A Notary "PUBLIC" : in USA is a publc official appointed by the state , who is of standard character and having passed notary questions ( if applicable in your state ) and subject to the background check requirements for that state.
I.M.O, He or She does not need any further background checks on yearly basis. Any loss of character or crime conviction , the notary commission can be revoked by the Department of State in your particular state if someone complains.
Obtaining the BG certification every year is probably a safe way for companies to discover any thing in your past that is not discovered by the state leading to your loss of notary commission. We all know how slow the wheels of government turns.
My irritation is that companies insist only NNA checks, and some signing services insist on Sterling background checks.
A quick google , reveals many companies giving background checks for under $30 .
A free report can be ordered from lexis nexis after filling out this form.
So why are companies not accepting other BG checks.
That because The National Notary Association which claims to be an American nonprofit organization, has been in marketing and PR campaigns to basically run a business that intends to serve itself other than to serve notaries.
So go ahead , conduct your own PR & Marketing campaign. Let your title companies and other signing services companies know that you are getting a BG check from a different company for a lower price. They should respect that.
After all they all come from the same databases maintained at national / state / county levels for any criminal convictions.
See my separate thread for BACKGROUND CHECKS.