execution of documents and verify the identities of the signers, thereby minimizing the risk of fraud and errors in the loan closing process.
Meet the Prerequisites: To become a Notary Signing Agent, you must first meet the prerequisites set forth by your state's notary regulatory agency. While specific requirements may vary by state, common prerequisites include being at least 18 years old, possessing a high school diploma or equivalent, and passing a background check. Additionally, you must hold an active notary commission in your state and maintain compliance with all applicable laws and regulations governing notarial acts.
Acquire Specialized Training: Once you've met the prerequisites, the next step is to acquire specialized training in the field of loan signing. While notarial commissions typically provide a foundation in basic notarial principles, additional training is necessary to excel as a Notary Signing Agent. Seek out reputable training programs and courses specifically tailored to the needs of Notary Signing Agents, covering topics such as loan document preparation, signing procedures, borrower identification, and compliance with industry standards and regulations.
Obtain Professional Certification: While certification is not always required to work as a Notary Signing Agent, obtaining professional certification can enhance your credibility, marketability, and earning potential in the field. Consider pursuing certification from recognized organizations such as the National Notary Association (NNA) or the American Society of Notaries (ASN), which offer comprehensive training programs and certification exams for Notary Signing Agents. Certification demonstrates your commitment to professionalism, competency, and adherence to industry best practices, making you a preferred choice for lenders and signing services.
Build Your Network and Market Your Services: Once you've obtained the necessary training and certification, it's time to build your network and market your services to potential clients. Network with local lenders, title companies, real estate agents, and signing services to establish mutually beneficial partnerships and secure signing assignments. Create a professional online presence by building a website, creating social media profiles, and joining professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. Highlight your training, certification, and experience as a Notary Signing Agent, and showcase testimonials from satisfied clients to demonstrate your reliability and professionalism.
Stay Informed and Continuously Improve: The field of notarial services and loan signing is constantly evolving, with new laws, regulations, and industry trends emerging regularly. Stay informed about changes in the industry by attending continuing education courses, participating in professional development opportunities, and staying connected with industry associations and regulatory bodies. Continuously seek feedback from clients and colleagues, and strive to improve your skills, efficiency, and customer service to remain competitive in the marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We have tried to answer some frequently asked questions about the process of becoming a notary signing agent. This is also addressed in great detail in my ebook.
Is certification required to become a notary signing agent?
The law does not require you to get certified as a notary signing agent. You just need to get commissioned as a notary public to get started as a signing agent. However, companies that hire signing agents usually ask for a certification and background screening in order to meet the requirements of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Organizations like NNA provide training, certification, and background screening for signing agents that are SPW-compliant.
Do I need to pass an exam or complete a training course to become a notary signing agent?
Taking an exam or doing a course is not mandatory to become a signing agent. However, doing either or both can help you in building credibility as a signing agent. It will ultimately improve your chances of getting hired as a signing agent by lenders, title companies, or signing services.
What expenses are incurred in the process of becoming a notary signing agent?
The cost can be anywhere between $75 and a few hundred dollars. The cost changes from one person to another and depends on a number of factors like:
whether you are already commissioned as a notary public or not
whether you have an E&O insurance policy of at least $25,000 or not
the training course you choose
the vendor you choose for background screening
the supplies you purchase
the licensing fees you pay as required by your state
Becoming a Notary Signing Agent is a rewarding and fulfilling career path that offers flexibility, autonomy, and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the real estate industry. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can embark on a journey to become a certified Notary Signing Agent, equipped with the knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary to succeed in this dynamic and in-demand profession. Whether you're a seasoned notary looking to expand your services or a newcomer to the field, the role of a Notary Signing Agent offers endless possibilities for professional growth and success.