Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

Notary Bulletin

Field Inspection Offers Additional Income Opportunities For Notaries

Field-Inspections.jpgUpdated 1-18-18. More and more Notaries are seeking new ways to increase their income by offering more services to their local clients. One way — which requires minimal training and tools you probably already own or have access to — is becoming a field inspector.

Richard Law, founder of Society of Field Inspectors (SOFI), has been a self-employed field inspector for more than 20 years, and has performed just about every type of job in the field. Law offered the following practical advice to Notaries and NSAs interested in pursuing field inspection to increase their service offerings.

What exactly do field inspectors do?

Field Inspectors are the eyes and ears of a company that needs something done. Inspections are broken down into three major categories: mortgage, insurance, and commercial inspections. At SOFI, we focus on the commercial segment because the fees are generally higher, as is the quality of the companies.

A typical inspection — a business verification, for example — generally pays around $35-$40 and takes 10-15 minutes. I recently did a business verification for a cardiovascular clinic needing to run background checks on potential employees. The background check company needed to verify that the clinic was a valid business, so they sent me to take photographs of the sign and address on the front of the building, talk to a manager, look at their business license, and take photographs of an empty exam room and the locked file cabinet in which they planned to store the background check information.

Are Notaries uniquely qualified to become field inspectors?

In many cases Notaries are self-employed or independent contractors, so they’re used to making decisions on how to run and organize their business. A lot of the planning, strategies and operations of the Notary are similar to how you would run a field service business. The more a Notary can perform in one area, for example, the more money they can make due to less travel time. The same principles apply to field inspections. Doing both Notary signings and field inspections gives you more security because you’re working with more companies. You’ll also make more money because you’re being more efficient, which is very important when you’re self-employed.

How does one get qualified to perform inspections, and how do they find work?

Most inspections require no previous qualifications. Background checks are becoming more of a requirement. Many companies offer brief training over the phone. For business verifications, the company usually provides you with a form and explains what they expect from you. Companies want you to do a good job, so they give you what you need to get it done.

For those looking to get started, you could find businesses through Google using keywords such as “business verification,” “freight inspection,” or “collateral inspection.” At SOFI, we’ve been working 22 years on a printed directory of companies nationwide that perform inspections. Most inspectors find 125-130 companies in the directory that service the area where they live, so that is a good place to start.

What does one need to become a field inspector?

As far as tools of the trade, most people already have them. You need a resume describing who you are, what you do, and listing the types of inspections you offer and the area you service. You need a high-speed Internet connection and a digital camera with a flash and time and date stamp capability. You’ll also need a reliable vehicle. Some insurance inspections may require a measuring/walking wheel, but don’t purchase anything until you actually know you need it. 

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.



Add your comment

John Chang

16 Aug 2014

Richard Law of SOFI was my mentor in getting started. I was fortunate enough to run into him early on in my career as a field inspector. Now I train others how to get started in commercial property inspections.


14 Sep 2014

Have been waiting for 2 years to get paid from a company in Georgia for taking and uploading photos. I definitely recommend checking out the company first and, using PayPal or another source to get paid in advance.

Pamela Willover

23 Jan 2015

I registered my business with SOFI and soon began receiving requests to fill out applications to be an independent inspector. These applications requested an unusual amount of personal information, including providing a photo, physical description such as hair and eye color, driver's license info, social security number, home address, all phone numbers, etc. - more than enough enough for you to hand over your identity to an unknown entity. Please do your homework and verify that these companies are valid - and know that you do not, and would not need to provide that kind of information for any job. I checked out a few of the companies and found that none of them were registered with the Beter Business Bureau.

Timothy Napier

17 Aug 2016

i would like too no if have any open Thank you

George L Waring

05 May 2017

I would love to be contacted by some of these companies. I am in NE Ohio and have a fair amount of experience.

Denise Thurston

21 May 2017

I would love to have a mentor to help me get started.

Kim Turner Young

29 Jun 2017

how can i apply

National Notary Association

03 Jul 2017

Hello. Please see the section "How does one get qualified to perform inspections, and how do they find work?" in the article above.


25 Jul 2017

Very helpful post , it has helped me to understand many things . Always love your resource.

Kim Young

22 Aug 2017

i can i apply with the field inspector

john dennis boose

28 Aug 2017

Looking for work in mortgage field insoections

30 Aug 2017

I'm looking for work in Tuscaloosa Alabama is there any company that is hiring

Kimberly Brooks

20 Mar 2018

I would like to receive more information on how to become a field inspector. I seeking more income and want to grow my business.

Samantha Smith

08 Jul 2020

I love how personable the Law's are. You can call them up and they will talk you through their process. They have always been available and accessible. I've enjoyed my affiliation with. SOFI and I share the platform with every new notary I meet.

24 Jul 2020

Do you have to be a Certified Signing Agent to begin Field Inspections?

National Notary Association

27 Jul 2020

Hello. No, being an NSA is not mandatory. However, background checks are sometimes required.

Derrick Byrd

12 Oct 2020

I am a Notary Public in SC, I'm already certified with the NNA and Background Screened successfully. What do I need to do to start field inspection training... Is there's any additional information you can pass along? I would greatly appreciate it and thanks again!

National Notary Association

16 Oct 2020

Hello. We suggest you contact the Society of Field Inspectors (SOFI) for more information:

Rhita Lake

04 Jan 2021

a very interesting please send me information

Ernestine Smith

15 Jan 2021

Requesting information on Field Inspection Services in the State of Ms

17 Jan 2021

Could I please have more information

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2021

Hello. Please see the last paragraph of the article for some suggestions how to get started.

Natalie Bass

17 Jan 2021

Do I need to complete a new resume if I have no experience.

National Notary Association

21 Jan 2021

Hello. That would depend on the requirements of the company you are applying to perform inspections for.

Samuel Avery

03 Mar 2021

Hello my name is Sandra Avery and I and I was wondering would you have to have any need for vendors and Albuquerque New Mexico area

Alicia L Conley

08 Mar 2021

What if you have no experience as a inspector . I have no interest in falsifying a resume to the company..Thanks

National Notary Association

09 Mar 2021

Hello. When applying for field inspection assignments, we would suggest asking companies if they will accept applications from individuals without previous experience.

Curtis Collins SR.

05 Apr 2021

licensed field claims adjuster. NNA membership number 161065594

30 Apr 2021

I recently started notary service called TRI-STAR TRI-STAR mobile notary services, I would like to how can get started without experience Thanks in advance

National Notary Association

03 May 2021

Hello. Please see the section "How does one get qualified to perform inspections, and how do they find work?" above for more information on this topic.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.