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What's The Difference Between A Mobile Notary And A Notary Signing Agent?

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What's The Difference Between A Mobile Notary And A Notary Signing Agent?

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Updated 10-11-21. Many Notary entrepreneurs are interested in offering general mobile Notary services as well as working as Signing Agents -- but they are not the same. This guide will help you compare and understand the roles of Mobile Notaries and Notary Signing Agents.

MOBILE NOTARIES

Requirements: Must have a Notary commission.

Services performed: Mobile Notaries travel to the customer's location to perform notarizations. They may charge up to the maximum fee set by state law for notarization services. In some states, they may also charge a separate travel fee for traveling to the customer's location.

Where Mobile Notaries can offer services: Mobile Notaries may offer services in any U.S. state where they hold a Notary commission.

NOTARY SIGNING AGENTS

Requirements: Must have a Notary commission. Must be background screened and certified to meet compliance requirements for companies the Signing Agent performs assignments for. Requires a Title Insurance License, Closing Agent License or other special licensing in certain states.*

Services performed: Notary Signing Agents notarize signatures on loan documents and will travel to the signer's location to do so. They are typically expected to perform additional duties involving loan document packages during assignments, such as printing and delivering loan document packages to the signer, ensuring that all needed signatures and initials are obtained for a loan document package, and mailing completed loan document packages to the title company or lender.

Where Notary Signing Agents can offer services: Notary Signing Agents are restricted from conducting business in some states.*

*For a full list of NSA restrictions by state, please visit https://www.nationalnotary.org/support/signing-agents/state-restrictions.

Additional Resources:

Signing Agent FAQ

46 Comments

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judy Gottage

21 Jan 2019

I really love the new information in this email. Thank you

Judi Carlson-Mattedi

21 Jan 2019

I am glad that this has been posted, so many Notarys think just because they are a notary they can do anthing. Thank you for showing the difference.

Brandi

21 Jan 2019

This is made up. You go through a background check to get a notary. Signing agent is a term that was never used in all the years of being a notary. This is a company that is once again making money on generic terms. I hate when companies make up terms and act like its different or necessary. Remember people, a notary only verifies identity. In this generation you actually make less money as a notary. It is not our job to give legal advice. I could go on. Just stop already.

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2019

Hello. Please see this article for more information on why lenders request background screenings from Notary Signing Agents that perform loan document signing assignments: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/05/why-notary-signing-agents-need-background-screenings

Lancess Williams

21 Jan 2019

How do I go about getting my signing agent certificate in Pennsylvania? My commission is about to be up in November so I want to do it all at the same time

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2019

Hello. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/pennsylvania/signing-agent

Allison Maxwell Hester

23 Jan 2019

We should not have to do this every year. It is literally taking advantage of the lowest paid person in the closing process and making them pay exhorbant fees every year and conference they could easily do on-line and and would cost hundreds less. Shame on the NNA

Andrea Derrick

24 Jan 2019

I COMPLETEY agree with Brandi and Allison. Regular notaries public are background screened/checked and verify identity the same as “signing agents”. Signing agents cannot charge any more for the service they provide yet have to pay more upfront and ongoing to hold that title. Sounds like someone’s idea to make more money off of us.

National Notary Association

24 Jan 2019

Hello. Please see this article for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/05/why-notary-signing-agents-need-background-screenings

Mera

02 Feb 2019

How do I become a signing agent in Ga.

National Notary Association

06 Feb 2019

Hello. Georgia requires an attorney admitted to the state bar to be present or involved in the closing of real property transactions.

westgeorgianotary@gmail.com

07 Mar 2019

I'm a little confused, reluctant and mortified at some of the attacks to the NNA. I do not work for them; however, I agree that SOME sites seem to use language that is a little intimidating. Some of the site will warrant you to believe you have to do , and you have to do that. There seems to be a lot of upfront fees; however when you google being an notary entrepreneur the start up cost is typically $200, I'm quickly approaching that amount with supplies, a website and business cards. Now I'm reading that It may or may not be financially empowering to become a signing agent. I've read so much over the past month/ I'm tired of reading. I wanted to secure an actual business EIN number; one site almost received $199 from me. However; I always call the company and ask questions before paying for anything. As entrepreneurs we should all conduct our own due diligence before purchasing a product. Its up to us to fact find; just remember, the same way you feel about the NAA a customer may strongly voice their concern and post negative information about your business practices. Hopefully as you go through this journey, you'll learn a lot and pay it forward to the next individual who wants to become a notary.

