Notary Signing Agent Montana

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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Notary Signing Agent Montana

Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Montana? 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 Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) compliant
  • Purchase your notary supplies

This Notary Signing Agent Montana 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.

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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 Montana, 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 Montana

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

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

  • Meet the basic eligibility criteria: Be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or permanent legal resident, be a Montana resident, the spouse or legal dependent of an active duty military person stationed in Montana, and have no disqualifying offenses listed in 1-5-621 MCA
  • Take a notary training course: You must complete four hours of training from a provider approved by the Secretary of State. You can find a list of education courses that the Notary & Certifications Division has approved on the Secretary of State’s website
  • Pass the notary exam: You must take and pass the Montana Notary Exam online. There is an available exam certificate that you can download
  • Purchase a $25,000 surety bond: Get a $25,000 surety bond then take your bond form to a notary. They will administer your oath of office and notarize your signature
  • Complete and file an application form: Create an account on the Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal to complete your Montana Notary Public Online Application. Upload your training certificates of completion, exam certificate, and notarized surety bond form with your oath of office as well as payment for the $25 filing fee. You will receive approval via email and a commission certificate online
  • Obtain your notary supplies: Tools of the trade, such as a notary seal and journal, are essential to be able to effectively perform your duties. These will need to be specific to the state of Montana

For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Montana, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Montana 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 Montana, 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 commitment and a specialized skill set, both of which greatly increase your marketability. Candidates with additional qualifications are also very attractive to hiring companies
  • 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 can also prepare you to pass the Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) exam.

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Step 3: Become SPW Compliant

Even though this step is optional, it is generally recommended.

SPW compliance promotes your professionalism and trust in the signing process.

Being SPW compliant lets hiring companies know that you adhere to best practices and industry standards, especially when it comes to loan signings and real estate transactions.

Getting compliant involves undergoing a background check, passing an exam, and purchasing errors and omissions (E&O) insurance (with a minimum of $25,000 in coverage).

Step 4: Purchase Signing Agent Supplies

After you’ve been commissioned as a notary public and have spent time in order to become qualified as a loan signing agent, you will need to purchase your notary supplies.

Loan signing agents use a notary stamp or seal to imprint an embossed image onto the paper, signifying that the document has been notarized.

The notary journal is used to record essential information about each notarization you perform. The journal serves as a permanent record of your notarial acts and can be used as a reference in case of disputes or legal issues.

Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

In Montana, obtaining E&O insurance is optional but generally recommended as it provides financial protection in case of unintentional errors, omissions, or negligence during the notarization process.

This type of insurance helps cover legal expenses and potential damages resulting from any mistakes, protecting your personal assets and professional reputation.

Examples in which an E&O insurance policy would 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 Montana FAQ

How do I become a notary signing agent in Montana?

To become a notary signing agent in Montana, you should first become a notary public. Then, you can gain work experience and seek specialized training in loan document signings and related processes through courses or workshops. Check out our guide on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.

How much do loan signing agents make in Montana?

A notary signing agent can charge $10 per notarial act. Recent data from reports that the average salary of notary signing agents in Montana is $36,700 per year. The salary range typically falls between $35,852 and $46,682.

Is Montana a notary state?

Yes. Montana is a notary state. It requires individuals to apply for a notary commission through the Secretary of State’s office. Once commissioned, Montana notaries can perform notarial acts within the state’s boundaries, following the guidelines and regulations outlined by Montana law. Learn How to Become a Notary to get started.

Does Montana allow online notaries?

Yes. Montana permits notaries in the state to perform remote online notarization (RON) using audio-visual technology, electronic documents, digital signatures, and a digital notary seal. Note that the notary must be physically located in Montana, however, the signer can be anywhere in the world.

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