Reasons to Get Your Notary Public License in Your State
Want to know how to become a notary public of your state? There are many reasons why you might want to get your Notary Public Commission. We are going to cover a few, and as we do perhaps we will hit on your reason for wanting to be a Notary.
As we consider these reasons, you may want to think about why other people are wanting to get their commission in their state. You might discover some new opportunities once you receive your new commission from your Secretary of State.
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Perhaps Being a Notary is Required for Your Job - If it is - Read This!
If you recently got a job or a promotion that requires you to be a Notary Public then congratulations! That’s actually how I ended up starting my own successful Notary business. I became a Notary for the bank that I worked at.
That was my introduction to work as an officially commissioned Notary Public.
It is important for you to understand your boundaries as a Notary Public when working for an employer. Most states have restrictions on what your employer is and is not allowed to have you do as a Notary.
For example, in my state, my employer was not allowed to restrict how I use my Notary Public Commission when I wasn’t on the clock. Although the company did have some rules of conduct that stated I wasn’t allowed to do loan signings.
Ultimately I had already started my own Loan Signing business before I found out what their “Code of Conduct” was regarding loan signings, and by then I was making more money with my side business on nights and weekends than I was working for them. So I quit and went full-time in my Notary Public Loan Signing Business.
Adding Value and Experience to Your Resumé
Becoming a Notary is a great way to add value and experience to your resumé. It shows that you not only completed the required training, but that you passed a background check and that your state trusts you as an officiant for the state.
When a potential employer sees that you are an officially commissioned Notary Public for your state, your trust factor shoots straight to 100%!
This is a great way to show that as a Notary Public, you are a serious professional and a capable individual. It is also a great way to give you an edge over other applicants for the same position, if the job requires you to be a Notary.
Starting a Successful Business as a Notary Public Loan Signing Agent.
Becoming a Certified Notary Signing Agent is a great way to make some good money. Every home loan requires a Notary to be present at the loan closing, to verify and authenticate the people who are signing the loan documents, and to make sure that the loan package gets signed properly.
The first step in that process is to become a Notary Public for your state. After that, you will need to get the training to properly walk a client through the loan signing process, accurately and correctly filling out the loan package, and notarizing all the required documents.
After looking into all of the options and programs for getting properly trained in loan documents, I decided to go through the Loan Signing System to become a Certified Loan Signing Agent. I would highly recommend going through them to get your training if you are wanting to become a Notary Signing Agent.
How to Prepare for Getting Your Notary Public Commission in Your State
While every state is different, and your ability to take courses and pass tests might be faster or shorter than others, I would give yourself about 8-12 weeks to become a Notary Public and get your new commission in your state, if you really apply yourself.
Meeting the Qualifications for Becoming a Notary Public in Your State.
The qualifications for becoming a Notary Public will differ from state to state, but here are some general ideas of what states require:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a permanent legal resident of the United States, and the state you will receive your Notary Commission in.
- Not have had a Notary commission revoked in the last 10-years before the date of application
- Not convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit during the 10-year period preceding the date of Notary application
- Have a current state ID, so check your expiration date
- Be able to read and write English
- Pass the notary exam
Notary Public Background Checks
It is important to understand that you will probably have to pay a fee to get a background check as a part of your Notary application process Make sure you have all your personal information ready to fill out the paperwork, especially if you have had any name changes, be sure to have supporting documentation for any name changes
Since the whole point of being a Notary Public is to be a trusted official for your state, it is imperative to be 100% honest in your application.
If you have a background with a conviction of a felony or crime involved, if it wasn’t longer than 10 years ago, then you may want to contact your Secretary of State ahead of time to make sure that it isn’t going to be a problem.
That last thing you want is to pay to take all of your Notary training, fees and costs, only to find out that you are disqualified from being a Notary for your state. Your background check will have an expiration date, so make sure you keep it updated.
Costs and Fees
Notary applicants have costs and fees that will also vary from state to state. In my state there is a $40 application fee to apply for a Notary Commission.
