Notary Signing Agent Arkansas

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Arkansas? 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 Arkansas 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.

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What is a Notary Signing Agent

Notary signing agents (NSAs) are crucial for real estate transactions as they act as a guide for borrowers through loan document signings, acknowledging their signatures, and returning the signed 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 Arkansas, 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 Arkansas

If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a certified signing agent in Arkansas, 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 already commissioned as a notary public in Arkansas.

In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Meet the basic requirements: To be considered eligible, Arkansas applicants must be at least 18 years old, permanently reside in the US, be able to read and write English, and not have been convicted of a felony or had a commission revoked in the previous 10 years
  • Buy a $7,500 surety bond: This surety bond must be bought from either a surety insurer licensed to do business in Arkansas or a general corporation registered with Arkansas Insurance Department
  • Pass the online notary exam: After creating an account on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website, you’ll need to navigate to the “Notary Public Registration” section and obtain at least 80% on the notary exam to be able to continue your application
  • Complete your notary application: Once you pass the exam, you’ll be immediately directed toward a page where you can complete the rest of your notary application. Get this document notarized by an Arkansas notary in good standing before mailing it to the Secretary of State
  • Take your Oath of Commission: When approved, you’ll be issued two oath of commission certificates by the Secretary of State to be filed with the Recorder of Deeds. After you’ve completed this step, you should be issued your certificate of commission and notary public ID card
  • Buy your notary supplies: In order to perform your notary duties you’ll need a notary seal and journal. Make sure to purchase this equipment once you’ve been commissioned, as it’s common practice for suppliers to ask to see your notary public ID before issuing your seal of office

For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Arkansas, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Arkansas 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 notary signing agent in Arkansas. 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 the mortgage loan process and effective ways to deal with unforeseen circumstances, which enhances 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.

Recommended Course

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Step 3: Become SPW Compliant

SPW compliance is highly recommended for all loan signing agents, despite not being mandatory.

This is because — just like taking a loan signing course — it demonstrates to potential employers that you’ve got a solid grasp of all of the important finance and real estate concepts that you will need to know in order to operate effectively as an NSA.

Becoming compliant involves passing a background check, an exam, and buying Errors and Omissions insurance with at least $25,000 coverage.

Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies

After you become commissioned as a notary public and complete a certified loan signing course, you will be ready to purchase all of your notary supplies.

These include a notary stamp or seal, which is what you’ll use to notarize documents during loan signings, as well as a notary record book or journal (used to keep a record of each notarial service you perform as a notary signing agent).

Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

Despite not being a requirement, obtaining Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is highly encouraged due to the peace of mind it grants loan signing agents.

This insurance policy will shield you from the financial consequences of any liability arising from your misconduct or negligence in the performance of your notarial duties.

See below for some examples where an E&O insurance policy would be useful:

  • Amid a hectic loan signing, you unintentionally overlook a signature. This results in a delay in the loan procedure, causing the borrower to face late charges and thus levy a claim for compensation against you
  • While scrutinizing a home loan document, you mistakenly notarize a signature incorrectly. As a result, the client’s mortgage application is lost and they file a claim against you for damages
  • During a loan signing, you unintentionally neglect to flip a page, which renders the document invalid and causes serious postponements. Under such circumstances, the lender might opt to lodge a claim against you to recover any incurred additional costs

Note: Purchasing E&O insurance is actually a requirement for becoming SPW compliant.

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Notary Signing Agent Arkansas FAQ

How do I become a signing agent in Arkansas?

All applicants in Arkansas must first get commissioned as a notary public before they can become a signing agent. To do so, certain minimum requirements must be met, including being at least 18 years old, being a legal Arkansas resident, and having no felony convictions. For more information on the rest of this process, see our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent article.

How much do loan signing agents make in Arkansas?

The amount you can earn as a loan signing agent in Arkansas will vary based on your workload, experience, and the extras you offer (such as a mobile service). However, on average, loan signing agents typically earn between $75 to $200 per appointment, with the potential for higher earnings open to more experienced agents.

How much can notaries charge in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, notaries are not bound by any state-set maximum fees — the only requirement is that a notary must charge a “reasonable fee” for their services that the signers agree to in advance. This is an important caveat to pay attention to as overcharging can result in fines or having your commission revoked.

How long does a notary commission last in Arkansas?

A notary commission in Arkansas is valid for 10 years, starting from the date listed on your notary commission certificate by the Arkansas Secretary of State. In order to continue offering notarial services without any lapses, it’s essential to apply for a renewal before the expiration date of your current commission.

How much does it cost to become a notary signing agent in Arkansas?

The cost to become a notary signing agent in Arkansas includes various fees: the application fee, pre-licensing education, notary bond, E&O insurance, and the purchase of a notary seal and record book. These costs could range from $100 to $200, depending on the providers you select. For more information on this topic, see our Notary Signing Agent Arkansas article.

For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.