Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana? 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana, 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 Louisiana
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Louisiana, 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 Louisiana.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the minimum requirements: To qualify as a notary public in Louisiana, applicants must satisfy a number of requirements, including being registered to vote in the parish they’re seeking a notary commission, being a resident citizen/alien in Louisiana, being free of felony convictions (unless they’ve also been pardoned), and holding a high school equivalency diploma
- Complete the Application to Qualify: The next step for eligible applicants is to fill out the Application to Qualify for Appointment as a Notary Public and file it to the Secretary of State online or by mail along with a $35 application fee
- Register for pre-exam assessment: Once your application has been approved, you’ll receive instructions on how to register for the notary exam pre assessment via email or a letter. After completing this assessment, your score will be forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of State and you’ll be able to enroll for the state notary exam
- Take the state notary exam: After receiving your pre-assessment score, you’ll immediately be able to register to take the state notary exam. Since it takes around a week to score your pre-assessment, it’s a good idea to register immediately as this needs to be done within the 30-day period leading up to when you take the State Notary Exam
- Obtain a surety bond/E&O insurance: All notaries public in Louisiana are required to possess a $10,000 surety bond or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy throughout the duration of their notary commissions
- File your Oath of Office: Next, execute two Oath of Office forms and file them with the Parish Clerk of Court and the Louisiana Secretary of State. You’ll need to include your bond/E&O insurance form and official signature page
- Obtain the necessary supplies: If everything’s in order, you should soon receive your Certificate of Commission from the Secretary of State. With this certificate, all you’ll need is a notary seal and notary journal before you can start your new career
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Louisiana, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Louisiana overview.
Step 2: Take a Loan Signing Training Course
Considering a specialized notary training course is a practical step in your journey as a notary signing agent in Louisiana. 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 E&O insurance with at least $25,000 coverage.
Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies
Once you’ve got your commission as a notary public and have successfully completed a Louisiana signing agent training course, the final step for you to complete is to pick up your notary gear.
This includes a notary stamp or seal for notarizing documents during loan signings as well as a notary record book or journal used for jotting down details of each service you provide as an NSA.
Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance
Before starting your new career as an NSA, you’ll probably want to think about getting an E&O insurance policy if you haven’t already.
This is like your backup plan, stepping in to cover you if you ever make a professional mistake that results in some trouble.
We’ve explored a couple of scenarios below where E&O insurance could be invaluable:
- Imagine you’re smack in the middle of a hectic loan signing, and you accidentally skip a signature because you’re rushing. The loan process hits a snag, the borrower ends up with late fees, and suddenly you’re facing a claim for compensation
- Or, picture yourself working through a home loan document and you make a mistake in notarizing a signature. The mortgage approval falls through and now the client is coming after you with a claim
- Then there’s the scenario where you’re signing a loan document and you accidentally miss a page. The document becomes useless, everything slows down, and there’s more work to be done. The lender might decide to file a claim against you to recover the extra costs they’ve had to cough up
Note: Purchasing E&O insurance is actually a requirement for becoming SPW compliant.
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Notary Signing Agent Louisiana FAQ
How much does a loan signing agent make in Louisiana?
Depending on the loan signing agent’s experience, and number of completed signings, an individual’s income in Louisiana can vary quite significantly. On average, a notary loan signing agent in Louisiana could expect to make between $25,000 and $50,000 annually. More information about this career path can be found in our Notary Signing Agent Louisiana article.
Are notaries in demand in Louisiana?
Notaries are generally in demand in Louisiana, particularly since they have broader responsibilities compared to notaries in other states. For example, notaries here can draft and execute affidavits, acknowledgments, and authenticate acts. To find out more about a notary public’s responsibilities, see our article on How to Become a Notary.
How much does a mobile notary make in Louisiana?
A mobile notary’s income potential in Louisiana can vary greatly depending on their client base and the exact services they provide (e.g., remote online notarization). While broadly ranging from $20,000 to $60,000 a year, the exact amount an individual could earn largely depends on their dedication, marketing efforts, and the specific needs of the area they serve.
Is it hard to become a notary in Louisiana?
Becoming a notary in Louisiana can be challenging. Louisiana notarial law requires applicants to pass a rigorous state-administered test. However, once applicants have achieved this, the process to become a notary signing agent is quite straightforward. Find out more about this topic by reading our article on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.
How long do notary commissions last in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, a notary public’s commission will last for life as long as they remain in good standing and comply with continuing education requirements. It’s one of the few states where notaries have a lifetime commission, unlike most others where renewals are required every few years.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.