Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Georgia? 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 Georgia article breaks down everything you need to know in easy-to-follow, succinct steps, and should help you grow your loan signing business 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 Georgia, 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
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 Georgia
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Georgia, 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 Georgia.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic requirements: To qualify as a notary public, all applicants must be at least 18 years old, be a legal resident of a Georgia county and the US, and be able to read and write English
- Complete a notary application: If you meet these basic requirements, the next step is to submit a notary application to the Clerk of the Superior Court. This can be done online using the Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority online platform or by mail
- Take your Oath of Office: After completing your notary application, you’ll need to pay the $37 filing fee and take your oath of office. After witnessing your oath, the Clerk of the Superior Court will issue your notary certificate of appointment — this allows you to officially perform notarial acts
- Buy your notary supplies: Now that you’ve been appointed as a notary public in Georgia, it’s time to equip yourself with the supplies necessary to perform your duties. This includes a notary stamp or seal to authenticate documents as well as a notary journal to document your official acts
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Georgia, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Georgia 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 loan signing training course.
Even though this is not a requirement in the state of Georgia, 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, and can thus increase 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
Even though this step is optional, it is generally recommended.
This is because — similar to getting a loan signing training course — 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.
All in all, SPW compliance is — generally speaking — 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 Errors and Omissions insurance (minimum $25,000 in coverage).
Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies
Once you’ve secured your notary public commission and been certified as a loan signing agent, your next step is to purchase the necessary notary supplies. Typically, this includes a notary seal or stamp and a notary record book, also known as a journal.
The notary stamp is critical for notarizing documents at loan signings, while the journal is used as a means of keeping a record of all the notarial acts you’ve conducted.
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
Lastly, it’s a good idea to consider getting a comprehensive Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance policy.
This kind of insurance is there to protect you from any legal responsibilities you could face if you make a mistake or act negligently while performing notarial duties.
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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Georgia Notary Signing Agent Restrictions
While Georgia presents promising opportunities for NSAs, it’s essential to understand the state’s specific restrictions, particularly pertaining to real estate closings.
In Georgia, the Supreme Court upheld the opinion of the State Bar stating that conducting a real estate closing is considered as practicing law, and therefore necessitates the presence of an attorney licensed in Georgia during such transactions.
It’s reasoned that, due to the complexity of the technical legal concepts involved in real estate transactions, NSAs cannot explain these concepts to a buyer, seller, or borrower without an attorney present.
Notary Signing Agent Georgia FAQ
How do I become a notary signing agent in Georgia?
To start your loan signing career, you’ll first need to become a notary public. This involves completing a notary application, paying a filing fee, and then having your oath of office witnessed by the Clerk of the Superior Court. For information on the NSA-specific training you’ll need, see our Notary Signing Agent Georgia article.
How much do loan signing agents make in Georgia?
The potential income a loan signing agent could earn in Georgia varies greatly based on factors such as the number of signings they’ve completed, their experience, and the number of client relationships they’ve established. In most cases, loan signing agents will earn between $75 and $200 per signing, though more experienced individuals can charge more.
Does Georgia allow notary signing agents?
Yes, notary signing agents are permitted in Georgia. However, according to Georgia notary law, there are restrictions on the types of transactions they can close. In Georgia, closing a real estate transaction is considered the practice of law, and thus requires a Georgia-licensed attorney to be present. Neither an NSA nor a signing service company can close such deals without an attorney.
Is remote online notarization allowed in Georgia?
In Georgia, neither notaries public nor NSAs are permitted to perform remote online notarization (RON). This is one of the few states in the US where RON are not allowed, given that they are currently allowed in 39 other states.
How much does it cost to become a notary signing agent in Georgia?
In total, the cost of becoming an NSA in Georgia will normally fall somewhere in the $200 to $400 range. This estimation includes the cost of filing your application, purchasing your notary supplies, and completing your Georgia signing agent training. To find out more about the specific costs in your scenario, 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.