what is a notary signing agent x

Finance, legal, and other paper-intensive departments always have a stack of ready documents that must be signed and notarized. This can take forever if clients, lenders, or other external stakeholders are involved in the process. 

This is where a notary signing agent comes in. This blog post will help you understand:

  1. Notary signing agent definition
  2. What do you need a notary signing agent for?
  3. Where to find a notary signing agent
  4. Remote Online Notarization

1. Notary signing agent definition

A notary signing agent or NSA deals with loan documents for an individual or a company. Their main tasks include printing loan documents, meeting up with the signer, notarizing the signature, and sending it ahead for processing in as little time as possible. Thus, NSAs speed up the process to improve efficiency in workflow and remove bottlenecks.

Suppose you or your organization hires a notary signing agent. In that case, you can expect them to deal with most tasks concerning loan documents. However, these responsibilities can also be subject to certain limitations depending on your business’s needs, such as asking the agent to fax the notarized document or send it through a specific mailing service. These stipulations are in place to keep the notary signing agent aligned with the organization’s internal policies.

2. What do you need a notary signing agent for?

A notary signing agent is hired to facilitate a person or organization to sign and notarize loan documents. Organizations cannot afford to dedicate a resource to this task because that can hinder processes in the workplace. Furthermore, notarizing agents are trained specifically for this job. Therefore, they will offer more efficiency and accuracy as opposed to someone you assign from your organization.

Notary signing agents are trained and certified to undergo this task. NSAs have to fulfill several requirements before they can even get hired for a notary signing agent job.

Following are the requirements and certifications that a notary signing agent needs before they can start working in the United States:

1) A notary signing agent is not legally allowed to operate in the U.S. without a notary commission from the notary public. This is the first step towards becoming a recognized and legal NSA. While procedures differ from state to state, here’s what notaries need to do to be eligible for the job;

  • Meet qualifications mandated by the secretary of state
  • Complete and submit an application
  • Pay the state’s filing fee
  • Get training from an approved education vendor (if applicable)
  • Pass a state-administered exam (if applicable)
  • Complete fingerprinting and background check (if applicable)
  • Receive commission certificate from the state
  • Get the surety bond (if applicable)
  • File commission paperwork (and bond) with the Notary regulating official
  • Buy notary supplies

2) It is vital to screen the notary signing agent before hiring them since they’ll deal with sensitive business information. Conduct a proper background check and also ensure that the NSA understands workplace policies and their responsibilities.

3) Like most jobs, signing agents need several licenses to be legally authorized to work in the U.S. These licenses include:

  • Title insurance license
  • Closing agent license
  • State-specific permit (for example, an agent with a California or Florida license is not authorized to operate in New York or Maryland)
  • Notarial certificate

Organizations often hire notary signing agents to simplify workflows and complete menial tasks without expending other dedicated resources. The primary service that notary signing agents offer is to notarize signature documents, mainly for the mortgage and title industry. These agents must travel to the signer’s location if need be and get the sign for notarization.

Furthermore, they are also tasked with other responsibilities, which are as follows:

  • Printing loan documents
  • Delivering loan document packages
  • Ensuring that all necessary signs and initials for the document are obtained from the signer
  • Mailing the loan documents to the lender or title company

A notary signing agent is restricted from offering their services when they do not have the appropriate licensing or when prohibited by state law. For example, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, and Colorado, among others, all have specific state laws that need to be abided by.

Once you have decided to hire a notary signing agent for your organization, the next step is to ensure that you hire the right one.

3. Where to find a notary signing agent

Before finding a notary signing agent, you must first decide the type of notary you are looking for. For example, suppose your work relies on different types of documentation or is based on home loan documents only. In each case, you need to take a different approach to hire a notary.

There are three main types of notary services that you can hire: mobile notary, notary signing agents, and online notary services.

A mobile notary deals with all types of documentation. In contrast, the notary signing agent almost exclusively deals with the notarization and handling of a specific kind of paperwork, for example, home loan documents. Furthermore, mobile notaries often charge a higher fee, and you’re also expected to pay their traveling fees.

Suppose you are a business that requires notarization on several documents. A mobile notary is your best bet, even if it does cost a bit more. On the other hand, choosing a notary signing agent is a no-brainer if your business mainly deals with home loan documents. 

For organizations looking to notarize several documents that are time-sensitive, there is always the option of Remote Online Notarization (RON). RON allows the notarization of several documents easily and cost-efficiently (reducing travel costs). This begs the question, where do you find someone that can notarize your documents.

Some companies can help you get in touch with notary signing agents.

These organizations offer one-time services for single tasks and let you hire an NSA for the long term to fulfill the needs of prolonged assignments. Hiring a notary agent through a reputed organization can be a safer option. Additionally, these organizations screen all notary signing agents who work through them.

There are also other options, such as notaries who work independently. However, working with them can be a hit and miss, especially if you found them online and don’t know them personally. But when a notary is affiliated with an organization, you know their credentials have been verified, and they can be relied on for secrecy and responsibility.

