Hello, I’m a newly commissioned notary located in Austin, Texas!
I am a bit confused about what training to take on the NNA website in order to become a more valuable notary and signing agent. I took the “Quick Start” Course, but from what I see here, it looks like people take a longer Notary course, as well as a separate NSA certification and membership.
Looking for clarification about which courses are important to take, as well as general starting out tips. Thanks in advance!
Have never taken a course, so can’t comment on that. Just suggest that you do some research on your area, competition, income needed, potential of this job providing it BEFORE you spend a lot of money.
All anyone NEEDS is the NNA Background check (the Certification test & being listed in their directory are included @ $65). Anything more than that is your call. As to ‘value’, in highly populated areas seems their only criteria is how low a fee you’ll accept.
In Internet forums “signing agent” is usually understood to mean a mobile signing agent, who goes to people’s homes or offices to provide notarizations and related services (printing, delivering document to UPS or FedEx, etc.) Most of the tasks in this arena involve real estate, especially refinancing of homes.
I’ve read in other forums that in Texas, many real estate transactions must be notarized in title company offices or attorney’s offices. You should check into the details of that, and figure out if you are going to be able to arrange access to the required offices. If not, you may find it is not feasible to be a signing agent.
Get an EIN - never ever give your social security number to anyone to work;
Get good reliable equipment;
As Ashton said - some loans in TX are required to be closed in a brick & mortar building - title company or attorney’s office; you’ll need to have that in place and include the cost of it in your quoted fees;
Get training that is going to train you for all you want to do - I’d suggest Notary2Pro - Carol and Barbara have various courses along with post-graduate support and a list of companies that hire their graduates.
I’m new at this too, less than a year, and my only advise is to read the forums, especially about FEES. Also, don’t let low ballers to intimidate you with their unreasonable offers, regardless what others say about taking low fee because “you’re new”, you still have the same expenses as an experienced one.
PLEASE don’t take $30 loan modifications, or $85 refinances!.. just my humble advise.
The NNA’s Quick Start course helps you to become a notary, but to become a signing agent, you need to completed the NNA’s signing agent course. It’s several hours of video instruction. Then you take the certification test through them. There are other places you can get the training, but I took it through the NNA. I was able to get my background check, bond, and E&O insurance through them, too, which was very handy. Others on this forum have stated they didn’t care for the NNA training, but I thought it was very good. I’m in Texas, too, in the Dallas area. When you get your training through the NNA, they send you The Complete How To-Guide for notaries. Actually, you should have gotten this with the basic course. I would advice you to work through that book on your own. It’s not a small book, but it has questions at the end of each chapter, which I found very helpful. You have to have an excellent understanding of basic notary procedures and laws before becoming a signing agent. If you have other questions about training through the NNA, feel free to email me if you want. Janet Davis, email@example.com
I’ve also worked in the creative field, and I’m familiar with the idea that undervaluing your time is harmful not only to you, but also to your peers… if every graphic designer charges $10 for a logo, there wouldn’t be any successful graphic designers! I’m glad to see its important here too.
Just so I have a good baseline, what are the bare minimums you consider an acceptable rate for different tasks?
Depends… I’m based in UNION COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, and have seen fellow NSAs that they’re willing to take the $85 refinance, the ones that I reject all the time, but this is when I apply the rule of cost and quality VS go with the rest because of competition. I add my expenses of paper + toner + car usage+ PPE + license + memberships, even clothing for business attire… then let’s do the math… is $85 going to cover part of my expenses???.. at least $125 plus for a refinance (the most common in loan signing) . Not all states charge the same in notarizing an acknowledgment, CA charges $15 while NJ charges $2.50
You’ll have to do your own math of cost and find out how much your signing agents in your area are willing to take. I know, it sounds a bit frustrating and complicated
I like the NNA course or American Notary Association. Yes, take the long course, worth it in the end, as you go along year to year and definitely Take the Time to Know all the Documents in the Closing!! I had years of legal commercial and residential real estate, and still learn alot as I go along.