I always get asked how I got started as a Notary Signing Agent (NSA)?
So first off, what exactly is a Notary Signing Agent? A notary signing agent is a notary public that notarizes mortgage docs for borrowers who purchase or refinance their current mortgage. Notary signing agents are impartial witnesses who identify the signer, verify that all documents are signed and dated, notarize the documents, and return the executed loan package to the lender.
In the state Virginia, you will need Errors & Omissions insurance (E&O). You can purchase a $25,000/1 year policy for about $26. Signing companies and title companies require that you have the insurance to protect against notary errors. Virginia does not require a bond like other states. So be sure to check your state’s requirements.
It also helps if you belong to a notary organization. If you do a Google search for “notary signing agents”, you will see that most people call themselves “certified notary signing agents”. All that means is that they have taken a course and test of their skills with loan documents. Many of the notary organizations offer their own version of becoming certified. It helps to become certified but it’s not a requirement. Also most companies require you to have a background check. (UPDATE: As of this current moment, November 2013, The Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) was formed to assist in the creation of professional standards for certified signing professionals. SPW created the Certified Signing Specialist (CSS) designation. The SPW also created standards to facilitate mortgage signings and to address regulatory requirements, state-law compliance, consumer satisfaction and consistency in delivery of notary services. http://signingprofessionalsworkgroup.org/)
Here are some links below that will help you get started:
National Notary Association (NNA) – most popular notary organization to join. You can also purchase E&O insurance through their website and also become certified and background screened. http://www.nationalnotary.org/virginia/notary_classes/index.html
American Society of Notaries – I belong to this organization as well as the NNA. They also offer NSA training and discounted notary supplies.
Notary Cafe – It’s a must you sign up for Notary Cafe account! A lot of signing/title companies look for notaries on this website. http://www.notarycafe.com/Default.aspx
123Notary – This company is very good resource also. When you start signing up with different companies, you can go to this website to check the rating of the signing/title company. They also have a certification training program. http://www.123notary.com/
Notary Rotary lets you create a free profile and you can also purchase a notary background check. http://www.notaryrotary.com/
Notary2Pro – Other notaries rave about this training program. I haven’t personally taken it. It’s owned by a husband and wife team who have been in the business for over 30 years. http://www.notary2pro.com/
If you prefer to brush up on your notary skills or want to train in person to become a Notary Signing Agent, most states offer live training.
I have taken classes with Bryce Hall at Virginia Notary Public Classes http://www.vanotaryedu.com/. She is a great instructor with over 20+ years of notary experience.
I also suggest looking over your own home loan documents to get acclimated with the different types of docs and what they mean. If you do choose one organization to join, I suggest the NNA. Don’t feel like you have to join all of them. They all have the same mission.
Not sure if you are on LinkedIn or not, but they also have some great notary/signing agent forums that are really helpful. This is just one of the many groups I belong to:
Hopefully this info was helpful in getting you on your way to becoming a Notary Signing Agent. Let me know if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer.