How to become a successful mobile notary / signing agent
Step 1 - Become a Notary
To become a signing agent or mobile notary, you must first be a commissioned notary public in your state. Please visit http://www.123notary.com/statecontact.asp to find your state's notary division. Some states only require an application, while other states such as California require a complicated proctored exam, fingerprints, FBI background checks, and a sworn oath upon filing your notary bond.
Step 2. Get Notary supplies
You will need a notary seal, bound journal, thumbprinter, acknowledgment pads, jurat pads, certified copies of power of attorney forms, and copy certification by document custodian forms are handy to have too. Additionally, its always good to have a non-inked embosser as a secondary seal since its raised impression can not be photocopied. There are many notary supply companies online that you can purchase from.
Step 3 - Learn the ropes for being a mobile notary / signing agent.
Take a quick e-course!
Step 4 - This is as a side business since business is slow.
Being a signing agent or mobile notary is easy, but getting customers is the hard part, especially in 2010 when business is tight. The signing agent business was brisk from 2003 to 2006, but then slowed down in 2007, and is still slow. However, there is work. Some states get more work than others, and the amount of work there is out there fluctuates in cycles. There are monthly cycles, yearly cycles, and other cycles that don't have a defined length. Lenders seem to often focus on certain states at a time, giving them more loans to sign, while other states have less business. Its ideal to have some other type of work during the day, or a flexible job where you can disappear for an hour and a half to do a signing during the middle of the day.
Step 5 - Become an expert at marketing yourself.
Step 6 - Get certified
The National Notary Association's certification is famous and well respected. Whether you advertise on their site or not, its good to be certified by them. However, on 123notary.com, we only recognize our own certification. Notaries certified by 123notary.com get 78% more visits to their listing than those in comparable positions on
Step 7- Get the best exposure you can.
Its also good to have the best listing you can have. Knowing the secrets of what makes a listing tick is essential, but the secrets are open to the public on http://www.123notary.com/signing-agents-listing-tips.htm. 123notary also offers free tips to notaries who want to know what to do to get the most exposure on our site, and tips for those who want to create their own site. Generally speaking, a listing with a comprehensive notes section, 123notary certification, multiple phone numbers, a company name, good placement, and many additional counties will outperform what we call a "bare bones" listing by five times.
Step 9 - Answer your phone
Notaries who always answer their phone and accept as many jobs as
Step 10 - Dress nicely.
We always hear compliments about the notaries who dress well, and complaints about the notaries who dress poorly. Its worth a small investment to have attractive clothing, so you look professional.
Step 11 - Have all of the right equipment.
A GPS system will get you to the job and make sure your GPS has the new streets too if you live in a growing area. You need a good laser printer. Inkjets are not acceptable in the loan signing business.
Step 12 - Know where all of your Fedex and UPS boxes are.
Lenders want their documents back fast and if you don't know where the drop box is, there could be a delay. Start off by knowing the STAFFED drop off locations in your area as well as drop boxes. Learn where the Airborne express boxes are too. If you do afternoon signings, its sometimes better to go to a staffed station so that you know the package will go out the same evening. Keep fedex / ups forms and envelopes in your car just in case the lender didn't give you one.
Step 13 - Know how to screen companies that call you.
Some signing companies are reliable, but others are not. If you don't pay attention to who you are working for, you might not get paid. If you get called by a company you have not worked for before, check their reputation on our forum and on the notaryrotary.com forum. If you do a quick background check on a company and they still don't pay, 123notary has a page with all the secrets to getting paid at http://www.123notary.com/howto-get-paid-signing-agent.htm and you can see our list of reviewed signing companies at http://www.123notary.com/signco.asp
Step 14 - Keep good records of all the jobs you have done.
You need to invoice signing companies at least once ( often several times ) to get paid. So, keep detailed records of what jobs you did, for what borrower, for what signing companies, the loan number, the date and time, and all other pertinent information so that you can send complete invoices to companies. Notaries who keep careful records will have an easier time getting paid.
Step 15 - Don't be afraid to ask for help.
If you need help at any stage of the game, you can always email us at email@example.com or call us at 888-838-1458 for help whether your a client of ours or not.