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Notary Signing Agent Background Check

As most of you already know, a notary signing agent forms an integral part of the mortgage loan signing process. The borrower's loan is approved only after the documents are signed and notarized by a notary signing agent. An NSA deals with many sensitive financial and legal documents and can even misuse the information for personal gain. In order to avoid this, the mortgage industry has mandated background screening for everyone involved in the loan signing process including NSAs. The background check will usually look into federal, state, and county records of the NSA for the past 10 years. In some states, the background screening goes back only seven years.

What is checked in a background screening?

The following things are checked about the notary signing agent during the background check:

  • Social Security Number Trace

  • County Criminal Court Search

  • Motor Vehicle Records

  • National Sex Offender

  • Nationwide Criminal Database

  • Federal District Court Search

  • USA Patriot Act including Terrorist Watch List

If the name of the NSA appears on the list of national sex offenders or the terror watch list, then he will be immediately disqualified. For the rest of the points mentioned above, the tabulated score is calculated based on which the NSA is rated.

What does it mean to pass the background screening?

When the tabulated score for the NSA is below 25, then he is said to have passed the background screening. Different points have been assigned for different types of offenses. A non-moving violation will cost you 2 points while 25 points will be added for robbery. In case you cross the threshold of 25 points, you will fail the check and will be barred from conducting business with lenders and title companies as a Notary Signing Agent.

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about dismissed, expunged, or pardoned cases. Such cases won’t be counted for the screening. However, deferred adjudication and pretrial diversion charges come under the purview of background checks and will be charged. You should note that once the terms of deferred adjudication or pretrial diversion are satisfied, the charges won’t be counted.

What is the gap between two background screenings?

Ideally, the background screening for NSA should take place every 12 months. The duration of 12 months or 1 year has been set by the mortgage industry. This is because lenders and title companies have to provide assurance to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that their NSA has passed a background check as specified by the mortgage industry.

By going through background checks at regular intervals, you are guaranteeing your lenders and title companies that you have not committed any crime in the past year. If you refuse to get your background screening, there is a high possibility that mortgage companies will refrain from hiring you in the future.


Background screening of NSA is an important step to prevent any fraud in the mortgage industry. Assets of high value are at stake in the mortgage industry and such steps help in safeguarding these assets.



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