What is a Mobile Notary?
A mobile notary is a licensed Notary Public who provides notary services by traveling to the customer’s location to perform those services. Mobile notary services are provided at a location that is the most convenient for the customer, i.e. at the customer’s residence, work location, or in a public neutral spot (coffee shop, library, etc). Mobile notaries will even sometimes travel to nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and jails to provide services.
There are many reasons why mobile notary services are a convenient option. These include the ability to reach customers who don’t drive, who are elderly, or who are otherwise unable to be mobile themselves. Also, since the start of the pandemic, many people have been hesitant about leaving their homes and this still seems to be the case for some individuals such as seniors. Mobile notary services are also convenient in situations where there are multiple signers or multiple witnesses.
Mobile Notary Services
Unlike UPS who provides onsite notary services, a mobile notary services are more accessible and can accommodate same-day service in a variety of locations. Booking an appointment in advance with a UPS notary is often required and the customer will need to come to the UPS location for notary services. Notaries that provide mobile services have flexible service hours including availability after hours, during the weekend, and even on holidays.
Mobile notaries are more in demand than ever. Many Notary Publics are taking their services on the road because of the extra earning potential that it brings. Besides charging a travel fee, some notaries may charge for printing docs or other administrative fees necessary to perform the notarization.
Customers may need a mobile notary to notarize a document for them plus notarize a document for another family member who has a copy of the same document but needs to sign in a different location. This would be considered a second notary transaction that would require a mobile notary to travel to a different location, therefore incurring an additional travel fee.
Mobile Notary Fees
Mobile notaries can charge travel fees in addition to the signing fee set by their state. Depending on your state laws, mobile notaries are allowed to set their own fees outside of the state fees for mobile notarizations. Costs can vary based on the location of the signing, the type of notarization requested, and the size of the document package. A mobile notary signing that requires less travel time will most likely incur a lower fee than a notarization that includes an hour of travel time.
Many mobile notaries are independent contractors who don’t have office space where they can perform notarizations. One reason may be due to the potential to earn less money than traveling to the customer. For example in New York state, the signing fee set by the state is $2.00 per signer.
Not a lot of money right? So just imagine if a mobile notary conducted signings at a home office which permits the customer to travel to them. Clearly there is no travel fee incurred and no financial growth if conducting signings in this fashion especially if becoming an entrepreneur is the goal.
Mobile Notary Training
In most states, there is no special training to become a mobile notary, however making sure you understand your state laws and staying apprised to new notary laws is important whether you provide mobile services or not. There are also multiple online training programs that many notaries take in order to gain more knowledge and confidence.
Becoming a mobile notary will expose you to all kinds of different notarizations. Customers will have questions, however, as long as you are not providing legal advice and staying within the parameters of letting customers know their options and not leading them in a particular direction, you can help customers make an informed decision related to the type of notarization they require.
Many mobile notaries are performing mobile notarizations independently. It’s not always convenient to contact a mentor, signing company, or lender at the signing table. In this case, I would recommend joining a mobile notary network where you can seek additional support. The National Notary Association is a great resource that offers a hotline for notaries to call for support.
Once you become confident in performing mobile notarizations, and, as long as you have a reliable vehicle, a broad knowledge of how to perform notarizations, and all of your essential notary supplies, you can take your services on the road with the potential to earn extra income and become your own boss.