Notary Signing Agent South Dakota

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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Notary Signing Agent South Dakota

Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in South Dakota? 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 South Dakota 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 becoming a notary signing agent? 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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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 South Dakota, 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 South Dakota

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

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

  • Meet the basic eligibility criteria: In order to become a notary public in South Dakota, you must be at least 18 years old, permanently reside in the state (or a county bordering it but working within South Dakota), and have no felony convictions
  • Buy a notary seal: You’ll need to purchase a notary seal before commencing your application. It should include a rubber/embossing stamp with your name, shaped as a circle, square, or rectangle, must include the terms “Notary Public,” “South Dakota,” and your commission expiration date
  • Complete the oath portion on your application form: Once you’ve obtained your notary seal, you can get started on completing your notary application. You must affix an imprint of the seal on your application and complete your oath of office as part of this online application
  • Purchase a $5,000 surety bond: This protects the public from the financial consequences arising as a result of mistakes on your part when performing notarial services. A notarial bond can be bought from either the National Notary Association or through a general insurance company
  • Submit your completed application: Send your completed application form and pay the $30 commission fee to the South Dakota Secretary of State. Once approved, you will receive your notary commission certificate
  • Take a notary training class: This step is not a legal requirement, but investing in a notary course can develop your professional skills and help you stay updated with the changes in notary regulations and practices

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

Being SPW compliant ensures a higher level of trust and confidence among clients. It reduces errors and improves overall efficiency, particularly if you’re handling and overseeing mortgage and financial signings.

That said, SPW compliance demonstrates your adherence to notarial best practices, maintaining your professionalism and consistency in the eyes of potential employers.

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 mark and authenticate documents with their signatures.

In South Dakota, a notary journal or record book is technically optional but necessary in practice. It is where you log and record the details of each notarization. Their uses include verifying the authenticity of notarized documents and maintaining a permanent record of notarial acts.

Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

In South Dakota, obtaining E&O insurance may not be a legal requirement, but is important in providing liability coverage in case of mistakes, omissions, or negligence during notarization.

It protects you from financial losses resulting from errors in the performance of your duties, offering you peace of mind and securing your professional reputation as a notary.

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 South Dakota FAQ

How do you become a notary in South Dakota?

To become a South Dakota notary, you must meet the following requirements: be at least 18 years old, be a resident of the state, submit a $5,000 surety bond, take an oath of office, and send your application to the Secretary of State. For more information on this, check out the guide included in our Notary Signing Agent South Dakota article.

How much does it cost to be a notary in South Dakota?

The two main costs of becoming a notary in South Dakota are a $30 application fee and a $5,000 surety bond, which can range from $50 to $100 per year depending on your provider. Additional costs may include the notary seal/stamp and journal.

Does South Dakota allow remote online notaries?

South Dakota allows remote online notarization for paper documents, referred to as Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN). South Dakota notaries can only perform RINs for signers they know on a personal basis. You must be a notary public before conducting RINs. On top of this, video conferencing software and remote notarization supplies (e.g. computer, webcam, printer, or fax) will be necessary.

How long does it take to become a notary in South Dakota?

The timeline to become a notary in South Dakota can vary depending on individual factors, such as processing times and scheduling the oath of office (which can influence the overall duration). According to the Secretary of State, it typically takes between 10 and 19 days for a notary public application to be processed.

How do I become a notary signing agent in South Dakota?

To be a notary signing agent in South Dakota, you must first become a notary public. Then, you can take additional steps, such as enrolling in a loan singing training course and becoming SPW compliant. For an overview of this process, visit our guide on How to Become a Notary Signing Agent.

How much can I earn as a notary signing agent in South Dakota?

On average, notary signing agents in South Dakota earn an annual salary of $35,376 per year. However, with enough experience, this can potentially increase up to as much as $45,000. Bear in mind that these figures are based on the number of signings an NSA completes since they charge per each one.

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