Notary Signing Agent Minnesota

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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Notary Signing Agent Minnesota

Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Minnesota? 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 SPW compliant
  • Purchase your notary supplies

This Notary Signing Agent Minnesota article breaks down everything you need to know in easy-to-follow, succinct steps, and should help you 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.

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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 Minnesota, 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 Minnesota

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

To become commissioned as a notary public in Minnesota, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Meet the basic requirements: All applicants for notary public commissions in Minnesota must be at least 18 years old and residents of Minnesota or a county in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin
  • Fill out a notary commission application: After checking you satisfy the basic qualifying requirements, the next step is to complete a Notary Commission Application and file it (along with a non-refundable $120 processing fee) with the Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Register with an appropriate county: If your application form is approved, a commission certificate will be sent to you via mail. You must register it with your Minnesota county of residence and pay a $20 fee
  • Obtain the necessary supplies: Once this is done, all that’s left to do is purchase the tools you’ll need in order to perform your notarial duties, such as a notary stamp/seal and a notary journal

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

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Step 3: Obtain a Real Estate Closing Agent License

Before you can begin acting as a notary signing agent, Minnesota law requires applicants to hold a closing agent license from the Department of Commerce to be able to conduct a real estate closing.

This license is referred to in a number of other states as a title insurance agent license.

In order to obtain a real estate closing agent license, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  • Fill out the closing agent application: Fill out and submit the Individual Closing Agent License Application and pay the $115 license fee. Note that applicants without a personal Trust Account will also need to file a notarized Trust Account Waiver Form by email
  • Complete the required education: All applicants are required to complete an eight-hour prelicensing Closing Procedures course. For a list of state-approved courses to obtain this real estate license, see the Pulse Portal website.

Step 4: Become SPW Compliant

While this measure is not mandatory, becoming SPW compliant is strongly advised.

Much like enrolling in a loan signing training course, it demonstrates to potential employers that you have a solid grasp of the foundational elements in the finance and real estate industry, thereby making you a more attractive prospect.

More generally, compliance with the Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) standards is generally regarded as a validation of your reliability and expertise in the mortgage sector.

The process of achieving compliance includes undergoing a background check, successfully clearing an examination, and securing an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy (with a minimum coverage of $25,000).

Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies

Once you’ve obtained your notary public commission in Minnesota and have invested time honing your skills as a notary loan signing agent, your final step is to acquire the necessary supplies.

The essential toolkit for a notary signing agent typically includes a notary seal or stamp and a notary journal.

The notary stamp plays a pivotal role in the notarization of documents during loan signings. On the other hand, the notary journal serves as a comprehensive record of every notarial act you carry out.

Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

As a final step, you will likely want to purchase a comprehensive 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.

Notary Signing Agent Minnesota FAQ

How do I become a notary signing agent in Minnesota?

After becoming a Minnesota notary public, you can obtain further training to get qualified as an NSA and specialize in handling and notarizing loan documents. To find out more about this process, make sure to check out our article on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.

How much do loan signing agents make in Minnesota?

A Minnesota loan signing agent’s income varies depending on the volume of signings they perform, their experience, and the general market demand. That being said, loan signing agents tend to make somewhere between $75 and $200 per signing, which allows some full-time NSAs to easily earn upwards of $50,000 per year with consistent work.

How do I obtain a closing agent license in Minnesota?

To obtain a closing agent license in Minnesota, you need to submit an application to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, pay a licensing fee, and complete a mandatory eight-hour prelicensing course. We break down the process of obtaining a closing agent license in more detail in our Notary Signing Agent Minnesota article.

What’s the difference between a notary public and a notary signing agent?

The main difference lies in the level of complexity of the two roles. While a notary public verifies the identities of individuals signing documents, an NSA has undergone additional training and qualifications to be able to handle and notarize documents that relate to the finance & real estate industries.

How long does a notary commission last in Minnesota?

A notary commission in Minnesota lasts for five years. After this duration, you’ll need to go through the renewal process, which includes another application, fee, and possible background check. Failure to renew your commission will result in the loss of your notary status.

For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.