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Four Criteria You Should Consider Before Choosing Your Notary Training

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Learning your state’s notarial laws and procedures is essential to performing your duties properly. A variety of providers offer training for new and renewing Notaries; but before you sign up it’s a good idea to make sure their course offerings meet these four criteria.

1. The training should meet your state’s requirements.

Several states require applicants to take a state-approved education course, including California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania. If you apply for a commission in one of these states, be sure that any education course you take meets all required criteria and is approved by the state’s Notary-regulating agency.

2. Make sure the provider offers testing and training together.

Some states, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New York and Utah, require Notary applicants to pass an exam, and four states — California, Colorado, North Carolina and Oregon — require both a training course and passing a test.

When choosing a class, find out if the course prepares you for your state’s Notary exam. You should also find out if the education provider schedules time to take the Notary exam after completing your training, and if the training and exam are offered at the same time and location.

3. If you want to be a Notary signing agent, certification is strongly recommended.

Many Notaries choose to work as Notary signing agents. While most state-approved Notary courses will cover the basic elements of a Notary’s duties, many lenders and signing services expect signing agents to meet additional requirements. Signing agents must often handle extra duties required during loan signings, but these duties are not addressed in standard Notary classes.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to find additional classes and/or certification that teaches the critical elements of completing a loan signing.

Before seeking out NSA training or certification, be aware that some states impose their own requirements on signing agents, so be sure to understand and follow your state’s relevant laws.

4. Make sure the provider offers support after you receive your commission.

Because state education requirements vary widely, many new Notaries find they have questions when performing notarial services for the first time. Ask if a provider offers additional post-training support services, such as phone or email support or resources online via a website or social media, to help answer questions not addressed by state-required training or testing.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.


Add your comment

Bertha Gasca

12 Jan 2015

I took the class and test in August 2013, however did not pass the test. I would like to know when I can take the test again and do I need to retake the class?

National Notary Association

13 Jan 2015

Hello, You can contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 to see about scheduling a new class and test.

Christine White

12 Jan 2015

I need to re-instate and test & train for Notary Signing Agent Certification. What do I need to do to get started?

National Notary Association

13 Jan 2015

Hello Christine, You can contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 to get started.

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