Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Delaware? We’ve got you covered.
In order to become a notary signing agent, you will need to:
- Be 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 Delaware article breaks down everything you need to know in easy-to-follow, succinct steps, and should help you commence your loan signing career with as little difficulty as possible.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s notary signing agent packages.
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 Delaware, 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 Delaware
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Delaware, you can get started today by completing the following steps.
Step 1: Become a Notary Public
Before becoming a notary signing agent, you’ll first need to obtain a Delaware notary commission.
Doing this involves several steps, which we’ve broken down below:
- Meet the eligibility requirements: To be eligible, applicants must be at least 18 years old, be of good character and reputation (i.e., no convictions of crimes involving dishonesty or immorality), have a reasonable need for a notary commission, and have a legal residence in the state
- File an online application: With the above eligibility requirements met you’ll be ready to fill out your notary application, which is completed online using the Department of State’s eNotary portal
- Execute an oath of office: This involves signing your oath of office in the presence of an already-commissioned notary and filing it with the Department of State. If everything is correct, you should receive your notary commission shortly via email
- Obtain the necessary supplies: All notaries in Delaware will need a notary stamp or seal in addition to a notary journal so they can effectively perform each notarial act. Investing in Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is also highly recommended at this stage
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Delaware, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Delaware overview.
Step 2: Take a Loan Signing Training Course
After you receive your notary commission and are ready to begin operating as a notary public, you will likely want to undertake a specialized Delaware signing agent training course.
Even though this is not a requirement in the state of Delaware, it is highly recommended as it offers the following benefits:
- In-depth understanding: A specialized course can allow you to dive deep into the complexities of mortgage loan signings, improving your overall understanding and capabilities as an NSA. It can also help you become well-versed in how to handle unexpected situations with professionalism
- Boosts employability: Your certificate signifies your commitment and specialized skill set, which greatly increases your marketability. Hiring companies also generally tend to prefer candidates with additional qualifications
- Confidence builder: A course can provide you with a certain degree of “hands-on experience,” which will inevitably make you more comfortable and confident during actual signings. This confidence can translate into improved service and positive client experiences
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
Although optional, becoming SPW compliant is strongly recommended.
It allows hiring companies to know that you understand fundamental aspects of the finance and real estate sector, which makes you more desirable as a candidate.
Moreover, SPW compliance is generally seen as a testament to your trustworthiness and competence in the mortgage industry.
Getting compliant involves undergoing a background check, passing an exam, and purchasing E&O insurance (minimum $25,000 in coverage).
Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies
Once you’ve got your commission as a notary public and have undergone the necessary training to become a loan signing agent, the next step is to acquire your notary supplies.
All loan signing agents require a notary stamp or seal in addition to a notary record book or journal. The notary stamp is essential for notarizing documents at loan signings, while the journal serves as a record of all the notarial acts you carry out.
Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance
If you haven’t already, NSAs are highly encouraged to buy a comprehensive E&O policy as a final step before they begin to work.
This insurance policy acts as a safeguard against any potential liability stemming from your own negligence or improper conduct while acting as an NSA.
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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Delaware Notary Signing Agent Restrictions
While Delaware presents promising opportunities for notary signing agents, it’s essential to understand the state’s specific restrictions, particularly pertaining to the sale or refinancing of Delaware real estate — which notary signing agents are not permitted to close.
Instead, the Delaware Supreme Court has deemed lawyers are required in these transactions since the complex legal rights and concepts involved could be difficult for the signers to understand.
As a result, NSAs cannot explain these legal concepts to the signers at a closing as doing so is treated as an unauthorized practice of law.
Note: NSAs are still permitted to notarize these loan documents but an attorney must be present.
Notary Signing Agent Delaware FAQ
How do I become a notary signing agent in Delaware?
You must first get commissioned as a notary public, which involves filing an online application to the Department of State, executing your oath of office, and obtaining your notary supplies. After becoming a notary, you’ll need to take additional training courses to become an NSA. To find out more about this, see our Notary Signing Agent Delaware article.
How much does a loan signing agent earn in Delaware?
A loan signing agent’s earning potential in Delaware varies based on factors such as their experience, number of documents notarized, and relationships with clients. They typically earn between $75 and $200 per signing appointment, although highly experienced NSAs can potentially earn much more.
How much can I charge as a notary signing agent in Delaware?
Unlike Delaware notaries, NSAs are not limited by a fee structure for their services. Instead, the client or title company will negotiate a fee with the NSA that both parties feel is fair. Generally, this is somewhere in the $75 to $200 range, though it can fall outside this range depending on the travel distance, complexity of the documents, and urgency of the signing.
Does Delaware have remote online notarization?
Delaware law does not yet allow notary signing agents or notaries public to perform remote online notarizations (RONs). However, NSAs and notaries public are able to perform electronic notary services as long as they are completed in person with the parties signing the document.
How long does it take to become a notary signing agent in Delaware?
It should typically take at least a month for an applicant to become an NSA, depending on how quickly they complete each step. Getting commissioned as a notary public, which is the most time-consuming aspect of becoming an NSA, should take around two weeks from start to finish. For more information on this topic, see our article on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.