How to Become a Notary Signing Agent

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How to Become a Signing Agent

Many states do not have specific additional requirements for Notaries Public who work as Notary Signing Agents. However, title companies and signing services have their own set of desired qualifications.

  1. Have a Notary commission in your state.
  2. Take a Notary Signing Agent Training Course. A Notary Signing Agent Certification proves that you have a foundational knowledge of the loan signing business.
  3. Take and pass a background check. This is required by most signing services and title companies.
  4. Most signing services require Notary Signing Agents to have an E&O insurance policy.

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Read below for: Signing Agent Training and Certification | Signing Agent Insurance | Mobile Notary v. Signing Agent | Signing Agent State Regulations


What is a Notary Signing Agent?

A notary signing agent is a notary public who specifically handles loan documents, deeds, and other property closing documents.

What does a notary signing agent do?

  1. A notary signing agent has to check the borrower’s ID, and document it correctly. 
  2. Notarize documents.
  3. Briefly explain what a document does.
  4. Make sure the borrower(s) sign, date, and initial everywhere required.
  5. Return the signed and notarized documents to the appropriate party.
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Signing Agent Training and Certification

Is certification required to become a notary signing agent?

In most states if you are a notary public then you are a notary signing agent. However, most title companies and signing services that contract with notary signing agents for loan signings require a certification.

A notary signing agent certification is proof that you’ve completed a notary signing agent training course and possess a basic understanding of loan signing procedure and law.

Our $45 Signing Agent Training Course is the easiest, fastest way to learn the ABCs of loan signing and kickstart your notary signing business. As soon as you complete the course, you will immediately have access to your notary signing agent certification.

Notary.net is proud to offer  FREE Signing Agent Training.

Notary signing agents are not required to take a training course or an exam.

A background check is technically not required. However, passing a background check is required by the vast majority of lenders, title companies, and signing services. This is a standard mortgage industry precaution to protect the borrowers’ private information.

Our partners at Notary Rotary offer a fully comprehensive background check for both notary signing agents and notaries public.

The background check that Notary Rotary offers usually takes about a week. Aside from that, it depends on how long it takes you to complete your signing agent certification course and feel ready to take on your first loan signing.

It depends on your state. Scroll down to see the list of notary signing agent state regulations.


Signing Agent E&O Insurance

Notary Signing Agents are almost always required to have Notary Errors & Omissions insurance. Some Title Companies/Signing Services require Signing Agent Insurance.

Yes, if you want to work with a Title Company that requires Signing Agent Insurance.

Most Title/Closing Companies require Signing Agents to have an E&O insurance policy. Some Title Companies require Signing Agents to have special Signing Agent E&O insurance in addition to their Notary E&O insurance.

Our partners at notaryrotary.com offer Signing Agent E&O insurance.


Signing Agent or Mobile Notary: What’s the Difference?

A mobile notary works with a wider variety of documents than a notary signing agent. Both mobile notaries and notary signing agents are required to have a notary commission. Below, we break down the differences of each role.

What are the requirements to be a mobile notary?

A mobile notary must have a notary commission.

What do mobile notaries do?

Mobile notaries usually travel to different locations to meet with their clients. Notaries can charge up to the maximum fee set by their state legislation for each notarial service. Some states allow mobile notaries to charge for travel costs.

Where can a mobile notary work? 

A mobile notary may perform services in the state in which they have a notary commission.

What are the requirements to be a Notary Signing Agent? 

Notary signing agents must have a notary commission.

The only requirements to be a notary signing agent are

  1. Have a notary commission
  2. Whatever the title company requires

Many title companies prefer a notary signing agent to: a.) have passed a background check; b.) be certified to meet certain requirements for companies the loan signing agent works with; c.) have notary signing agent insurance.

What do notary signing agents do? 

Notary signing agents are hired by mortgage and title companies to notarize signatures on loan documents. Usually, the loan signing agent will travel to the signer’s location. In addition to being paid for notarizing a document, notary signing agents are usually paid courier fees for delivering loan packets.

Where can loan signing agents work? 

Some states have legislated restrictions on who can perform loan closings. See below for the list of NSA state regulations.


Signing Agent State Regulations

Notary Attorney States are states which require an attorney to be present at, or involved in, real estate property closings.

Connecticut, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia are all notary attorney states.

