Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Alaska? We’ve got you covered.
In order to begin operating as a notary signing agent, you will need to:
- Become commissioned as a notary public
- Take an Alaska signing agent training course
- Become Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) compliant
- Purchase your notary supplies
This Notary Signing Agent Alaska article breaks down everything you need to know in easy-to-follow, succinct steps — helping you to commence your career as a loan signing agent with as little difficulty as possible.
Recommended: Purchase E&O insurance in order to ensure that your personal assets are protected in the event of a negligence lawsuit.
What is a Notary Signing Agent
Notary signing agents (NSAs) are crucial in the real estate sector as they act as a guide for borrowers through loan document signings, acknowledging their signatures, and returning documents to the lender.
On the surface, the role of an NSA might seem identical to that of a notary public, but the distinction lies in the level of expertise required for each task.
While a notary public primarily verifies the identities of signatories and acknowledges signatures, an NSA possesses a deeper understanding of loan documents and has been trained to provide unbiased explanations of each document’s purpose.
Although no extra legal qualifications are required to become an NSA in Alaska, undertaking specialized notary training is strongly recommended for a couple of reasons. Namely, because it:
- Makes you a more appealing candidate to lenders, title companies, and other industry recruiters — who typically prefer NSAs with specific training due to the complexity of loan signings
- Ensures that you’re actually capable of competently fulfilling all of the responsibilities associated with being an NSA
If a career as a notary signing agent sounds interesting to you, it’s important to first get your notary public commission.
For a more in-depth look into this process, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Alaska article.
How to Become a Notary Signing Agent in Alaska
If you’re interested in becoming a notary signing agent in Alaska, you can get started today by completing the following steps.
Step 1: Become a Notary Public
In order to become a notary signing agent, you will first need to be commissioned as a notary public in Alaska.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic requirements: In Alaska, applicants are required to be at least 18 years old, be a legal resident of Alaska and the US, and not have been convicted for a felony or had their notary commission revoked in the previous 10 years
- Get a $2,500 notary bond: Next, you’ll be required to obtain a surety bond in the value of $2,500. This provides a protective layer for the general public from the potential financial consequences of any negligence you may commit while performing a notarial act
- Fill out the Alaska application form: The application form is available for you to complete online using the Alaska Online Notary Database or by mailing the paper Application Form to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor
- Submit your notary application and bond: Either upload or mail your signed notary bond and notarized oath of office. If approved, you should receive a copy of your notary commission certificate within two weeks
- Obtain the necessary supplies: After receiving your notary commission, all that’s left for you to do is purchase the equipment you’ll need to be able to offer notary services: a seal/stamp and a journal
Note: For your peace of mind, you may also want to invest in Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance so that you’re protected from the financial consequences of any potential negligence you may commit.
Step 2: Take a Loan Signing Training Course
Notary signing agents are strongly recommended to invest in a specialized loan signing training course despite the fact that it’s not mandatory in Alaska. There are several benefits to doing this, including:
- Comprehensive knowledge: These courses provide you with a deep understanding of mortgage loan signings and effective strategies for dealing with unexpected circumstances, both of which enhance your proficiency as an NSA
- Employability enhancer: In the eyes of an employer, NSAs holding a certificate from a recognized course are far more attractive than those without one; this is because they possess a tangible demonstration of their abilities and dedication
- Confidence booster: The simulated “real-world” experiences of these courses can boost your confidence, enabling you to provide a superior service and fostering positive client interactions
Did you know? A loan signing training course can also prepare you to pass the Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) exam.
We recommend the National Notary Association’s notary signing agent certification course, which includes background screening, a comprehensive guide, a priority notary signing agent listing, and a loan documents sourcebook.
Step 3: Become SPW Compliant
Even though Alaska’s guidelines don’t require you to obtain SPW compliance, it’s highly encouraged due to its potential to improve your career trajectory.
This is similar to the benefit offered by a loan signing course, as both demonstrate your command over essential finance and real estate knowledge — a decisive factor for prospective employers gauging your proficiency as a notary signing agent.
In order to become SPW compliant, you’ll need a successful background screening, an exam clearance, and to obtain Errors and Omissions insurance with at least $25,000 in coverage.
Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies
Once you’ve achieved your notary public commission and successfully completed a certified loan signing course, you’ll be prepared to acquire your essential notary tools.
The main supplies you’ll need include a notary stamp or seal, used for document notarization during loan signings, and a notary record book or journal, used for maintaining a detailed record of each notarial service you execute as a notary signing agent.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend having a look at Notary.net’s affordable and state-specific notary supplies package.
Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance
As a final step, you will likely want to purchase a comprehensive E&O policy.
This is a type of insurance that protects you against any liability that may arise due to negligence or misconduct on your part.
Examples of where an E&O insurance policy can be useful include:
- You’re overseeing a busy loan signing and, in a rush, you accidentally miss a signature. The loan process stalls, the borrower incurs late fees, and you’re hit with a compensation claim.
- While going through a home loan document, you wrongly notarize a signature. The mortgage approval is lost and the client files a claim against you.
- During a loan signing, you skip a page inadvertently. The document is void, leading to delays and extra work. In this case, the lender could choose to file a claim against you in order to be compensated for any additional expenses.
Note: You’ll need to buy an E&O insurance policy in order to become SPW compliant.
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Notary Signing Agent Alaska FAQ
How to become a notary in Alaska?
Assuming an applicant meets Alaska’s minimum requirements, they will need to get a $2,500 surety bond, complete the Notary Public Application form and submit signed and notarized copies of both these documents to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. We explore this process in greater detail in our How to Become a Notary in Alaska article.
How much does it cost to become a notary public in Alaska?
The cost of becoming a notary public in Alaska should fall somewhere in the $100 to $150 range. This figure includes a $40 application fee, the cost of obtaining a surety bond, a notary seal, a journal, and potential exam preparation materials.
Does Alaska accept online notaries?
Notaries in Alaska have been able to apply to perform remote online notarization (RON) since January 2021. Under this legislation, Alaska notaries must record all notarial acts performed remotely in a notary journal. After getting your traditional Notary Public commission, see the Alaska Secretary of State’s website for the steps to getting qualified to offer RONs.
How long does a notary signing agent commission last?
In Alaska, notary commissions typically last for a duration of four years from the date it was initially granted. After this, notaries will be required to apply for renewal or complete the initial application process over again. For additional information on the notary commission process, make sure to check out our Notary Signing Agent Alaska article.
Do I need Errors and Omissions insurance?
While not mandatory for notaries in Alaska, E&O insurance is highly recommended due to the protection and peace of mind that it offers. Moreover, it provides notary signings agents with protection against claims of negligence and other professional errors, providing financial security in case of legal disputes.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.