Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in North Carolina? 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 North Carolina 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 getting started? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s notary signing agent packages.
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 financial transactions.
Although no extra legal qualifications are required to become an NSA in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic eligibility criteria: In North Carolina, aspiring notaries must be at least 18 years old or legally emancipated, a resident in the state and of the US, and have not been released from incarceration, probation or parole within the last 10 years
- Register to take the notary course: Register to take the notary public course at a local community college using the North Carolina Community Colleges website
- Get a North Carolina notary public guidebook: After this, you’ll need to purchase a 2016 North Carolina Notary Public Manual. This can be bought from local bookstores, local community colleges, and the UNC School of Government bookstore (or by calling (919) 966-4119).
- Pass the notary public exam: After completing the course, you must take and pass the North Carolina notary public exam with a score of 80% or higher
- File your application: Complete your application and get it notarized. Submit your application, your updated resume, the $50 application fee, and a business card (if you have one) to the North Carolina Secretary of State. The deadline for submission is within three months of taking the course
- Take the oath of office: If your application is successful, you will receive your notary oath notification letter from the Secretary of State via email. Within 45 days, take your oath of office, pick up your commission certificate at your county’s Register of Deeds, and pay a $10 fee
- Purchase 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 North Carolina
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in North Carolina, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in North Carolina article.
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 North Carolina, 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.
Being SPW compliant is beneficial, especially during a real estate loan closing, because it ensures you adhere to best practices and industry standards.
SPW compliance increases trust among your clients, lenders, and title companies, thus leading to smoother and more reliable 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 typically need a notary stamp or seal, as well as a notary journal or record book, depending on the state’s requirements.
The notary stamp or seal is used to officially notarize documents during loan signings. Your notary record book or journal is used to record details of each transaction, providing a legal record of the notarization.
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 North Carolina, having an E&O insurance policy is entirely optional but you may want to purchase one.
An E&O policy can cover legal expenses and potential damages, protecting your business and reputation against claims of errors or negligence resulting in financial losses.
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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North Carolina Notary Signing Agent Restrictions
While North Carolina presents promising opportunities for notary signing agents, it’s essential to understand the state’s specific restrictions since the state is an “attorney closing state.”
If you are a notary signing agent in North Carolina but not a licensed attorney, you can still help with the loan document signing process, but not the “closing” of a real estate transaction. You must have a licensed attorney overseeing and supervising your work during this process to ensure everything is done correctly and legally.
In North Carolina, NSAs 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 North Carolina FAQ
How do I become a notary signing agent in North Carolina?
To become a notary signing agent in North Carolina, you must first become a commissioned notary public. Then, you can complete additional training specific to loan signings and mortgage transactions. Find the notary requirements with our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent guide.
Does North Carolina have notary signing agents?
Yes. North Carolina notary signing agents are commissioned notaries public who receive specialized training to handle loan signings and mortgage transactions. They play an important role in the real estate and lending industries by notarizing and overseeing the signing of important documents during loan closings. If this career path interests you, make sure to take a look at our Notary Signing Agent North Carolina article.
How much can a notary charge per signature in North Carolina?
North Carolina notaries can charge a maximum of $10 for each notarization. If you charge fees for other notary services, such as travel (especially if you’re a mobile notary) or technology notarizations (if you do electronic notarizations), you must have a clear fee schedule displayed in English, printed with at least a 10-point font size.
How long does it take to become a notary in North Carolina?
It may take up to two weeks to process your application. The exact time frame depends on your schedule and pace it takes you to complete an application — which includes taking a notary training course, passing an exam, and receiving the commission from the Secretary of State’s office. To find out more about this process, see our How to Become a Notary article to get started.
Does North Carolina allow online notaries?
North Carolina currently allows remote electronic notarization. A remote electronic notary performs the same tasks as a notary, like acknowledging signatures, verifying identities, or taking oaths. Remote electronic notaries don’t need to be physically present with the signer, but must use approved technology in order to complete notarizations remotely.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.