How necessary is a dual tray printer?

Again with the great printer debate. I have spent too much time reading/watching all of the various reviews and opinions on why a dual tray is or is not necessary as a SA opinions are mixed, so I’m asking your opinions. Here is my line of thinking…

  • I have a Brother HL-L6400dwt (dual tray) on back order and on it’s way. I put a TON of time and energy into picking and finding this one.
    -I am currently using a single tray cannon laser printer.
    -I have read/watched many people talk about how it is not that much work to just sort their packages by letter and legal pages when they print and print them separately.
    -With my current printer purchase I will also need to spend another $200-$300 at least on a good scanner.
    -Enter…the Brother MFC-L2730dw (single tray with a built in scanner) for half the price of the above HL-L6400dwt.

Soooo in your experience and opinion, is it worth the money and desk space to stick with the dual tray printer and get an additional desktop scanner -or- is the dual tray not really that big of a necessity and an all in one printer scanner for a lower price is a better choice?

Hello, loan documents are printed on a combination of 2 different size paper (legal and letter) as you stated. This is the primary purpose of a dual tray printer. I can’t imagine doing this business (efficiently) with a single tray printer. The challenge with printing legal and letter separately is keeping the docs in the same order in which you received them (which most require). You may notice barcodes at the bottom of certain (sometimes all) docs. Some lenders have certain software that “reads” these docs electronically (especially for fax backs), and proper order is one of the few reasons for this. I have a Brother HL-L6200DWT and adore it, just for time purposes alone, let alone the dual paper size ability. You will spend way more time trying to put the docs in the PDF paper size you received them in by loading/unloading different sized paper in a single tray. I also have a Epson ES-500W scanner which is amazing. It will scan an entire package in under 2 minutes. At the end of the day, you workload will eventually dictate the equipment you need. Hope this helps!


Thanks for the response! I totally understand what you’re saying. I just have seen many people on youtube (and a mentor of mine) show how they just write down the pager numbers of the legal docs, print that page rage separately, then add them back in. They say it is not that much work at all. I guess I’m looking for more feedback on that without trying it out myself

I hear ya! Like I said, you workload eventually dictates your equipment needs. Good luck!


I’ll add that some title companies put in some extra acknowledgements. I interpret these as being for notaries who don’t have a supply of blank acknowledgements, in case one of the acknowledgements in the documents get spoiled.

If you get the pages out of order, you may have trouble deciding if a certain document needs to be notarized or not, and having some extra acknowledgements floating around in the package can add to the confusion.


:100: Percent totally & completely NECESSARY! (in my opinion)


When I initially began providing these services, I read on multiple forums the comprehensive DISASTERS that other certified notary signing agent [CNSAs] suffered through . . .

I have always endeavored to learn vicariously and not struggle through making the same mistakes previously made by others who kindly shared their angst & frustrations while they utilized a single-tray printer and/or utilizing a ‘page separator’ feature.

At the onset, I purchased a dual-tray printer with the 500-page added feature (additional expense). I’ve been so grateful that I did, especially when reading on the forums that the ‘page separator’ feature is offline/non-functional or other physical technical difficulties experienced with single-tray laser printers for documents comprised of 2 sizes.


If your goal is to provide these services full-time, you’ll want to make every step of your processes to be the most efficient & time-conscious, which enhances your ‘available time.’

Best Wishes :swan:


And your profit - can’t overlook money saved is money earned.

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Dual tray printer is a must for me. I have 4, 1 HP and 3 Brother printers. And an Epson scanner.
I have to print on multiple printers to save time.

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There should be a place besides this forum to advise newbies that a dual tray printer and a scanner ARE A MUST in this business. I learned the hard way and it cost me plenty. Being a signing agent is a 3-part proposition: 1) getting the assignment and prepping (that’s where the printer comes in, kids); 2) fieldwork; and, 3) post-signing stuff (including scanning). If one does not have the tools, it makes no difference how experienced or skilled one is. . . the job cannot be done.

So, make the investment, learn how your gear works, get real efficient and get after it. :grinning:


Thank you all so much for the answers. They are exactly what I needed to hear. I think my next step is diving back into obsessive research to decide if I wanna stick with the Brother HL-L6400DWT or look at a cheaper one. And find a scanner that doesn’t break the bank. Thanks again guys.


Doh! Can’t believe I forgot to include that!! Thank You, LindaH-FL.

I’m glad I have a scanner, both for when I used to do paid mobile notary work, and for lots of other stuff that comes up. I had situations come up that made my portable scanner a better choice than one that’s part of a printer.

Some signing services or title companies wanted to look at the scans before I left the signing. Some wanted to look at the scans before I dropped off the documents. If my scanner was at home attached to the printer, I would have to drive home, do the scans, wait for approval, and then drive 30 or more miles round trip to the nearest FedEx or UPS location. This could double the number of miles I needed to drive, and take an extra hour.

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So do you bring a desktop scanner to client’s houses? I was under the impression that portable scanners could only do one page at a time.

My portable scanner can print 30 pages max per minute but I only put 20 at a time to be safe.

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Printer and scanner I mainly use: Love them
Home office printer: Brother L6200DW dual tray.
Portable Scanner: Epson ES-300WR compact wireless

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My portable scanner can only do one page at a time. I was rarely asked to scan back entire packages, and on the few occasions that was requested, I turned down the assignment.


I’m running two Brother 5200/6200 printers. I just replaced my scanner with an Epson 500W ii. The scanner is lightening fast compared to my older Epson scanner.

Paper quality also improves your profitability. I made the mistake of buying a case of cheap recycled paper. This stud was of such poor quality that after is passed through the printer the fuser turned into something resembling rice paper. It not only chronically jammed but had serious ink bleed through. The final pass through the scanner would often mutilate the page beyond recovery.

Better quality paper slides easier between the pages reducing paper jams in your printer and scanner. Here’s HINT: the brighter the paper the fewer jams you’ll spend time un-jamming. Keep the jam on your toast not in your printer.

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Keep in mind your equipment dictates your prep and response time. The faster you can print and scan, the less time you spend on one assignment, giving you more time to take on more work, and don’t forget, you get what you pay for with such equipment!


Concurred. Yep, that’s why I have 4 dual tray printers:) 3 brother L6200DW, print on two and one for backup, and 1 HP color dual tray

You might try looking for the Brother HL-L6400DW and buying the additional tray separately. When I had to replace mine last year, trying to find the DWT was a monumental pain.
Instead, I was able to find a DW and the additional tray for only $25 more than the whole unit and I didn’t have to wait 3 months.

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