Hania Torres

12 Jun 2019

Sometimes is kind of confuse, ok, I read about the difference of Mobile Notary and Signing Agent, what about a Notary who has their base office?

Derrick.Spruill@Magnificent-Cleaning.com

08 Jul 2019

They’re both the same. What this article does not mention, what a Mobile Notary is not? what a Notary signing agent is not. Don’t be confused by the word play.

tiffanydfunk@gmail.com

20 Jul 2019

As I read through the comments, I felt compelled to respond because it seems that there are some who are commenting, who do not understand that a notary signing agent is different than a notary. I read where one even said that a notary can not charge for their service. I didn't even know about notary signing agents until I refinanced my home and a signing agent came out to my house. That is actually how I found out about this job and began to do my own research. I actually became a notary shortly after not even realizing that the guy who came to close the loan was also a notary. I felt that being a notary would be an interesting thing to do and after I became a notary, information was sent to me about become a notary signing agent. In a nutshell, a notary in NC (the state where I am currently commissioned), a notary can charge no more than $5 per signature. A notary signing agent is simply a notary who is hired by title companies and mortgage companies to perform a service by delivering closing document packages and notarizing the signatures and initials of borrowers. While the notary cannot charge the borrowers for their notary services, they will get paid typically anywhere from $75 to $150 per package. So, it is possible to make money as a notary signing agent. A mobile notary is simply a notary who travels but would not make anything over $5 in NC with no compensation for gas or travel expenses. A loan signing agent is also a notary that travels but is compensated by the company who hires him or her and can claim gas and other travel expenses as business expenses on their taxes.

tiffanydfunk@gmail.com

20 Jul 2019

Also, in NC notary signing agents are not required to have insurance or a license. All we really are doing is delivering loan packages and notarizing signatures. We do not give out any legal advice of any kind. We just notarize signatures and can make anywhere from $75 to $150 per package. We do not charge borrowers for our notary services. We are compensated by the companies or lenders who hire us.

Carla Slaney

21 Aug 2019

Thank you for explaining the difference between a Mobile Notary and a Signing Agent. This information has helped me decide which direction I would like to go.

Amber D

21 Aug 2019

In Maryland, Notaries may charge a flat fee of $5 $4 per signature witnessed. This usually takes place at a bank or UPS. The signer comes to the notary. On the other hand, a notary signing agent can charge the same fees travel print fees to the title company or lender. A title insurance license is required in Maryland, if the notary will be witnessing a deed or deed of trust, where a title transfer takes place. There is a difference between a notary and a notary signing agent. It is due to changes in insurance regulations. To witness most mortgages in Maryland, a commission is not sufficient. Title insurance license is also required. Individuals who hold both are known as notary signing agents or TIPIC - title insurance producer independent contractor.

Shelley L Law

19 Dec 2019

I'm a notary in California. i've come to understand that becoming a signing agent is yet another way to get a notary to pay for another round of classes and certifications. I live in a remote area that where few people are interested in driving a couple hundred miles from the nearest big city in order to notarize mortgage documents. Not surprisingly, I do end up doing these signings because the "signing agents" do want to spend all that time traveling. I can print documents and get them to a UPS store even though I don't have a "signing agent" designation.

Shawanna

08 Aug 2020

I moved from Illinois to Texas a few months ago, I’m now trying to become a Notary.(remote Notary) What state would I register with basic of of the state requirements?

