Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Florida? 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 Florida 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 (NSA) 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 Maryland, 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 Florida
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Florida, 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 Florida.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic eligibility criteria: Florida law mandates all aspiring notaries to be at least 18 years old and be legal residents of the state. You will also need to satisfy Florida’s background requirements and have read Chapter 117 of the Florida Statutes for Notaries Public
- Complete an approved education course: The state of Florida requires all prospective notaries to complete a three-hour education course. This is meant to help you expand your knowledge in relation to Florida’s notary laws and general practices
- Purchase a $7,500 surety bond: This protects the public from any liability that arises as a result of mistakes on your part when performing notarial services. Surety bonds can be purchased through the National Notary Association or through a general insurance company
- Complete and file an application form: You will need to complete and file a Notary Public Commission Application with the Florida Department of State. You will need to pay a non-refundable $39 processing fee in order to do this
- Procure notary supplies: Tools of the trade, such as notary seals and record books, are essential for maintaining professionalism and fulfilling your responsibilities. These will need to be specific to the state of Florida
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Florida, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Florida 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 Florida. 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
Although SPW compliance isn’t mandatory, it’s a smart move.
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.
To become compliant, you’ll have to pass a background check, an exam, and buy 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).
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 Errors and Omissions (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 Florida FAQ
How do I become a notary signing agent in Florida?
In order to start your own business as a notary signing agent in Florida, you will need to become commissioned as a notary public, purchase a loan signing course, become SPW compliant, and purchase E&O insurance. You will then need to purchase all of your notary supplies (e.g., notary journal, seal, etc.).
How much do loan signing agents make in Florida?
The average salary for a Florida notary signing agent is $33,423 per annum (around $16 per hour). Having said that, this will depend on several factors (e.g., specific location, experience, qualifications, etc.). Loan signing agents on the higher end of the payscale can make over $50,000 per annum in Florida. See our Notary Signing Agent Florida article for more information.
Does Florida allow notary signing agents?
Yes. Having said that, you will need to have already obtained a notary commission in Florida in order to begin operating as a notary signing agent. Even though additional qualifications are not mandated, these are generally highly recommended due to the nature of the field. Have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent article for more information.
Is a notary signing agent different from a notary public in Florida?
Yes. A notary signing agent (NSA) is a notary public with additional experience and qualifications, Such agents are able to handle more specialized loan signing-related notarizations (e.g., those that relate to mortgages, etc.). Even though it’s uncommon for a state government to require additional qualifications or notary training in order to operate as an NSA, this is almost always recommended.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.