Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in New York? 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 New York 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: 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, 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 handle loan document signings in the real estate industry.
Although no extra legal qualifications are required to become an NSA in New York, 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 New York
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in New York, 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 New York.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic eligibility criteria: In order to qualify as a notary public, you must be at least 18 years old, reside within the state (or maintain a business office in New York), be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the US, and meet background check requirements
- Learn New York’s notary law: It’s important that you spend time learning the New York Notary Public License Law. This is a 22-page document that will help you to pass your notary exam, and that will also provide insights into your role as a notary public
- Pass the notary public exam: Next, you need to take and pass the one-hour New York State Notary Public Examination. There is a $15 fee to take this exam, which you will be able to schedule by emailing the Department of State and typing “Schedule Notary Public Exam” in the email’s subject line
- Complete and file an application form: After passing the exam, you will need to complete the Notary Public Application form and send it to the New York Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services along with a $60 filing fee. You will receive your ID card (instead of a New York notary commission certificate) from the Department of State in the mail
- Get a notary journal: While New York doesn’t require a notary stamp, a journal is required for all notarial acts performed
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in New York, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in New York 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 New York, 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.
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
Even though this step is optional, it is generally recommended.
Compliance with SPW guidelines ensures NSAs are well-trained and qualified, reducing errors and improving the overall quality of loan signings.
For hiring companies, SPW compliance provides confidence in the NSA’s professionalism, leading to smoother transactions and increased customer satisfaction.
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 will need notary seals or stamps and notary journals in order to perform their duties. The notary seal is used to officially notarize documents by embossing or stamping it on the paperwork.
Meanwhile, the notary journal is used to record details of each notarial act, including the date, type of document, and the parties involved, ensuring a proper record of all your transactions.
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
In New York, notaries public are not required to have a surety bond, which is like insurance that protects others if the notary makes a mistake. However, you have the option to get an additional type of insurance called E&O insurance.
This insurance is for your own protection in case someone questions the legality of your notarized documents or accuses you of making an error. It helps cover legal expenses and potential damages in such situations.
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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New York Notary Signing Agent Restrictions
While New York presents promising opportunities for notary signing agents, it’s essential to understand the state’s specific restrictions, particularly since the state is an “attorney closing state.”
This means that a New York attorney is required to handle the closing process when buying or selling real estate. This ensures that a qualified legal professional oversees the transaction to make sure everything is done correctly and legally.
In addition, according to New York Real Property Law, the lender and mortgagor of a reverse mortgage loan should be represented by an attorney at the time of the closing.
In New York, notary signing agents cannot explain the meaning of a document or provide legal advice. Their role is primarily to verify the identities of the involved parties, oversee the signing of documents, and notarize these signatures.
These specific requirements highlight the importance of your role as a loan signing agent in facilitating loan signings while strictly adhering to the state’s legal guidelines.
Notary Signing Agent New York FAQ
How do I become a notary signing agent in New York?
You must first become a New York notary public before seek additional training and certification specific to loan signings. Once certified, you can market yourself to loan signing companies or work as an independent contractor for signing assignments. Find out more about this by reading our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.
How long does it take to become a notary in New York?
According to the New York Department of State, it takes about four to six weeks for your Notary application to be received and approved. Learn about the process and requirements by checking out our state-specific Notary Signing Agent New York article.
How much does a notary charge in New York?
In New York, notaries are allowed to charge a maximum fee of $2 for most notarial acts. However, they can also charge extra for additional services, such as travel or mileage fees as a mobile notary or technology fees as a remote online notary.
Does New York allow remote notarization?
Yes, New York notaries are allowed to perform remote online notarization (RON). This means they can notarize documents for people located anywhere, both within and outside of New York, as long as the notary is physically in New York during the notarization process. Notaries are allowed to charge up to $25 for each RON they perform.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.