National Notary Association

12 Aug 2020

Hello. If you are a resident of Texas, you can find information on becoming a Texas RON here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/texas

Mike Pekock

16 Nov 2020

Very confusing. So in NC. Any extra class or training to be a "mobile" Notary? I currently passed the basic Notary Class

Sandra Rascon

07 Dec 2020

I’m astounded that some notaries still don’t understand RON, specifically NSA. Notary Signing Agents close loans do more than just confirming a signers identity. Refer to your state laws as some state’s do not allow RON. Even then there are often training requirements in some states and in Texas you must be bonded. The pay typically averages 70-150 per loan closing. Lastly, just because you are a mobile notary doesn’t mean you are an NSA.

Vicki B

21 Dec 2020

How does a signing agent hook up with a title company when assignments require a title office to sign in? Like for cash out loan signings.

ROBERT C MODE

02 Apr 2021

HAVR I BOUGHT ALL THE ITEMS NEEDED FOR A NOTARY?

Alicia Howeth

03 Apr 2021

? If I purchased $189 for background check and certificate. Then I realize I need to get the online courses, do I need to purchase the full amount or can I pay the difference since I have already purchased?

National Notary Association

05 Apr 2021

Hello. Please email our Customer Care team at services@nationalnotary.org to request assistance. Please include your name and NNA member number if you have it available.

James White

11 May 2021

Thank you for clarifying the difference between the two!

David v Fuentes

10 Aug 2021

The Secretary of State does not make a distinction. It’s National Notary Association and other web based associations that “provide” $background checks and $certifications to be a sining loan agent! They got me into that conundrum, I am in an office, travel to locations and sign all kinds of documents, including Loan, forbearance, modification, COVID-19 relief, short sales, all loan documents notarized.!

Grace Kelly

18 Oct 2021

This is a really great article :)

Jonathan Francis Scott

18 Oct 2021

Life as a Notary Signing Agent has been one of the best things for me! I do and receive more compensation as one than I could ever think of as a Regular Notary Public or Mobile Notary. I broke the six figure mark as what I consider Part Time basis. I have a regular day job. You cannot say the same as a Mobile Notary or regular Notary Public. Thanks NNA for showing me how to do it.!!

Richard Jackson

18 Oct 2021

There is a BIG difference between a Notary Signing Agent and a Mobile Notary. First, the Mobile Notary only has to identify the person before them, and then notarize their signature and maybe issue an oath or affirmation depending upon the document before them. However, a Notary Signing Agent has to do all of that AND know something about the documents. This is the main difference! The Notary Signing Agent is being paid for their knowledge as well as their notarizations. Secondly, the pay is vastly different. A Mobile Notary in Ohio where I am can only charge up to $5 per notarizations (and a reasonable travel fee). So lets say there's one notarization with a $25 travel fee. That's $30 per appointment. To make $300 for the day one would have to do 10 per day. However, as a Notary Signing Agent, one could do two appointments per day and earn $300 for the day. Lastly, the difference between the two is who pays you. A Mobile Notary is paid by the person whose signature they're notarizing. As a Notary Signing Agent, you are paid by the company (Signing Service, Title Company, or Lending Institution) who hired you. Realities of each is that as a Mobile Notary, you have little to no print and prep time because it's generally one or two documents, and most times the signer already has the document(s). Moreover, you get your money at the time of service. However, the probability of finding 5-10 signings per day is slim to none. As a Notary Signing Agent, you do have to print on both legal and letter size paper with a laser printer (most places will not accept an inkjet printer). You also have prep time because you have to make sure that all of the pages are printed correctly, and because you have knowledge of what docs 'should' be in a packet, you have to ensure that you got them all before leaving out for the signing. Also, each appointment will take between 1/2 hour to an hour to complete and lastly, you don't get paid the same day. Most payments take between two weeks and 30 days. The upside is that between Refis, purchases, sells, equity loans, and like, your probability of doing two or more per day is extremely high in comparison to doing 5-10 Mobile Notary signings per day.

