Notary Signing Agent Pennsylvania

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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Notary Signing Agent Pennsylvania

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

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

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

  • Meet the basic eligibility criteria: Pennsylvania requires aspiring notaries to be at least 18 years old, a citizen or permanent legal resident of the US, and be a resident/have a place of employment in Pennsylvania. Prior sanctions or criminal convictions may disqualified you from receiving a commission
  • Complete an approved education course: You must complete at least three hours of approved notary education within six months immediately before applying for your application for appointment
  • Submit an application form: Fill out the online application form, attach your notary training certificate, and pay the $42 fee. Within one to three weeks, you should get an email from either the Pennsylvania Department of State or Pearson VUE with details about the notary examination
  • Take the notary exam: You must pass an examination administered by Pearson VUE. Once you do, the Department of State will send you an email containing your Notice of Appointment letter, a blank notary bond, an oath form, and instructions on how to continue
  • Purchase a $10,000 surety bond: You must submit a $10,000 bond within 45 days of being appointed before you can begin to offer notary services. Make sure the bonding company you choose is authorized to do business in the state
  • Take oath of office at the Recorder of Deeds: The next step is to take the oath of office and record it along with your completed bond form at your county’s Recorder of Deeds. You will receive an appointee letter (commission certificate) and a wallet card from the Recorder of Deeds
  • Procure notary supplies: Tools of the trade, such as a notary seal and journal, are essential for maintaining professionalism and fulfilling your responsibilities. These will need to be specific to the state of Pennsylvania

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

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: Become SPW Compliant

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

SPW compliance ensures that loan signings, particularly in real estate, are executed with precision and efficiency.

This builds trust with clients and lenders, enhances your credibility as a notary, and promotes smoother transactions while minimizing the risk of errors and legal issues.

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 often have a notary stamp or seal to emboss or imprint their official seal on documents to validate them.

You will use a notary journal or record book as a log where you record details of notarized transactions, such as date, signer’s identity, and document details, providing a permanent record for legal purposes.

Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

In Pennsylvania, acquiring an E&O insurance policy is optional. However, you may want to purchase one.

The Commonwealth highly recommends having an E&O insurance in place to provide financial protection in case of mistakes or omissions during notarizations, thus protecting you from potential legal and financial liabilities.

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 Pennsylvania FAQ

How do I become a notary signing agent in Pennsylvania?

To become a notary signing agent in Pennsylvania, you must first become a commissioned notary public. Then, you’ll need to pursue additional training and certifications specific to loan signings and real estate transactions. Learn more about the requirements by visiting our article on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.

How much does a loan signing agent make in Pennsylvania?

The earnings of a loan signing agent in Pennsylvania can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and how many signings they’ve completed. That being said the average salary of notary signing agents in Pennsylvania salary tends to range between $39,000 and $50,900.

How much do notaries charge in Pennsylvania?

The maximum fee for notarial services is $5 for most standard notarizations. It’s important to note that if a notary has decided to charge for their services, they’re obligated by law to display their fees in a visible location. NSAs can often charge more than notaries for their services, to find out exactly how much see our Notary Signing Agent Pennsylvania article.

Does Pennsylvania allow remote notaries?

Yes. Pennsylvania enacted a law that allows remote online notarization (RON). The Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) now permits notarial acts to be performed remotely using audio-visual technology, provided specific requirements were met. Notaries public can register to perform RONs in any location as long as it’s physically located within the state.

Is it hard to become a notary in Pennsylvania?

Becoming a notary in Pennsylvania involves completing an application, meeting certain eligibility requirements, and passing an exam. While the process may have some requirements, it is not overly difficult, and many individuals successfully become notaries after fulfilling the necessary steps. For more information, go to our How to Become a Notary guide.

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