Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Arizona? 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 a loan signing training course
- Become Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) compliant
- Purchase your notary supplies
This Notary Signing Agent Arizona article breaks down everything you need to know in easy-to-follow, succinct steps — helping you to commence your loan signing career 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 Arizona, undertaking specialized 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
Note: For more information on this specialized training, see Step 2: Take a Loan Signing Training Course below.
How to Become a Notary Signing Agent in Arizona
If the prospect of becoming a notary signing agent in Arizona interests you, you can get started today by completing the following necessary steps.
Step 1: Become a Notary Public
To start your career as a notary signing agent, you’ll first need to get qualified as a notary public in Arizona.
Doing so involves a number of steps, which have been broken down below:
- Meet the basic requirements: The Secretary of State requires all applicants to be residents of Arizona for income tax purposes, at least 18 years old, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and not have been convicted of a felony involving immoral or unethical behavior
- Complete the application form: Fill out the online application form that can be found on the Secretary of State’s website before printing it off and signing it
- Get a $5,000 surety bond: Once you’ve signed your application form, the next step is to obtain a $5,000 surety bond that meets the Arizona surety bond requirements. This will protect the general public from any potential financial harm they may suffer due to your negligence as a notary
- Submit your application: Mail the original copies of your signed application form, notarized bond form, and $43 in filing fees to the Arizona Secretary of State. If your application is successful, you should soon receive your notary commission certificate from the Secretary of State
- Obtain the necessary supplies: With your Arizona notary commission certificate in hand, it’s time to equip yourself with the necessary notary supplies, including a notary stamp/seal and a notary record book
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Arizona, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Arizona overview.
Step 2: Take a Loan Signing Training Course
Considering a specialized loan signing training course is a practical step in your journey as a certified notary signing agent in Arizona. Despite it not being a mandatory requirement, there are several advantages to doing so:
- Comprehensive knowledge: An in-depth course equips you with a thorough understanding of mortgage loan signings and effective ways to deal with unforeseen circumstances, enhancing your proficiency as an NSA
- Employability enhancer: Holding a certificate from a recognized course showcases your dedication and specialized skills, making you a preferred choice for hiring companies
- Confidence booster: The simulated “real-world” experiences of these courses can boost your confidence, enabling you to provide 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
While adherence to SPW standards isn’t a requirement, it can be a great help for your loan signing career as it makes you much more appealing to potential employers.
This is due to the fact that becoming SPW compliant sets you up with a comprehensive understanding of the vital finance and real estate concepts essential for a successful NSA career.
In order to achieve SPW compliance you’ll need to clear a background check, successfully complete an exam, and purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000.
Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies
After completing the steps above, you’ll be able to get started acquiring the necessary supplies in order to work as a notary signing agent.
This typically encompasses a notary stamp or seal, the tool you’ll utilize for notarizing documents throughout loan signings, as well as a notary record book or journal for every notarial signing service you execute.
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 insurance 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: Purchasing E&O insurance is actually a requirement for becoming SPW compliant.
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Notary Signing Agent Arizona FAQ
How much does it cost to become a notary signing agent in Arizona?
In Arizona, the cost can vary from anywhere between $150 to $200. This estimation includes a $43 application fee, the purchase of a notary stamp, journal, and surety bond, plus optional E&O insurance. However, this cost can increase depending on whether the applicant opts to undertake notary signing agent training. We explore this topic in greater detail in our Notary Signing Agent Arizona article.
How do I become a loan signing agent in Arizona?
Certified signing agents in Arizona must first qualify as notaries public by submitting an application to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, passing a background check, and purchasing a $5,000 notary bond. After this, they’ll need to get certified as a signing agent, which we break down in our article on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.
What is the average notary fee in Arizona?
For Arizona notaries, it’s optional whether or not to charge a fee. However, those that do are only permitted to charge up to a maximum of $10 per notarized signature. It’s important to note that whichever fee a notary settles upon for their services, they must stick to it for each notarization.
How much is a notary bond in Arizona?
In Arizona, all notaries public (and thus notary signing agents as well) must obtain a notary bond in the amount of $5,000. The cost of obtaining a surety bond varies depending on the insurance company or notary organization issuing it, but should typically range between $25 and $50.
How long does a notary commission last in Arizona?
Notary commissions in Arizona last for four years — after which they will expire and you must reapply and go through the process again if you wish to continue providing loan signing services. This will include purchasing another bond and updating your notary seal and record book.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.