How to be a notary

What is a Notary Public

How to Be a Notary

A notary public is a public official appointed by the Secretary of State. Each state empowers notaries to perform different duties, such as administering oaths and taking acknowledgments. As a notary, it’s important to remember that you serve the public and may not unreasonably refuse to perform a notarial act for any public member who tenders the statutory fee and meets all requirements prescribed by the statute. In this article, we will discuss how to be a notary.

However, notaries are responsible for not exceeding the authority of the office by offering opinions or advice. A notary must always comply with state law and provide high-quality service while remembering that a notary public does not have the training or authority to prepare legal documents or recommend a course of action in legal transactions. In these cases, it’s best to recommend that an attorney be consulted.

In all cases, it is important for a notary to remain professional and follow the state’s regulations in order to provide accurate and efficient service. Keeping up with changes in the law, staying informed on proper notarial procedures and providing quality customer service are all part of being a successful notary public. Learn more on how to be a notary.

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Steps to Become a Notary Public

The first step in how to be a notary, you’ll first reach out to your Secretary of State. Requirements differ from state to state. In some states, you will be provided with a manual to study and are expected to pass an exam. Depending on each state, the cost to become a notary will vary. There is an application fee and the cost of any background screenings, training and/or required supplies.

There are also renewal fees when your notary commission expires, typically every 2-5 of years. Notaries who choose to become loan signing agents will need to meet separate requirements that are not associated with the Secretary of State, but the basic rules and regulations of performing your notary duties apply regardless of the task or document.

It’s important to remember that while requirements differ from state to state, being a notary public involves more than just a stamp and a seal. You have been entrusted with an important responsibility to ensure the accuracy of documents and the identities of individuals signing them. As a notary, you must act in accordance with the laws of your state at all times. Learn more about the importance of how to be a notary and what it involves.

There are some other great resources online. Please also reference this article, How to Become a Notary Public, when you’re finished reading this one.

How do Notaries Make Money?

There are a variety of ways to bring in revenue as a notary. Keep in mind that you will typically act as an independent contractor and receive a 1099 form.  As such, you are responsible for paying your own taxes. Learn more about how to become a notary.

Here are some of the most common ways to make money.

  1.  Become a loan signing agent. This mobile notary helps facilitate mortgage closings and can earn $100-250 per appointment.  Additionally, since you don’t need any specialized experience or education to become a loan signing agent, it is a great way to jumpstart your entrepreneurial career. Many loan signing agents have built successful businesses in this field.
  2.  A mobile notary is a notary public doing general notary work who travels to a home or office to notarize a specific document or a set of documents. Your state will dictate what you can charge for this service. In most states, there are fees that can also be charged, such as travel time, mileage, parking expenses and any necessary supplies.
  3. You can transcribe and notarize court documents for a specific amount. For instance, you can transcribe and sign depositions and affidavits that witnesses provide before a case is taken to court.  However, it is important to note that notarizing court documents require additional steps beyond simply transcribing the text. The notary must guarantee that the person signing the document is who they say they are, and must also verify their identity with a valid form of identification.
  4. Depending on your state, a notary could be a wedding officiant whose responsibility is to verify the marriage license and other legal requirements of the bride and groom. 
  5. Technology has created a platform for a digital notary. This provides more work opportunities for notaries because of its convenience. If you want to work for an online notary company, ensure you are a commissioned e-notary public.
  6. Become a field inspector. Notaries have the reputation of being reliable, precise, and detail-oriented; these are the essential qualities that a field inspector needs to have. Agencies usually hire independent field inspectors to inspect vehicles or commercial and residential properties visually. Financial and insurance companies require the service of field inspectors to check and validate the information that their clients provide about their properties.
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The growing demand for notary services means that a notary can potentially earn a sizable income. Notaries are needed for a wide range of transactions including loan signings, real estate closings, marriage ceremonies, and more. In addition to their fee for performing the service, many states allow a notary to charge for mileage and other expenses associated with the job, allowing them to earn extra income. If you are interested in learning how to become a notary, then this is the perfect time to start.

Furthermore, technology has allowed notaries to offer remote services online, opening up a world of possibilities for those looking to supplement their income or even go full-time into the industry. With proper management and dedication, a notary can have a lucrative career providing critical services in their community.

A notary has many opportunities to earn a significant income as a side hustle or full-time business.  Just make sure you always follow your state laws and keep current with new rules and regulations. 

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a notary, ensure you check the requirements and the application process specific to your state. Once you become a commissioned notary, don’t limit yourself. Explore all the opportunities shared in this article.

Would you like to learn more about how to be a notary and what is required? Read our article on what documents a notary can sign.

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