Of course, the exact statutes differ from state to state. For instance, Connecticut bars an out-of-state attorney or a non-attorney notary public from performing most closings. Comparatively, West Virginia requires an attorney to perform real estate closings because these have been determined to be practice of law.

Indiana requires that “Any person who conducts a real estate closing on behalf of a title insurance producer or title insurance company in which a title insurance policy is issued or is to be issued must be a licensed Title insurance producer.”

Source: in.gov

See also: https://inbiz.in.gov/Assets/NotaryGuide.pdf

Indiana resident applicants must meet the following requirements in order to obtain a Title Insurance License:

  • Complete not less than ten (10) hours of instruction in a structured setting or comparable self-study on:
    1. ethical practices in the marketing and selling of title insurance;
    2. requirements of the insurance laws and administrative rules of Indiana;
    3. principles of title insurance, including underwriting and escrow issues; and
    4. principles of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. 2608).
  • Obtain a certificate of completion from the education provider. This certificate is valid for six months, in which time the application must be submitted.
  • Submit an application and the $40.00 application fee either online at www.Sircon.com/indiana or www.nipr.com, or through the uniform NAIC paper application (must be mailed to IDOI along with a check or money order made payable to IDOI). *All license application fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
  • Pre-licensing education information is required to be submitted by the education provider. Approved provider courses may be viewed through www.sircon.com/indiana.

Requires a Title Insurance Producer License.

Source: https://insurance.maryland.gov/Producer/Pages/titleip.aspx

“All resident individuals requesting a title insurance producer license are required to complete pre-licensing education and pass the Maryland title exam. Work Experience can be substituted for course work for which the applicant will be tested. (Reference: §10-104). The completed Insurance Education Waiver Application / Affidavit of Employer must be sent to and approved by the MIA before taking the examination.

  • Effective April 30, 2013 applicants will be required to complete 20 pre-licensing course hours. Please note that this requirement is only a minimum, and an applicant may take or a provider may offer additional course hours.
  • Once the pre-licensing course is completed and a certificate is awarded, the insurance licensing examination must be taken within 6 months from the date of the certificate. If the examination is not taken, the certificate will expire, and the course must be retaken to qualify for the examination.
  • The examination results are valid for 6 months. If the candidate does not apply for the appropriate license within 6 months, the examination results will expire and the pre-licensing course must be retaken to qualify to re-take the examination.”

First-Time Title Insurance Producer License Application Details:

Maryland Initial Title Insurance Producer License Application

“To apply for a license as an Individual Title Insurance Producer, in addition to passing the Maryland Title Producer exam, an individual must:

  • pay the applicable fee of $54, required by Ins. Art. § 2-112;
  • complete and submit the NAIC Uniform Application Individual Producer;

submit a $150,000 Surety Bond or Letter of Credit; The bond or continuation certificate must clearly state:
– bond company and bond amount
– bond coverage period
– show the State of Maryland as the obligee
– duly executed by the principal/producer and bond  company/attorney-in-fact
* If applicant is an Independent Contractor, the Title Insurance Producer Independent Contractors (TIPIC) waiver form may be submitted in lieu of the Surety Bond.”

Notary attorney state.

Requires an attorney to be present or involved with the closing of a property. However, a notary public who is employed by an attorney or a lender may notarize a document in conjunction with a real estate closing conducted by their employer.

Source: malegislature.gov

“A notary public who is not an attorney licensed to practice law in the commonwealth shall not conduct a real estate closing and shall not act as a real estate closing agent; provided, however, that a notary public who is employed by an attorney so licensed may notarize a document in conjunction with a real estate closing conducted by the attorney and a notary public who is employed by a lender may notarize a document in conjunction with the closing of such lender’s real estate loans.”

The notary signing agent must possess a closing agent license.

A notary signing agent in Nebraska may not charge any ancillary fees.

Nevada state law limits the fees that a notary signing agent is allowed to charge. A notary may charge $15-$30 per hour of travel time, depending on the time of day, as long as the signer agrees to the travel fee in advance.

Certain companies may choose to hire only attorneys instead of instead of signing agents.

Notary signing agents in North Carolina may charge $5 for acknowledgements, jurats, and affirmations, and may not charge for any other ancillary fee.

Source: statutes.capitol.texas.gov

HELOC loans are contingent upon Article XVI, Sec. 50. of the Texas Constitution.

According to the Texas Administrative Code, a closing must occur at the permanent address of an attorney, a lender, or the title company.

Wrap mortgage loans have to be closed by an attorney or title company.