What is allowed for Notary job shadowing?

Hello, legal question here regarding the state of New Jersey. I remember covering this topic at some point a while ago but I just can’t remember the answer. Recently I had a newer notary ask me if it would be ok for them to sit in on one of my loan signings for additional training. Would this be ok? Or would this be outside state regulations?

Don’t know that state regulations even exist on this subject. BUT, as you’re dealing with a lot of the signer’s private info, it’s generally considered a NO-NO everywhere, (violation of most privacy policies) unless you get Hiring Party, Title Co., Lender, and Signers approval. And I’d want it in writing from all concerned.


WA State goes against confidentiality guide lines and some vendors request you sign an agreement that you will NOT have other notaries shadow during signing. I have assisted other notary newbies with answering their questions but have also stopped that practice. Those that I helped threw in the towel and are no longer notaries.

When I first started loan signings in 1998, a loan officer brought me along for about a dozen assignments, training me to obtain a clean, mistake-free, signed loan. This was my “loan signing” training class. It was pretty much point-and-sign because anything else is UPL. All loan packages were overnighted, signed, and overnighted back to escrow, no need to own a printer


Interesting. Ok so here is a twist on the question. What if the Title Agent on the transaction sits in with the Notary and Signer. With the Title agent helping explain documents to a new notary? I ask because I know a notary is supposed to act as a neutral 3rd party, but would the Title Agent sitting in cause an issue to that?

I know this is directed to Arichter, but…no - the title agent is privy to all the info already (trust me on this) - it’s when you bring someone in with NO connection to the signing at all that creates the breach of confidentiality.


Understood. So bringing in another notary to train would be a breach. But a Title agent already on the transaction would be ok since they have access to all the info already?

When you are an in-house notary at a title company, the agent might sit with you and explain the loan while you notarize the documents. Usually, when you are in-house, you will also be responsible for packaging the loan. Of course, that doesn’t happen if you’re a remote closer. Bad habits like cigarette smoking, poor hygiene, being inappropriately dressed, and bringing your children to an assignment are also unacceptable.


Thanks for the information! Being professional is always a must like you mentioned. I wouldn’t ever bring a child on a job either. But it is good to know brining another notary to shadow is not accepted.

Edit: I removed “generally” from my response to avoid any confusion.

@brianmirante1 As @LindaH-FL stated above (within this thread), “when you bring someone in with NO connection to the signing at all that creates the breach of confidentiality.

So, not only is it “not generally accepted,” it would present a breach of confidentiality. As a Professional Signing Agent [PSA], avoid any unseemly activity(ies), etc. including breach of confidentiality, lack of document security, and so forth.

All of these situations should already be in your knowledge base considering the training programs & certifications that you’ve identified as completed within your profile.


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Yes, I figured as such. I have never brought anyone to any of my signings, the question was posted because I was looking to get a specific answer to a friend of mine looking to be a notary and wanted to shadow. The confusion was in where they have heard of other notaries having done this in the past. It conflicted with what was taught so I needed to verify specifically what was (and was not) acceptable. What I meant by “generally” was the way in which my last course used it which was “always unless something very specific (and usually never happening) applied.” I should clarify it was not to confuse anyone into doing this.

Get a signing that requires a witness. Have your student tag along.


@SIGNWITHE Interesting suggestion . . .

Under most circumstances, the signers do provide the witness(es).

IME in the instances wherein the signers provide the witness, they’ll usually intimate ahead of the scheduled signing appointment they want to execute the documents FIRST that require witness(es).

The early dismissal of witness(es) has been typically stated for one of the two following reasons:

  1. Document content privacy/confidentiality
  2. Appreciate the witness(es) & don’t want to utilize/waste too much of their time


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Disagree with the statement of getting a signing needing a witness and bring your student.

Anytime I had a situation where I had to provide a witness, my witness sat in another room until witnessing time came, they came in, watched, signed and returned to their corner. Why? The signer’s personal and financial transaction was none of their business.



Good Advice ! LindaH is also correct, but we’ve had many where the witness is at table.

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I totally agree! I have asked my witnesses to come 10-15 min prior to end the signing. Notjing is spoken of in front. Another is the ID’S are shown to the witness and then the journal is signed. Quite simple. HIPPA is for everything!!!

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If you’re offering to mentor a newbie, set up a “fake” signing with a third friend as the signer. Go through the document package so they can observe. It would benefit them if the friend were to act with a difficult attitude, constantly interrupt, answer their phone, asking lots of questions you can’t answer…make it as real as possible. I would include a wanky notary certificates and a General Acknowledgement. This will get them acquainted with catching/correcting errors.


My first signings in 2001 were for a title company. I am a real estare agent and my title company friends were overwhelmed with refis. Asked if I wanted a job. After training of 1 day, title officer sat in on several until she thought I was ok.

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Best bet is to use a redacted doc set to secure personal private data, it is time consuming to black out private data, but you really only need to do it once. Most loan packages are very similar as far as content, I would just pick one of the larger ones that come along, and go through it with a sharpie or use Adobe to black out anything private. Then you could use the same one over and over again for training.

This is an interesting topic that’s been discussed numerous times over the years. As Loan Signing Agents, we should be knowledgeable about the "Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act** (GLBA ), also known as the “Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999” covering “Financial Privacy Rule”. As independent contractors, we can not operate like financial companies, real estate agencies that have “trainers” to train their new employees. That’s why shadowing a LSAs on loan signing assignments are not considered best practice.

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