Supplies needed - at a minimum

Hi there - i’m curious what the experienced people (who do this full time) or anyone really, can tell me about what you use day-to-day to do your job.

I have my notary supplies but what is truly needed at home. I have internet, a laser printer (not dual tray), a small scanner and a smart phone.

What I don’t have: a fax, overnight supplies, home phone.

Can ALL docs be printed on legal? How do you usually get the package back? Do you have to scan it right away, or fax? I am considering getting an EFax.

I appreciate any helpful suggestions. I’m not trying to spend a fortune - I already have a pretty nice home office. Thanks!

While a dual tray printer isn’t a necessity it does make your life easier. You can certainly print the documents on all legal sized paper BUT you lose money doing it that way because legal paper is more expensive than letter paper. If a 150 page package is all letter sized and you print it out on legal paper you are losing money for no good reason, and every penny counts! There are apps to separate the documents for you if you have single tray printer so that you can use letter and legal sized paper. I don’t use any because I have a dual tray printer but I did a quick Google search and Page Separator popped up ( I’m sure other folks can give you other suggestions for ones that they use.

I would say also order and keep UPS and FedEx supplies on hand at home. There is no charge for these items and you can’t count on drop boxes always having them and it’s a pain to stop by a staffed location for supplies if you don’t have to. Again, it’s a time saver and your time is money!

If you don’t already have a FedEx and UPS account sign up, they are free and it allows you to print out labels for the companies that send you their shipping information and have you print the label. This also keeps a log of all of the tracking numbers for the labels you print out.

Blue pens

Binder clips

Refill ink for your notary stamp

I don’t see the need for eFax, whenever I’ve had to send “fax backs” I’ve always been able to scan the docs and attach it as a pdf to an email. I haven’t had to send “fax backs” to an actual fax number in years.

I haven’t had a home phone number in years

Those are the main things that I use day to day!


Thank you SO much. Very helpful info!!

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Also keep in mind that there’s a “danger” in becoming too attached to your home office (after all, we’re Mobile!). You’ll want to send back documents right away - within hours - so the ability to scan and send and ship post haste is crucial. No one wants to return home after a signing with package in hand! I stay away from fax/scan backs like the plague - and have done maybe a couple of hand fulls. Some notaries use phone apps or other mobile imaging software to scan and go. Fujitsu scan snap brand (diff models) highly recommended by many (can do a search here or on the rotary site).

Great advice on ship and print logistics from klewis. Don’t forget the ever-practical and necessary BUSINESS CARDS. Don’t run out of those (if you do, make sure you have the e-card version that you can text). Get your name in front of Title companies; but remember to let nursing facilities and other niches know about you.

Thanks for this. It’s why I asked. I don’t understand the whole “scan back” thing. I assume this means with your phone but I cannot understand how that works with potentially hundreds of pages…Sounds like a lot of work. I just figured I would use my home scanner if I had to. But, if I can just stick them in an overnight, that is what I really prefer to do. Is that what most companies want?

Welcome mhoodhood!

*A dual tray printer is not a must, but will help a great deal (mine is a multi-function) (if you choose not to invest in one, you can go through a package that is ‘print per PDF’ and make yourself a list 1-5 letter, 6-14 legal, 15-17 letter etc… It is worth noting that some companies require all legal - be prepared to ask for more $ if it’s a big package - that adds up fast.)

  • paperclips
    *pens -both blue and black (some companies require black instead of blue)
    *extra cases of both sizes of paper always on hand
    *extra toner cartridges
    *a calendar (I maintain a paper one and in my phone)
    *extra ink for your stamp
    *folders (both sizes)
    *I find post-its very helpful, especially if I need to leave a note on a doc
    *I also have a brightly colored, pocked folder that I keep confirmations of upcoming appts in, extra ‘All-Purpose Acknowledgements’, some instruction sheets etc…
    *I second having UPS and FedEx shipping supplies on hand at home and a few in your car.

There are several factors in play on whether or not you return home (do you have other appts that day, time, how far do you live etc…) It really depends on the job and if there’s time to return home with plenty of time to drop - knowing where drop boxes are and times of last pickup can be crucial. I don’t mind returning home to do another QC and any scanning that’s necessary. I have a dual tray printer that’s also a scanner. I use thumb drives to save scanned docs on, then email or upload. Scanning can be a pain, but usually goes pretty quickly and easily and the fee is usually higher where there are scan backs.

Going back home is also an opportunity for practical things like using the restroom, grabbing a snack or quick meal (not out - save $) and perhaps printing for the next appointment if the docs weren’t there before.

Hope this is helpful.

In addition to what others mentioned, I like large rubber bands, about 7 inches long before you stretch them. When you put one around a large pile of paper (say 50 to 200 pages) the pile lies flat, but stays together. The rubber bands are cheaper than binder clips. Once you put it in a envelope, you don’t have to worry about the a clip getting caught on any of the package handling machinery.

Some one else mentioned blank acknowledgement forms. If you state only has one version, but check if you need a different version when someone is signing on behalf of a trust or corporation,

You also want blank forms for other notarial acts, such as oaths/affirmations, and (if allowed in your state) copy certifications.

You should insist on a higher payment if you have to do a scan back of a full package. There are some times when it is necessary - for example on purchase loans that the title company and lender are trying to close and fund on the same day they need a scan back of the package to do so. Like anything else I charge / increase my fee to do scan backs because it does cost me time and effort to do it. Also, the company needs to tell you up front if scan backs are needed and then you need to determine if you have the availability in your schedule to do so and agree upon a fee. If it is only a few pages then I do use an app on my cell phone to scan back the docs from the table (I personally use Cam Scanner). If it is the full package then I do go home and scan back from there before dropping.

This is your business so you can absolutely refuse to do signings that require scan backs, but if you are slow it would be foolish to pass up a deal that requires scan backs since you have the time available and you will get paid more money.