Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Hawaii? 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 Hawaii 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: 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 Hawaii, 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 Hawaii
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Hawaii, 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 Hawaii.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic requirements: Before starting the application process all prospective notaries public must satisfy Hawaii’s requirements. These include being a US citizen or a permanent resident seeking citizenship, being a resident of the state of Hawaii, and being at least 18 years old
- Complete an application form: After confirming that you meet these basic requirements you’ll need to complete your notary public application online through your eHawaii account and then pay a $20 filing fee
- Submit a Letter of Justification and Character: Alongside your notary application you should include two letters: one detailing the reasons you’re applying for a notary commission and the other vouching for your integrity and moral character (written by a reputable Hawaii resident)
- Pass the notary public exam: If your application is approved you can schedule your notary public exam and pay the $10 fee using the Hawaii Notary Exam Scheduler. Pass this closed-book exam by scoring 80% or higher and then pay a $100 fee to receive your notary commission
- Buy a $1,000 surety bond: Before you can officially verify your first signer’s identity, you’ll need to purchase a $1,000 surety bond to last the duration of your entire commission. This will keep the public safe in the event that your negligence causes them to suffer financial loss
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Hawaii, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Hawaii 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 Hawaii. 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 becoming SPW compliant isn’t strictly necessary, it’s a smart idea to consider it.
Just like taking a loan signing course, getting SPW compliant shows future employers that you’re on top of the key real estate concepts and administrative rules needed to be a successful NSA.
There are several steps to becoming compliant. First, you’ll need to pass a background check and an exam before getting Errors and Omissions insurance with at least $25,000 coverage.
Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies
Once you’ve obtained your notary public commission and successfully complete a certified loan signing course, it’s time to gather your essential notary supplies.
The two tools you’ll need are a notary stamp or seal and a notary journal — the stamp will be used to notarize documents during loan signings, while the record book should be used to carefully document each notarial act you do as an NSA.
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 Hawaii FAQ
How do I become a notary signing agent in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, to become an NSA you’ll first need to get commissioned as a notary public. This will require you to submit an application using the Governor of State’s website, pay the required fees, submit your Letters of Justification and Character, and pass an examination. To find out more about this process, see our Notary Signing Agent Hawaii article.
How much do loan signing agents make in Hawaii?
Depending on a loan signing agent’s experience, number of signings performed, and past relationships with clients, their income can vary quite a bit. That being said, most signing agents will tend to earn between $75 and $200 per signing — potentially even more if they’ve got enough experience.
Can you perform remote online notarizations in Hawaii?
NSAs and notaries public have been able to perform remote online notarization since January 2021. This allows an NSA to offer their services in real-time over the internet as a mobile notary, regardless of their geographical location. To find out how you can start your career as an NSA, see our article on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.
How much does it cost to become a notary signing agent in Hawaii?
The cost to become an NSA in Hawaii can vary depending on the exact notary supplies and surety bond you select, but should typically be somewhere in the range of $150 to $200. This includes a $20 application fee, a $100 fee to receive your notary commission, and the additional costs of your notary stamp, record book, surety bond, and E&O insurance.
How long does a notary commission last in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, your notary commission will last for four years — after it expires, you’ll need to reapply and go through the same approval process to renew it. The state will send you a renewal application two months before your commission expiration date, so keep an eye out for this.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.