As you make a plan to become a notary, here are some costs and fees that may or may not apply. I suggest doing your home work to get the exact amounts, and determine the specific costs for becoming a Notary in your situation. Some states require an application fee and notary bond
- Notary training courses cost
- Notary exam fee
- Notary Application Fee (state filing fee)
- Background Check Fee
- Fingerprinting Fee
- Error and Omissions Insurance (we suggest talking to an insurance agency or a licensed insurance agent about your best options for an e&o policy)
- Notary Bond or Surety Bond (if required by your state)
There may some additional cost and additional requirements that we have not covered, but this list is a good reference.
Since each state has laws and rules that govern how a Notary Public is allowed to operate, it is important for you to get state specific training for where you are. Being a Notary is a public office so following requirements for your state is vital.
Find out what Notary Training is required in Your State
As an example, some states have strict requirements regarding how a Notary Journal is laid out, filled out, and kept, while other states don’t even require you to have a Notary journal.
Some states allow you to keep an electronic notary journal while others will require a bound paper journal be kept for 7 years. Again, this is a public office so be sure to follow the guidelines of your state.
Where to Get the State Required Notary Training.
If you are looking for state specific training to get your commission, I recommend going through notary.net for your training courses
Notary.net has an easy to navigate state specific Notary training program that will get you the training that you need to pass the test and get your commission.
(Currently notary.net does not have training for the states of Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada, North Carolina- if you live in one of these states we suggest training through the National Notary Association)
How Long the Notary Training will take
As I mentioned earlier, once you are signed up for your state specific training through notary.net, I would give yourself 8-12 weeks for you to take the course, submit all the required paperwork, background checks, etc.
If it happens sooner that 8-12 weeks, then great! If it takes you a little longer to get your Notary Commission and necessary notary supplies no big deal. I am only giving you a ball park idea of how long this process should take. You may be able to check on the status of your application by calling your Secretary of State office. Keep in mind they are only open on business days
Remember, for some of this you will be dealing with your state government, which is not always the most efficient (insert a frustrated chuckle).
What Happens After You Pass Your Notary Public Test
Again, it is different for every state, but after you congratulate yourself for passing your Notary test, there are still some more steps. Keep pressing forward.
Taking Your Oath of Office
As far as I know, most states require you to be sworn in as an official acting on behalf of your Secretary of State. As I mentioned, notary laws differ from state to state, but If that is the case for you then you will have to find another Notary Public, who is not related to you, to swear you in and fill out and notarize your application.
You can usually find a notary that is willing to administer your notarial oath at your local UPS Store or Postal Annex business.
Again, this process is different for every state, but you will be informed of your state specific requirements when you go through your notary.net training.
Sending in Your Notary Application
There may be an online application for your state, with an easy application process , so you might want to check. This could speed things up after you pass your notary exam.
Once you submit your application it is kind of a waiting game. Some states have a pretty smooth process, while others do not.
Keep in mind that the government is only open on business days If you followed your states requirements then it is time to be patient.
Waiting for your Official Notary Commission Certificate
This is an exciting time, waiting for your official Notary Commission to come in the mail. But I would suggest you don’t just waste this time. Use it to get ready.
Get Ready for Notary Business
If you are going to be using your commission as an employee for another company then find out how your place of employment wants you to order your notary seal of stamp and notary journal.
You may also want to look into joining the American Association of Notaries. They can be helpful in your development as a notary, and can often provide some expert assistance.
Getting Your Notary Supplies
If you are going to be starting your own business as Notary Public Loan Signing Agent, then it is time to start collecting your office supplies.
You can order your Notary Stamp and Journal through notary.net, and get most of your office supplies for a good price at Staples.com. Also, remember that error and omissions insurance policies are a smart thing to have. New notaries will often overlook this and can end up being liable for mistakes on legal documents if something ends up in court.
Preparing for your First Appointment as a New Notary Public
Once you have your new commission stamp, and journal (if required by your state), then you are ready to officially perform notarial acts and are open for business!
Don’t overthink your first notary appointment, trust your training. You are ready to take on any notarial acts that come your way. However, from time to time you will have questions and so I recommend that if you are on social media, that you join some Facebook Notary Groups.
You should be able to find a good Notary group that is state specific, so the advice you get will be appropriate.
If you are wanting to become a Notary Signing Agent to build and grow a loan signing business, then I know that the Loan Signing System will not only teach you everything you need to know, but they have an amazing support community on their Facebook group.