It costs $65 for the NNA Signing Agent Exam and Background screening, and that is what many companies require you to have. If you aren't willing to spend $65 on your business in my opinion you are in the wrong line of work.
Is the exam stupid - YEP!
Is it basically just a "money maker" for the NNA - ABSOLUTELY!!
Is it dumb to require a new background screening every year - YOU BETCHA!!!
But like everything else in life sometimes you gotta do something you don't like to get the results that you want / need. The NNA exam and background screening is really the only paid product(s) that I have had companies ask me for, so I definitely wouldn't spend money on an exam or screening from any other company.
My largest client is a builder, I get over 75% of my business from them, and they don't give a flying flip if I have passed the NNA Signing Agent Exam / been background screened / have E&O insurance etc. All they care about is the fact that I've done an EXCELLENT job for them for years, and they never have any problems with my signings. But some companies do require it, and to me it is worth spending a measly $65 bucks and spending 30 minutes taking a stupid test to make THOUSANDS more in a year. Heck, most folks spend more than $65 a month on coffee at Starbucks!
Anywhoo, just my opinion!! The great thing about being self employed is that you can do, or not do, whatever you like!