Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Tennessee? 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 Tennessee 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 has been trained to provide unbiased explanations of each document’s purpose.
Although no extra legal qualifications are required to become an NSA in Tennessee, 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 Tennessee
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Tennessee, 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 Tennessee.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic eligibility criteria: Tennessee law mandates all aspiring notaries to be at least 18 years old, a legal permanent resident or citizen of the US and the state, and to have not been convicted of specific offenses.
- