Notary Signing Agent Oregon

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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Notary Signing Agent Oregon

Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Oregon? 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 Oregon 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 Oregon, 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 Oregon

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

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

  • Meet the basic eligibility criteria: You must be at least 18 years of age or older, reside in Oregon, never have had a notary public commission revoked in the 10 years before your application, and never been convicted of a felony. You must also comply with ORS 162.235 — obstructing governmental or judicial administration requirements
  • Complete a notary training course: It’s mandatory to complete an approved training course within the six months prior to applying, and an exam must be taken before your application. More information on this can be found on the Oregon Secretary of State’s website under the “Notary Training” section
  • Take the notary exam: Once you’ve completed your training, you can take the state exam. This multiple-choice, open-book exam is based on material applicants learned in the Notary Public Guide and training courses
  • Complete your application: You can fill out Oregon’s Notary Commission Application and complete the open book exam it contains. A criminal background check will be performed when you submit your application
  • Take your oath of office: If your application is approved, you’ll receive an email with your oath of office attached. You must print the oath and sign it in front of a notary, then submit it to the Secretary of State with the $40 application fee
  • Receive your certificates: Once your oath is filed, you’ll receive an email with your Certificate of Authorization and Commission Certificate. Submit your Certificate of Authorization to a maker of rubber stamps
  • Get notary supplies: Finally, you’ll need to purchase a notary seal and journal so that you can get started notarizing documents. Note that it’s possible to purchase more than one inking stamp at a time

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

Recommended Course

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Step 3: Become SPW Compliant

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

Being SPW compliant is essential for ensuring accuracy, consistency, and security, particularly if you’re dealing with financial and real estate transactions. 

SPW standards uphold industry best practices, protecting the interests of all parties involved. It fosters trust, minimizes errors, and ensures legal compliance, enhancing the overall efficiency of the signing process.

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 as a physical embossing tool to authenticate and validate documents by imprinting them with the notary’s official seal. 

A notary journal or record book is a chronological register where you record details of each notarized transaction, including parties’ identities, signatures, and relevant information for record-keeping and legal purposes.

Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

In Oregon, obtaining a surety bond or E&O insurance policy is optional. However, it is strongly advised to purchase E&O insurance to keep you covered.

This type of insurance protects you from potential legal claims and liability, ensuring you can cover legal expenses and potential damages in case of mistakes or omissions made during the notarization process.

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.

Notary Signing Agent Oregon FAQ

How do I become a notary signing agent in Oregon?

You must first become an Oregon notary public. Then, you can take additional steps, such as enrolling in a loan signing training course, and other compliance certifications and notarial requirements. Find out how to get started with our article on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.

How much can an Oregon notary charge per notarization?

An Oregon notary can charge a fee of up to $10 per notarization. You are allowed to charge additional fees, such as travel or mileage fees, particularly if you’re a mobile notary. You can also charge technology fees if you’re an electronic notary or remote online notary.

Is it easy to become a notary in Oregon?

Becoming a notary in Oregon is a straightforward process. However, it involves meeting specific eligibility criteria, completing a notary course, passing a background check, and submitting an application. The process is a little trickier for NSAs as they are specialized. To find out more about this process, see our Notary Signing Agent Oregon article.

Does Oregon allow remote online notarizations?

Yes. Oregon allows remote online notarization (RON) under House Bill 2412. Oregon notaries are permitted to perform notarial acts online for clients located remotely, provided they comply with the state’s RON regulations and use approved technology platforms.

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