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

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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

21 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

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