Notary Bulletin

The Certified Signing Specialist Standards

The Certified Signing Specialist Standards are designed to benefit the entire real estate finance industry. The Standards will help lenders and the companies that hire you by enabling them to meet the demands of government regulators while offering a consistent borrower experience regardless of the lender or Signing Specialist. As a Certified Signing Specialist, it will be easier for you to get assignments from multiple companies without needing to meet multiple qualifications.

The Standards will be implemented in the coming months. Once the Signing Professionals Workgroup creates the certification process, you will need to meet or comply with the following five criteria in order to become a Certified Signing Specialist.

  • Agree to abide by the Certified Signing Specialist Code Of Conduct: The Code of Conduct includes principles, policies and practices that help Signing Specialists perform their primary function of witnessing the execution of loan and real estate documents. The Code of Conduct also address supportive duties, such as advertising services, charging and collecting fees, and demonstrating responsible conduct with contracting companies and customers.
  • Agree to follow standardized scripts: The Standards include a detailed signing script that Signing Specialists must agree to follow. The scripts include specific descriptions of the various documents in a loan package.
  • Pass an annual exam: Signing Specialists must earn a score of at least 80 percent on an annual exam, administered by an SPW-approved certification provider. The exam will consist of questions about the signing process, knowledge of loan documents, and best practices as outlined in the Code of Conduct. Training classes will be available from approved certification providers, but are not required.
  • Undergo annual background screenings: The background screening will include federal, state and local database searches.
  • Maintain Notary errors and omissions insurance: Signing Specialists will be required to maintain professional errors and omissions insurance coverage of at least $25,000.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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