Do you think a car printer is worth it? Please share any pros and cons!

Hey everyone, when I first got started an owner of a signing agency asked me if I had a car printer. I was amused and honestly could not image putting a printer in my SUV. Now all of a sudden, I am wondering if it makes sense to do so. I think it could be convenient but also problematic. Most of the seasons besides summer it rains here. The idea of spending more money on equipment also does not sound too appealing. At this point I honestly don’t know if it would make things easier for me. Has anyone invested in a printer for their car? How often do you use it? What printer did you put in the car? Any advice not to put a printer in the car?

There is a plethora of data already on the threads within Notary Cafe. :sparkles::tulip:

If you type ‘car printer’ in the Search field, you’ll find loads of very informative & bountiful resources there.

Always check the Search field initially for any query, then (IF you come up empty-handed) create a thread with your question.

Here is a sampling of some of the available threads for you:

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IF you discover that a completely new thread DOES need to be created for your question, then include within your original post that a thorough Search of the Notary Cafe forum threads has already been completed & include the links of the threads (at least 1 or 2) with the most helpful info.

This will assist us in providing guidance as well as provide helpful info to others who will be viewing your recently created thread. :pray::angel::gem:

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I’m in my sixth year as a notary signing agent, will be retiring soon. Have done a few thousand signings over that time, mainly refi work. Made a ton of money, and have yet to even see a need for a mobile printer.

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Concur completely & totally with Frank B; that is, for my region.

It may be a totally different scenario in various regions. :sparkles::sunglasses:

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“It may be a totally different scenario in various regions”

True. I live in the greater Seattle area, but about 25 miles east, at edge of civilization/foothills for the Cascade mountains. So, snapdocs only sends me signings for here and up to 150 miles further up in the mountains. If I were to grow from side gig to full time NSA, I’d definitely put a printer and scanner in my minivan, to be able to accept signings while already 30+ minutes away and go signing to signing. We shall see what the future holds.

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Tried it. Got a smaller compact laser printer, which did not draw more power than my Dodge Journey’s fairly robust electrical system could handle. Already had portable scanner and laptop. Hooked it all up, worked fine.

Right up to those rough gravel mountain roads. Despite all the cushioning effects I had in place, the printer lasted about two weeks before it’s inside guts were shaken beyond repair.

If you sign in an urban area consisting of paved roads, I can see it. But take the poor printer out if you are heading for rough country!

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Ooooo, hadn’t even thought about shock/vibration and the printer. Really good point, thank you.

So far, my mountain signings have all been on nice roads, save the 1/4 mile gravel dead end that I live on. I’ll have to think about whether anything can be done to pad the printer and damp the vibrations…these modern inexpensive printers, like my Brother HL-L6200DWT, are great prices and built from plastic tissue paper it seems. NOT built for shock.

Hey there, thanks for the comment. I’m also here in the Seattle area (on the west side).

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Just to follow up: all of a sudden, all of that packing you have to remove when buying a new printer makes a lot of sense; styrofoam pieces jammed inside, with strapping tape holding everything in place. Then remove that and I drive on a gravel road…I feel for the poor thing!

I’m in SE Pierce - Graham, Eatonville, Elbe, Morton, the foothills of Rainier. Rough roads are an everyday staple in my territory.

I’ve worked out an agreement with some local real estate offices. I can drop in to do a print now and then, and in return I handle personal GNW for their staff. I bring my own paper with me, and always bring lattes or baked treats as well. It works out.

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That’s a great set up and routine. I hope I’m in the position some day soon to have a better routine. I’d like more consistency. Lattes and baked treats sound delicious. Im in the west area of Seattle. The bridge is closed so it has made driving pretty hectic. I miss the good ol’ days where I can drive north for school, south Kent area for work and never hit traffic. What used to take 15 to 20 min to commute now takes 45 to 60 minutes unfortunately. The only benefit on living in west Seattle is that the ferry ride is not bad over to vashon. I keep hearing over and over that they can’t find vashon loan signers. I’ve gone there twice last week. The ferry fee round trip is a bit over 25 and it takes more time than off vashon appointments. I’ll request a higher than standard fee to go out that way. It’s a cute little town with great coffee so that’s another motivator. I’ll catch up on emails and phone calls when I’m on the ferry.

Hi, I have a printer in my car and it makes my job easier. Many signing companies wait to the last minute to send document.

Yes I was thinking for this reason, if I’m already out and get a order offer I can print at my location. I have a great library system around the area with printing but no legal sizes so that wouldn’t work.

Hi,

As a new Signing Agent and after listening to countless other agents on Youtube, I decided to start as a mobile notary signing agent! So I invested the money and now I have a full functioning office with printer, scanner etc., behind my SUV.

What they don’t tell you is that, it is so hard to get any signing as a new agent that the cost is not beneficial to you (at least where I am in California)!

1- They call it a “car printer” but it takes bunch of stuff for you to make the printer work! If you have your own laser printer with dual tray capabilities then you are ahead $500-650.
2- You need an Inverter and a good one for the amount of load the Laser printer requires, that will run you approximately $300-450.
3- If you run the inverter off your car battery then you are ahead at least another $200 for an AMG 100 Amp Battery stand alone.
4- Document scanner $300-450
5- I have no idea how much of labor a Proffessional will charge you, I did it myself and it took couple of days of research and couple of days to install.

Here is a link from YouTube of what you would need, my setup is similar, except I had decided to go with a stand alone battery and instead of taking the battery out to recharge every night I have a secondary Inverter which can charge the 75lbs., battery!

https://youtu.be/j2coTY9QxiQ

Good luck

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Get one! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been away from home and got a job offer that I wouldn’t have been able to accept if I had to go home to print! I can also reprint a document if borrower screws up or receive a corrected copy from Title on the spot! Mine has been invaluable and has paid for itself many times over. Mine cost under $100 and is connected to an inverter and a wifi. I can print from my phone or iPad.

Really depends on how far you travel for your signings. For most notaries, i don’t think it’s worth it. I had my Honda – all set up – cost me around $1,000. Really didn’t use it much. it was easier to come back home. I gave my honda to my step son 6 months ago. Now, he has a Power Source in his car, that he doesn’t need. I liked having the convenience, but with the limited usage, it was not worth it to do that to my new car. I went to Amazon and ordered a Portable power bank. i think it has like 800 watts. I cannot have my regular printer in my car due to all the jiggling. I have a fujitsu scanner in my back seat. this is all i really need. when iam out, i dont like coming back home to scan. I have a small hp laser printer, that i can take w me, if i know, i will out Far. Getting a portable power bank is the way to go.

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I purchased a mobile setup only a few months after starting out in October 2021. I realized that when I was on the road I was missing alot of signings. Granted it’s a bit spread out here and I cover a kind of large area. That mobile setup paid for itself in short order, maybe a few days. I use my 6200DWT and mobile scanner ALL the time.

Thank you for sharing this important information. I just knew that it was a bad idea

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@jennjoneis Plus, office equipment is quite temperature sensitive. Most devices have a narrow temperature range.

The temperatures reached in parked cars escalates dramatically and promptly. So, you’re spot on!

:swan: