Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Maine? 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 Maine 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 (NSAs) are crucial in the real estate sector as they act as a guide for borrowers through loan document signings, verify a signer’s identity, and return the closing paperwork 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 Maine, 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 Maine
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Maine, 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 Maine.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic requirements: In Maine, all applicants must meet certain requirements, such as being at least 18 years old, being a resident of Maine (or of an adjacent state with regular employment in Maine), know how to read and write in English, and not have had a notary commission revoked or been convicted of a crime with a penalty of one year or more
- Complete a notary public application: If you satisfy these basic requirements, you’ll be ready to start completing your Application for a Notary Public Commission for a Maine Resident and sign it in the presence of a notary public that has already been commissioned in Maine
- Submit your application: When your application is ready to submit, you’ll need to mail it to the Maine Secretary of State along with a $50 commission fee and wait for your notary commission certificate
- Buy the required supplies: Before getting started as a notary public you’ll need to obtain the supplies needed to properly perform this role. This includes a notary seal and a notary journal or record book
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Maine, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Maine 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 Maine. 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 (E&O) 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 Maine signing agent training 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 all the notarial acts 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
Finally, NSAs are highly encouraged to acquire a thorough E&O insurance policy.
This form of insurance provides a safeguard against potential liabilities stemming from your negligence or professional misconduct.
To illustrate its benefits, we’ve outlined some situations where an E&O policy could be handy:
- You’re in the midst of a bustling loan signing and you unintentionally leave a signature blank. As a result of this oversight is a pause in the loan processing, subsequent late charges for the borrower, and potentially a claim for compensation leveled at you
- You incorrectly authenticate a signature while reviewing a home loan document, resulting in a lost mortgage approval and a possible legal claim against you by the client
- During a loan signing process, a page is accidentally overlooked. This oversight renders the document null, causing delays, additional work, and for the lender in this scenario to seek compensation from you for the extra expenses incurred by your mistake
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Notary Signing Agent Maine FAQ
How do I become a signing agent in Maine?
To become a notary signing agent in Maine, you must first become a notary public. This involves satisfying the state’s requirements, filling out an application, and obtaining the correct supplies. Once you’re a notary, you can pursue a certification course to become a loan signing agent. To find out more about how to become an NSA see our Notary Signing Agent Maine article.
How much do loan signing agents make in Maine?
Loan signing agents’ income in Maine can vary on a case by case basis depending on the number of signings completed they’ve completed, their experience, and even the general demand for their services. On average, a loan signing agent in Maine can expect to earn somewhere between $25,000 to $50,000 per year.
How much does it cost to be a notary in Maine?
Outside of a $50 application fee, there are very few large costs associated with becoming a notary in Maine. Other potential costs could include notary supplies like your stamp or seal, record book, and bond — though the cost of these is unlikely to amount to much.
Can you perform remote online notarizations in Maine?
No. Maine has not yet passed any legislation permitting notaries to perform remote online notarization, though it may in the future, as it’s currently legal in 39 other states. This means that in Maine, the notary and both signers must be physically present in the same location to be able to perform a valid notarization.
How long does a notary commission last in Maine?
In Maine, a notary commission lasts seven years. After this period, notaries must renew their commission if they want to continue offering their services. The renewal process typically involves submitting a renewal application and paying a fee, currently set at $50. For more information on this, see the Maine notary public handbook.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.