All about the NSA Exam: How to Prepare, Write, and Become a Certified Notary Signing Agent

What is the NSA exam

The notary signing agent (NSA) exam is a certification designed to test your knowledge in mortgage loan closings and procedures involving transactions such as refinances, reverse mortgages, loan modifications, and more. It also tests your knowledge on general notary laws and on your state’s specific procedures.

The NSA exam certification has a 1-year expiration so you will need to re-certify every year by retesting and passing the exam.

What are the qualifications to take the NSA exam

The qualifications to take the exam are you have to be a licensed and commissioned Notary Public in your state. You should have some general knowledge on how to perform notarizations and be familiar with your state’s notary laws.

What is on the notary exam and what to expect

The exam has 3-parts, and consists of true and false questions and multiple-choice questions. The exam is not timed and you have unlimited chances to take the exam over again in the same sitting, however, you must pass the exam with a 80% or better score.

How to prepare for the notary exam

There is minimal preparation to take the exam because the test is open-book and you go at your own pace. If you go through The National Notary Association to purchase your exam package, there is a self-study guide that is provided with your exam materials that you can use while you take the test. The study guide provides answers to the specific questions that are on the exam and in my opinion, serves as a very effective guide. There are other self-study guides that you could purchase from other sources, but you will need to do your research on what is available and what works best for you.

How to take the notary exam and what’s included in the registration

To register for the exam, you can visit The National Notary Association website. If it’s your first time taking the exam, you should select the package titled, “Become a Signing Agent” under the signing agent tab. If you are retaking the exam, select “Renew as a Signing Agent.”

The cost varies by state, the type of package you choose, and whether it’s your first time or a renewal. At the time of writing, it ranged between $60 and $400.

There is a background-screening component that is included in the packages along with other package components to choose from. After you successfully complete all items in your package, you will be given a platform through The National Notary Association to list your contact information and market your service through for 12 months.

After you pass the notary exam, what are the benefits of becoming certified

When you pass the exam you should be equipped to handle loan-signing packages with ease and confidence. Title companies hire Notary Signing Agents (NSAs) to deliver loan documents to borrowers and oversee the loan signing process. Compensation can range from $30-$150. Fees depend on the type of loan package, number of pages, and/or special instructions given by the title company on how to return the documents. Learn more about understanding notary fees.

And once you’re a certified NSA, be sure to sign up for membership to Notary Jane to help grow your business.

What was your notary exam writing experience like? Share in the comments.

By Kim Jones

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