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Notary Signing Agent Quiz: What’s Wrong With This Loan Signing?

Updated 9-6-22.

1. You are in the middle of a loan signing. As you wait for the borrower to sign, he suddenly puts down the document. “I think these interest rates are a lot higher than normal,” he says. “You’ve done a lot of loan signings. I’d like to know your opinion.” What’s wrong here?

A. You can’t comment on his interest rates until the loan signing is completed.
B. You can’t comment on his interest rates until he finishes reading the document.
C. You can’t comment on his interest rates at all — he needs to speak with the lender or title company.
D. You need to make a separate appointment to discuss his interest rates. 

ANSWER: C. A Notary Signing Agent may not explain, interpret or provide legal advice or opinions about a borrower’s loan terms. If the borrower has concerns about the terms of the loan, the borrower needs to contact the lender or title company.

2. A signing service calls to ask if you are available for a loan signing tomorrow. “Be sure to include some extra signed and stamped Notary certificates with the loan package when you return it,” the caller says. “That way, if there’s a mistake, we’ll just attach the extra certificates for you.” What’s wrong here?

A. You have to give the signing service any extra Notary certificates in person.
B. You must mail the extra Notary certificates separately by certified mail.
C. You can only provide one extra Notary certificate per loan signing.
D. It is a highly improper practice — and prohibited by law in many states — to provide anyone with pre-signed, pre-stamped Notary certificates.

ANSWER: D. Providing a pre-signed, pre-stamped, unattached Notary certificate is against the law in many states, including California, Florida and Mississippi. Other states require the certificate to be completed at the same time the notarization takes place, not before or after. Even if you are commissioned in a state that does not explicitly ban this practice in statute, as a professional standard the Notary Signing Agent Code of Conduct specifically prohibits NSAs from complying with such requests due to the risk of an unattached certificate being used for fraud once out of the Signing Agent’s control.

3. You are performing a loan signing for a male borrower in his early 20s. When he hands you his ID, you notice the name on the loan documents is “John Smith, Sr.” but the name on the borrower’s driver’s license says “John Smith, Jr.” “John Smith, Sr. is my dad!” the borrower says. “The bank mixes us up all the time. Don’t worry, I’ll have them correct the loan documents later.” What’s wrong here?

A. You should never notarize if you know the person named in the loan documents is not the person physically present before you.
B. If there’s an error in the loan documents, the lender should be contacted, and a correction requested before proceeding further.
C. You should call the borrower’s father to confirm if he’s telling the truth or not.
D. Both A and B.

ANSWER: D. The borrower has admitted that the name on the loan documents belongs to his father, not him. You cannot simply ignore this and complete the loan signing hoping the documents will be corrected later — the improperly notarized documents could be used to commit mortgage fraud against the father, and you have no way of knowing if you are actually speaking to the father if you contact him by phone to ask if the son is telling the truth. The loan signing must be stopped, and the lender informed that the wrong name is on the loan documents and requires correction.

4. You are in the middle of a closing when the lender calls you. “We had a problem with the interest rate we promised,” the lender says. “To make sure the borrower gets the promised rate, can you please backdate the date of any notarizations to yesterday? It’s just a minor paperwork issue, no big deal.” What’s wrong here?

A. Backdating a Notary certificate is against the law.
B. Entering false information on a Notary certificate could result in your commission being suspended or revoked.
C. Falsifying a Notary certificate could result in civil liability or criminal charges.
D. All of the above. 

ANSWER: D. Backdating a Notary certificate or entering any other false information on a Notary certificate, is against the law, and could result in you losing your commission, being sued for any resulting financial damages, or even facing criminal charges. Never agree to a request to falsify information on a Notary certificate during a loan signing.

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

View All: Quizzes


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08 Jul 2019

stop with the forms over articles


22 Jul 2019

Hello. All Bulletin articles are open to the public to read with no special access requirements. If you are having issues viewing a Bulletin article, please email us at with a description of the problem and the type of device and browser you are using and we will be happy to assist you in resolving the issue.

Stephanie walker

19 Jul 2019

Great knowledge quiz

Thomas Lowe

22 Jul 2019

Excellent short survey of basic information that many notaries don't know or remember in their pursuit of getting a paid signing. They will get paid at the front but what they will have to pay in the back end will erase everything they did before. The Courts have zero sympathy for notaries because they are the bottom of the legal ladder and can be the most easily replaced.

Ellis C

22 Jul 2019

Being a new notary I like these quizzes to keep me on my toes and help me gain experience.

Deborah R

23 Jul 2019

Love the quizzes, it helps to keep my knowledge sharp.

Doris Cox Medhack

26 Jul 2019

I love the quizzes. I have been a notary since 1994, and these quizzes keep my mind alert. I save them ti study.


09 Mar 2020

Love the refresher updates, should be more short quizzes to keep us on our toes.

18 Jun 2020

Hello, what is the best way for new Notaries to get started?

National Notary Association

26 Jun 2020

Hello. If you are interested in starting as a Signing Agent, you can find articles on getting started here: If you are looking for tips on starting a Notary business, you may wish to start with this article and video:

Margaret Fritzler

08 Jul 2020

love the questions

Yolanda Jackson

23 Jul 2020

Keep the quizzes coming, love it.


11 Oct 2020

“I think these interest rates are a lot higher than normal,” he says. “You’ve done a lot of loan signings. I’d like to know your opinion.” Making my opinion noted is not legal advise. No doubt it would be 'bad practice' But forbidden? To say, "in my opinion 3% is a low rate" or "8 percent is a high rate in my opinion". Also what if the customer says, "isn't this a great rate?" If I respond, I can't speak on that, the client is going to wonder if they got a bad rate. Food for thought.

K. Johnson

31 Oct 2020

Love the quizzes, thanks 😊

Thomas Johnson

02 Nov 2020

Looking Forward to taking the test..thxs


10 Nov 2020

4/4 100%

Ivette D Colon

21 Nov 2020

I enjoyed the Quiz! Thank you for a review!


21 Jan 2021

If a signing agent got any of these very easy questions wrong I hope they seek better training.

Wismarck Martinez

22 Feb 2021

Yes. Like quizzes.

Elizabeth Peterson

28 May 2021

Love the quizzes.

Jill A. McKenzie

10 Aug 2021

I enjoy the quizzes.

Diane Peters

10 Aug 2021

Enjoyed the quiz to make sure I'm sure of what I'm doing. Thanks

Evelyn Christine Wilson

10 Aug 2021

Loved it

Cecelia Guichard

10 Aug 2021

Awesome quiz! I really enjoyed taking this quiz.

Bobbie Johnson

01 Sep 2021

Love the quiz, a great way to learn and test your knowledge awesome.

Lauria Brown

08 Sep 2021

How do I renew my notary license

National Notary Association

09 Sep 2021

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

Paul Woodward

08 Sep 2021

Great questions.

Paul Woodward

08 Sep 2021

Great Questions

Elizabeth R.

12 Sep 2022

What if a borrower tells you the loan will be for investment property but loan docs say primary residence. Borrower refuses to contact loan officer. Who should I contact if I suspect fraud?

National Notary Association

12 Sep 2022

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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