Training for Notaries & Signing Agents
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Notary Signing Agent Information
What exactly is a Loan Signing Agent?In states that allow Notaries to be signing agents, a Notary Loan Signing Agent is a Notary who guides someone through the signing of their loan closing papers, making sure they sign each document properly, and then notarizing the documents that require a notarization. They are often Mobile Notaries who are sent to the borrower's home or office with the loan papers, saving them a trip to the title company during office hours. The Notary must know enough about the loan papers to explain what they are without offering any legal or professional advice. Becoming a signing agent is the easiest way to make the most money as a mobile Notary.
Important Things to KnowNot all states allow Notaries Public to do loan signings. Before you start training for this career, make sure it's legal in your state. There are a few states where signing agents must be attorneys, and a few others where signing agents must be title officers.
You don't have to be a certified loan signing agent to notarize loan documents. You don't even have to be trained. But you do have to be a commissioned Notary Public. It can sound confusing, but think of it this way: Notaries Public are commissioned by their state to notarize documents. They can choose to notarize loan packages. In order to do this, title companies would like you to know what you're doing, so it's good to take a class. When you take a class, you may receive a certificate stating that you have satisfactorily completed the course. Then you are a commissioned Notary Public who is also a certified loan signing agent. For complete information on training and certification, see the Loan Signing Agent Training section.
Many course vendors would like you to think you MUST take a course (preferably theirs), and that you MUST be certified as well. They usually charge more for a test and certification. In all my years of performing signings, not one title officer has asked for proof of certification, or even if I had taken a course. But they did expect me to know what I was doing, and to do it professionally.
RequirementsAgain, there are absolutely no legal requirements to be a loan signing agent other than to have your current Notary commission. However, most title companies need some indication that you are either experienced or trained. There are a number of ways you can learn how to guide a person through signing their loan. You might have already worked in the industry and be familiar enough with loan documents to the extent that you could explain them to someone else. You might know someone in the industry who would be willing to teach you. And of course, there are also many training courses available.
CertificationThough certification is not necessary, if you're new it's a good way to jump start your business. Certification is simply documentation that you took a training course. There is no need to become certified if you're already experienced in performing loan signings. But if you're brand new, it's the quickest, least expensive way to start your new career and be actually working and making money. When you approach an escrow officer with little or no prior experience, you can at least offer proof that you've had a training course.
As a summary, and just to be clear. You must be a commissioned Notary Public to perform loan signings. You do not have to be a certified loan signing agent, but it's a good idea if you're not already experienced, and will more than pay for itself in the increase of business.
Comprehensive Certification Course
& Reference Manual
212 pages, including a final exam
Professionally-bound course delivered by Priority Mail