When hiring a notary signing agent, trust is a significant factor. You are handing over your company’s financial details and client information to an individual. This is a huge privacy risk if the notary has not been appropriately screened.

There are a few things that an organization or individual needs to take care of before they hire a notary signing agent. These are as follows:

  • Quick and easy to find

Notary tasks can often be time-sensitive, and a delay in the chain of processes can drastically set back the completion of the process. If you are looking for a notary signing agent, you need to ensure that you go to a place that can get you a notary agent quickly. You cannot spend days on end looking for a notary agent every time you need something notarized. The process should be quick.

  • Offers service at your location

Large businesses do not have the time to go out of their way to send people to the notary office to get documents to notarize. Therefore, the best thing to look for is a notary that will offer traveling as well. This eliminates the downtime and rescheduling from the client or organization applying for the loan. The notary will travel to their location to provide convenience and get the job done faster.

  • Work flexibility

As mentioned before, notarizing can be a time-sensitive task that needs to be done as soon as possible. Unfortunately, most notaries usually work regular business hours. This can leave a huge window where you cannot get documents notarized. Therefore, when looking for a notary, it is advised to look for flexibility with time. That way, if you have a significant transaction that needs to be notarized on the weekend, you will not have to push it forward by two days to get it done.

  • Scalable

Notary services should offer their clients the same attention to detail irrespective of the number of assignments. It shouldn’t matter how many projects you may have to complete, whether 10 or 100, it should all be done with the same quality. Look for a notary that will allow you to scale assignments without hindering performance.

You can find several websites that offer notarization services and agents or hire, but with the fast-paced environment of this day and age, people are looking for more efficient and faster ways to get documents notarized. This is where Remote Online Notarization comes into play. RON allows organizations to cut down on traveling fees and get their documents notarized with convenience.

4. Remote Online Notarization

We are a part of the digital era, and most of our transactions occur online. This begs the question of why isn’t notarization being moved online. The fact of the matter is, companies like PandaDoc Notary are offering online notarization services. In addition, there are several benefits associated with remote notary signing agents. These benefits include:

Convenience

Automation has become a large part of our ecosystem, and its end goal is to offer convenience to people. Similarly, online notary signing agents allow you to enjoy convenience by notarizing your documents in the comfort of your home. This helps both the notary and the customer get tasks done quickly without delays or the need for physical presence and can be performed at any hour of the day.

Cost efficiency

Online notary services offer time and cost-efficiency. Generally, if you want your notary to travel to the signer, mail documents, and create prints, it all comes with a cost. If all of this is shifted online, it will drastically cut costs because there will no longer be a need to mail, travel, or print out hard copies. Everything can be done digitally.

Time efficiency 

Online notary services speed up the workflow. You do not need to wait for the signer to be home or at work; book an appointment and get their signature notarized. Then, you can send them the document and have them sign it at their convenience. Once they are done, you receive the signed copy, and you can carry on with the processing. This process can save precious time for a task that can often be time-sensitive.

Often organizations opt for the E-notarization route to minimize costs and improve time efficiency. Several online notary services can help you create e-signatures; offering 24/7 electronic notarization services to clients and customers to get an online notary signing can help you simplify the process of notarization.

Paperless notarization can help you save much space along with costs for printing and storage. In addition, electronic notary signing means that all the documentation is online and visible to the concerned individuals of the organization. This ensures security and constant backups, which can be pretty much impossible to do with a physical copy.

Wrapping up

Processing loan documentation takes a considerable amount of time, inconveniencing both lender and borrower. This is why online notary signing is fast becoming mainstream. It gets the work done more quickly, is more cost-efficient, and offers convenience and effectiveness.

Digital signatures are getting widely accepted in several states such as Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Wisconsin, Utah, and several other states across the U.S. Just ensure that your E-notary has the proper credentials to prove that they can complete the job and has the notary seal that authorizes them under the notarial act to perform notarization. Remote online notaries or RON is gaining traction for the authentication and E-sign services of your electronic records.

Online notarizations can be conducted remotely using an internet connection and with the help of audio-visual technologies. 

PandaDoc Notary is a notary service used for online notary signing and digital certificates. PandaDoc Notary helps thousands of businesses to notarize their electronic documents from the comfort of their homes without having to schedule visits and deal with paperwork.

PandaDoc Notary offers an all-in-one software to legally collect documents, get the electronic signature by the right person, notarize the sign and manage notarized documents electronically – a great option for businesses that require recurring notarizations swiftly. Learn more about how you can use this solution. Request a demo.

Guy Pearson has been a commissioned notary for more than seven years. He also runs one of the most established Facebook groups for Remote Online Notarization (RON), with more than 7000 members nationwide. Guy is the co-founder and product leader of PandaDoc Notary. His team drives product initiatives in key verticals, such as Legal, Financial, and Real Estate.

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