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FAQ: What is Notary Signing Agent certification?

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Updated 7-10-23. If you’re a Notary Signing Agent, or looking to start work in the loan signing field, you’ve probably heard a lot about “Signing Agent Certification” but may not know what that means. Here are answers to some of the most common questions asked about certification for Notary Signing Agents.

What does ‘Notary Signing Agent Certification’ mean?

In general, a certification program demonstrates that a Notary Signing Agent has the necessary training and specialty skills required to handle loan document signings for lenders, title companies or signing services. Many certification programs, including NNA Loan Signing Agent Certification, also include a background screening. While the details of individual certification programs vary, they commonly cover topics such as how the loan document signing process works, the correct steps to take if a borrower has questions or an issue comes up during the signing, how to properly handle documents containing sensitive information and how to avoid common mistakes such as advising borrowers improperly or failing to obtain necessary signatures on loan documents.

To ensure that the certification process can be relied upon by lenders, title companies and signing services, many certification programs follow standards created and published by the Signing Professionals Workgroup.

Is Certification Required To Be A Notary Signing Agent?

Though certification isn’t mandatory, it is a critical factor companies look for when choosing a Signing Agent for assignments. Certification through the NNA also makes Notaries eligible for a directory listing, which can help market your services if you offer general Notary services. 

“Certification is absolutely vital to all Notary Signing Agents, regardless of experience level,” said Marcy Tiberio, a veteran NSA from Rochester, New York, and owner of Professional Notary Services, Inc. She explained that when a Signing Agent is certified, it provides the lender assurance that the Signing Agent is fully qualified and won’t make mistakes that could result in lawsuits against the company or the Signing Agent.

If you also offer general Notary services, an additional benefit of NNA certification is that it qualifies you for a listing on the NNA's directory, which can help customers seeking a mobile Notary to locate and get in touch with you.

What Should I Look For When Choosing A Certification Program?

For Signing Agents looking for a certification program, Tiberio recommended looking for a reputable program that is recognized by companies you want to work with. Check out the company websites for their requirements, or reach out to your contacts.

“Lenders and title companies are looking for professionals to be on their team who are knowledgeable about the industry as a whole,” she said. “Make certain the certification gives you a comprehensive overview of your role as a Notary Signing Agent, as well as guidance to where you can find further information and ongoing support and training.”

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor at the National Notary Association.

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Become Notary Signing Agent ad

Related Articles:

Signing Agent FAQ: 5 things you need to know about background screenings

Notary Signing Agent Credentials: Making them easy to verify

Borrower myths about Notary Signing Agents

Additional Resources:

How To Become A Notary Signing Agent


Add your comment

Susanne Banister

18 Jul 2016

I am a Notary and am seriously thinking on becoming a Singing Agent. What steps do I need to take and how long does it take.

National Notary Association

20 Jul 2016

Hello. Please see the information on this page to get started:


18 Jul 2016

How does a Notary Signing Agent avoid accidental unauthorized practice of law when going over the closing documents with the client? Normally, a notary public is expected to NOT try to explain the documents to the person who is signing.

Rosalia Griego

18 Jul 2016

How do I apply for a notary code?

National Notary Association

21 Jul 2016

Hello. If you're referring to a copy of The Notary Public Code of Professional Resposibility, it is available online here:

Odalis Yakelin Perez Castillo

18 Jul 2016

I 'm interest in Signing Agents looking for a certificación programa. Please seding me any information

National Notary Association

21 Jul 2016

Hello. You can start with the information here:

Patricia Dillon

26 Jul 2016

I have a certification with another company which is not NNA. Can I put that information on my profile on my NNA membership?.

National Notary Association

26 Jul 2016

Hello. If you're referring to your profile, yes-you may enter that information in the "Other Information" section of the profile.

Sue Butler

13 Jun 2017

I have purchased my package, passed my background check. How do I take my test?

National Notary Association

16 Jun 2017

Hello Sue. Please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 and they should be able to assist you.


30 Oct 2017

Once you're a signing agent how long does it last?

National Notary Association

03 Nov 2017

Hello. If you are asking about NNA Notary Signing Agent Certification, the NNA’s Notary Signing Agent Certification is effective for one year. Lenders and title companies typically require background screenings be performed annually. They want screenings no more than one year old at the time of loan signings. Your Certification date is the date your background screening was completed. Renewing NSAs should be aware that the screening takes 5-15 days, and they should begin the renewal prior to the one-year term to avoid a gap in Certification.

Gloria White

18 Aug 2018

I just take my notrary test for to be certication the questions were not hard but I was so nervous and careless mistakes and Vance's so I have one more time to take it will they give me the same questions again second time

28 Mar 2019

Is there an option to renew only my background check or do I have to also buy a package and retake the test??

