Notary Signing Agent Michigan

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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Notary Signing Agent Michigan

Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Michigan? 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 Michigan 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 becoming a notary signing agent? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which come with everything you need to get started including your background screening, certification training, and exam.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($114)

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 Michigan, 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 Michigan

If you’re interested by the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Michigan, 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 Michigan notary public.

In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Meet the basic requirements: All notary applicants in Michigan must be at least 18 years old, be legal residents of Michigan (or maintain a place of business in the state), be residents of the county they want to request an appointment in, and be free of any felony convictions in the last 10 years
  • Obtain a $10,000 surety bond: Michigan law requires all notaries public in the state to purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond through their commission. This requirement does not apply to attorneys that are currently in good standing with the State Bar of Michigan
  • Complete a notary application: Next, fill out your notary application, either through the Michigan Department of State’s website, or by mail (Form 98), and take your completed application and surety bond to the county clerk’s office. Here, you’ll pay a $20 fee for your application to be filed and processed before mailing it to the Michigan Department of State Office of the Great Seal
  • Read the Michigan notary laws: Despite there being no exam requirement in this state, all notary publics are required to read the Michigan Notary Public Act before they can start their notary commission
  • Buy the correct supplies: After obtaining your notary public commission certificate, you’ll require certain supplies. Namely, a notary stamp or seal and a notary record book — these are used to authenticate your notarial acts and log all the services you provide

For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Michigan, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Michigan 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 Michigan. 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.

Recommended Course

Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which come with everything you need to get started including your background screening, certification training, and exam.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($114)

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 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).

Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

Wrapping up the process, you may want to consider investing in a comprehensive E&O insurance policy.

This is what will safeguard you against potential liabilities that could occur from any inadvertent mistakes or professional misconduct.

Consider the utility of E&O insurance in these instances:

  • While facilitating a hectic loan signing you accidentally overlook a signature in a rush. This could stall the loan process and possibly lead to the borrower filing a compensation claim against you if they suffer any late fees
  • During a home loan document review, you mistakenly notarize a signature — resulting in the loss of mortgage approval and potential legal claims against you from the client
  • You unintentionally omit a page during a loan signing, which invalidates the document and creates delays and extra paperwork. In such a scenario, the lender might pursue a claim against you to recoup any additional expenses incurred

Note: Purchasing E&O insurance is actually a requirement for becoming SPW compliant.

Notary Signing Agent Michigan FAQ

How do I become a signing agent in Michigan?

To become a loan signing agent in Michigan, applicants must first become a notary public. This involves meeting the state’s requirements, including being at least 18, a Michigan resident, and not having any criminal convictions in the past 10 years. After this, you’ll need to complete an application and pay a fee. To find out more about the specialized training you must undergo to become an NSA, see our Notary Signing Agent Michigan article.

How much can a notary signing agent charge in Michigan?

In Michigan, the maximum a notary public can charge for notarizing a signature is $10. However, loan signing agents often earn more due to their specialized knowledge and the complexity of loan document signings. The additional fee varies, but it is often between $75 and $200 per signing.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in Michigan?

The total cost of becoming a notary public in Michigan should fall somewhere between the $90 to $150 range depending on the exact supplies and bond providers you choose. This figure is composed of a $10 filing fee, a $10,000 surety bond for the term of the commission (costing around $50-$75), a notary stamp (around $20-$30), and a journal (about $15-$30).

Can you perform remote online notarizations in Michigan?

Yes, notaries in Michigan have been permitted to register to be able to work as a remote online notary since 2018. According to this law, notaries public in Michigan can perform electronic notarization using two-way real-time audiovisual technology, allowing them to serve clients from a distance.

What is the difference between a notary public and a notary signing agent?

A notary public is authorized to verify and authenticate signatures on various documents, while a notary signing agent is a notary public with additional training, particularly in real estate transactions. If you’re interested in a career working for a loan signing business, make sure to check out 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.