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Notary Bulletin

Demand for Notaries hits all-time high In 2020, particularly mobile Notary services

During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 — which drastically altered the needs and behaviors of Americans in many aspects of life — Notaries across the country experienced an unprecedented surge in demand for notarizations, particularly mobile services.

As people found themselves in “safer at home” lockdowns and “work from home” situations, those who were lucky enough to stay employed capitalized on the life change by refinancing their mortgages, launching home improvement projects and taking other big-ticket financial moves which required notarizations.  Similarly, Notaries across the country saw huge spikes in requests for service on wills, powers of attorney, pension forms, advance medical directives, 401k withdrawal requests and other important personal documents.

Many Signing Agents report they had a very good year with the dramatic increase in refinancings. But mobile Notary business also did amazingly well, as many places where the public generally gets things notarized, like banks or mailbox stores, were shut down, which drove signers to search for Notaries via Google and Yelp!

According to web search data from the National Notary Association’s “Find a Notary Public” page, searches for mobile Notaries increased by an unprecedented 1,750 percent in 2020. For context, in 2019 slightly more than 10,000 people visited that page. In 2020, that number skyrocketed to 187,500.

As a result, while businesses such as restaurants and hotels have struggled with closures during the pandemic, many Notaries report their 2020 business was booming.

For more information on 2020’s impact on Notaries, please see our 3-part 2020 Special Report, starting next week with COVID-19’s effect on Notaries last year.


One Notary, Robyn Palmer Carlson, says her 2020 Notary earnings increased by $10,000 over the previous year. “My general Notary work volume increased due to folks [at home] working on their “To Do” lists for getting their Living Trusts updated, amended or created and improving their financial situation through investments,” she said.

Ellen Smith said that many banks in her area were turning down Notary requests, which caused more customers to seek her out instead. “The notarizations I did for the general public … were due to banks refusing to notarize personal papers or having the lobby locked down,” she said.

Judy Giovanazzi Seki agreed, adding that many county recorders were not allowing walk-in services, requiring her customers to download vital records request forms and have Seki notarize them. “2020 was definitely a busy year!” she said.

With a massive increase in consumer need for notarizations, many people looking for new opportunities income in our struggling economy are applying for Notary commissions. It’s a good idea to avoid delay when applying, as large numbers of applicants combined with government office closures means many states are experiencing backlog in processing commissions. For example, in California, available dates to take the state’s mandatory Notary exam have already filled up several weeks ahead, since each testing location can only accommodate a limited number of applicants due to COVID-19 restrictions.

If you are interested in starting out as a Notary, the NNA can help. You can visit our Become A Notary page or email our Customer Care team at services@nationalnotary.org for assistance in applying for a commission and starting a Notary career.

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

19 Comments

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Alessandra silva

07 Feb 2021

How much does the moblle notary charges for each document?

National Notary Association

08 Feb 2021

Hello. The amount Notaries may charge depends on the fee schedule set by your state's laws. If you can tell us what state you are located in, we can provide you with more specific information.

Robert Jenkins

08 Feb 2021

How much should i for mobile and from home in the state of Florida ?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2021

Hello. Florida does not set a schedule for Notary travel fees. However, please see here for suggested guidelines when state law does not address travel fees: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/06/five-tips-notaries-charging-travel-fees

Joan Macdonald

08 Feb 2021

I am in Arizona, Can you provide more information on a schedule of fees for my state please?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2021

Hello. You can find the fee schedule for common notarial acts in Arizona here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/about-notaries/notary-fees-by-state

Willa Desmit

08 Feb 2021

My state is Ohio, am a licensed RON

Minda

10 Feb 2021

I’m in NJ. What do mobile notaries typically charge as our state laws say you can’t charge more than $2.50 per service.

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2021

Hello. Hello. New Jersey law does not specify whether or not Notaries may charge travel fees in addition to their statutory notarization fee. For general tips and suggestions regarding travel fees, please see this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/06/five-tips-notaries-charging-travel-fees

Aaliyah Gardenhire Rodgers

10 Feb 2021

I am in Georgia, Can you provide more information on a schedule of fees for my state, please?

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2021

Hello. You can find GA fee information here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/about-notaries/notary-fees-by-state

Mandamarie1026@yahoo.com

09 Mar 2021

Hi can someone direct me in the right direction to becoming a mobile notary or how to make a decent income with my notary? Unemployed due to covid and running out of options. Any advice will be greatly appreciated

National Notary Association

09 Mar 2021

Hello. This article provides some tips you may find helpful: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/12/4-steps-to-become-a-mobile-notary

Josephine N/A Miller

09 Mar 2021

I am in Chicago, Illinois how much can I charge for traveling fees and signing documents? If I become a notary? How do I become a certified singing notary agency? Can I work from home and sign documents electronically? How much will I charge per signing documents? Can maje a six figure income being a notary salary? Thanks.

National Notary Association

10 Mar 2021

Hello. You can find the Notary fee schedule for Illinois here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/about-notaries/notary-fees-by-state. Illinois does not set statutory travel fees for Notaries. You can find information about becoming a Signing Agent in Illinois here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/illinois/signing-agent and information about performing remote online notarizations under Illinois temporary emergency rules here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization#Illinois

Michael Perrilloux

13 Apr 2021

Im in Gonzales Louisiana should the notary out here supposed to charge 300.00 to get a car notarized

National Notary Association

29 Apr 2021

Hello. Under Louisiana's civil law system, the state's Notaries have significantly different training and duties than Notaries in common-law states. Also, “Louisiana does not have a statutory fee schedule which would determine or limit what a notary can charge for his services” (LAC 46:XLVI.135[A]).

Lori

03 Jun 2021

Where can I go to maybe have a mentor to better explain to me about what to notarize and what forms I need or don't need. I just want to feel confident...

National Notary Association

04 Jun 2021

Hello. These two articles have suggestions for finding information resources for Notary questions and locating a mentor: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/08/notary-resources-when-you-need-them https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2019/09/how-mentoring-strengthens-the-notary-community

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