National Notary Association

29 Mar 2019

Hello. Please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 and they can assist you with the renewal process.


20 Jun 2020

If a became a Notary Signing Agent, can I do regular notaries as a Notary Public?

National Notary Association

23 Jun 2020

Hello. Yes, you may also continue to perform other notarizations authorized by your state that are not related to loan documents.

Doris Cox Meshack

29 Jun 2020

If it is not required to be one a signing agent by law to sign loan documents, why charge so much money annually to be recertified. It just seems greedy. I am certified by another company, and they do not charge an annual recert.

Wanda Mendoza

11 Dec 2020

I purchased a 1 year membership with the NNA as required by some of the closing companies that I am trying to sign up with. When I emailed the "customer care" department to find out how I can update my profile with my credentials (from another company) I was told that UNLESS I pay and do the NNA's LSA course they will not accept my certification and I will ONLY be listed on their database as a Notary.

05 Jan 2021

I will be taking my NNA certification exam soon. What is the worse that can happen if I fail the first time? Will there be an opportunity to retake the exam? Will I have to pay for the retake? Thank you

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. The exam may be taken as many times as necessary at no additional cost.

William Munoz

01 Mar 2021

Where can I get a copy of my NNA certification. Companies are asking for it but I can’t seem to find it when I log in.

National Notary Association

08 Mar 2021

Hello, William. One of our Customer Care representatives has emailed you the link to the certification information on your profile that you can use.

08 Mar 2021

Hello, can you have someone email me my certification? I cant seem to find it. Thanks.

National Notary Association

09 Mar 2021

Hello. The NNA does not provide physical certificates for NSA certification. However, you can use information on your profile as proof of certification. Please see here for more information:

14 Aug 2021

I am procrastinating about taking the notary signing agent test.. I have everything. Question 1) is the test timed? Question 2) what happens if I fail, when can I retake

National Notary Association

17 Aug 2021

Hello. The exam is not timed and you may take the exam as many times as you would like until you pass.

23 Sep 2021

I took the NSA certification exam and passed it, how do I prove that if there's no pdf certificate at the end?

National Notary Association

06 Oct 2021

Hello. Please see this article for more information:

Lourdes Pagan

04 Apr 2022

Hello, do I need to purchase the NNA membership to get my background check and take the test, or can I purchase it afterwards?

National Notary Association

07 Apr 2022

Hello. Please contact our Customer Care team at and they will be happy to answer any questions you have.

22 Jun 2022

I purchase the NSA course last year and never did anything with it, is it still valid??

National Notary Association

24 Jun 2022

Thank you for reaching out. The course has been extended until Sep 4 2022 which is the last day of the background screening date.

Jerrice Bridges

05 Jul 2022

I want to get certified again

National Notary Association

05 Jul 2022

Hello. More information is available online on renewal here:


07 Aug 2022

Hello-i will be purchasing the exam to become a certified signing agent, once i pass do i still have to take the state of Maryland exam? Also would i be able to show my NNA certification in order to take the Maryland State wxam?

National Notary Association

10 Aug 2022

Thank you for reaching out! A member of our Customer Care team will call you to help clarify the process of becoming a commissioned Notary in Maryland and getting your NSA certification.

Kimberly birdsong

23 Feb 2023

I recently purchased the background screening only as it was advised to do so to prevent a backlog. My certification is due this month. Is there a way to purchase the certification only?

National Notary Association

14 Mar 2023

Hello Kimberly. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Brianna Thurmond

20 Jul 2023

If I don't pass the loan signing agent exam the first. Do I have to wait 30 days like the regular notary exam, before I can take it again?

National Notary Association

18 Sep 2023

Hi Brianna. The NSA exam does not have a waiting period. It can be taken right after your attempt.

27 Jul 2023

I need my certificate have been a notary for many years and resigned up and paid a hefty amount for 4 years or ,5 need my certificate. Notary 6/13/2027-28. Thank you

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2023

Hello. If you received your commission through the NNA, please contact our Customer Care team at for assistance.


27 Jul 2023

I recently became a notary with NNA and I live in Florida. I am now looking into becoming a signing agent. My question is; if I've already paid for insurance and membership fees, am I required to pay those fees again?

National Notary Association

31 Jul 2023

Hello. You do not have to purchase a second NNA membership. Please see here for more information:

16 Sep 2023

Do we receive a certificate of completion after passing loan signing exam

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2024

The NNA does not provide physical certificates for NSA certification. However, you can use the information on your profile as proof of certification. Once you successfully pass your NSA background screening AND our NSA Certification exam, you will have earned your NNA Certified and Background Screened Certification and your Certification will appear next to your listing on


09 Feb 2024

my wife and i want to become notaries. how many memberships and courses do i buy in order to get our certification?

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2024

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are located in?

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