Joe Albitre

18 Oct 2021

Hopefully this will be the final example on mobile vs NSA. A mobile notary is not an NSA. A NSA is a notary first that can perform signings. Think of a tool box. Mobile Notary has a screwdriver. NSA has screwdriver and hammer. Can do more jobs and as a result, add income stream.

Walter Williams

18 Oct 2021

Thank you for sending this information. This really helps; it keeps me on my toes and keeps me informed. I love it. Thank you.

Gloria Ortiz

18 Oct 2021

Thanks NNA team, for the clarification in signing agent, and Mobile Notary.

Cassie F. Bellamy

18 Oct 2021

I agree with most of the notaries listed above with their comments. As a signing agent of which I've been for almost 15 years a little over maybe, we don't get to charge a certain fee. Most likely our fees are set by the signing company that is hiring us. We have all the overhead to include travel, gas, print, wear and tear on our vehicles, and the list goes on. And out of everybody involved including lender who hires title, who hires the online signing company, and then as at the signing agent , we are paid the least out of all of them. It seems these days they are now putting us in a bidding war saying they'll pay such and such somebody will say they will do it for so and so and then somebody comes in with that lower price and I gave up on that. I have my set fees I don't need to do it for a living if they don't want to hire me that's fine. I've been in this too many years that if it's not going to be worth my time then I don't go. Hang in there people it's still an honorable profession.

Ann Bade

09 Nov 2021

Thank you, Cassie, for your input. I agree TOTALLY !

Colleen M.

09 Nov 2021

Thank you so much for this informative information.

Shelly Francis

09 Nov 2021

@tiffanydfunk@gmail.com I totally agree with you. I am fairly new to the business. I just received my commission this year (2021). It seems to be a little confusing. I paid for Notarial Act Notary, then turned around and paid to be a Signing Agent as well. I have purchased the Notarial Act Journal, and also paid for the Signing Agent Log book as well. From what I understand, I can only charge $5 for Notarial Act, and the hiring company for signing agent assignment will compensate me for my services. I get that. But because I have to drive to all locations period…. Regardless of the service that I am called upon, if I have to drive doesn’t that still make me a mobile notary. I’m confused on that part. And I also purchased the required E&O insurance for Notarial Act, but I am now required to purchase more insurance because the original E&O I purchased is not quite enough. So I am now looking for a company for the required insurance because it’s not offered by NNA. As for the extra back ground checks, I’m not understanding, because we could not get a commission unless we were back ground checked from the very beginning of the process. Oh and in Florida where I live, notary’s can also perform a marriage and charge no more than $10, if I am understanding correctly.

National Notary Association

09 Nov 2021

Hello. If you have any questions about background checks, fees or other aspects of work as a Signing Agent, you can read more in the Bulletin's Signing Professionals section: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/signing-professionals. Also, the current maximum fee Florida Notaries can charge for officiating weddings is $30 (FS 117.045 and FS 28.24[24]). Hope this is helpful to you, and good luck with your Notary and Signing Agent work!

Thomas Chin

19 Mar 2022

As a Notary Public novice, the information provided in the comments about NSA was great..thank you...

Fredis palencia

12 Aug 2022

Where can I purchase a certificate for both

National Notary Association

15 Aug 2022

Hello. Can you please clarify if you are asking about Notary certificate wording, or certification training to become a Notary Signing Agent?

notarymobilesigningservicesllc@gmail.com

26 Sep 2022

This is good info. However, as a Notary one of the most important requirements to be a great Notary is reading comprehension. We should understand the different between a mobile notary, signing agent and a RON. I suggest we do our Homeworks. As I am all 3.

Gerard Byrnes

28 Sep 2022

Retired federal law enforcement interested in becoming a Notary Signing Agent in New Jersey. Commissioned as a Notary. Do I need to take a required training course? Could you recommend a course I should take. Thank You

National Notary Association

06 Oct 2022

Hello. If you'd like information on NNA Signing Agent certification and training, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/signing-agent/nsa or contact our Customer Care team at services@nationalnotary.org.

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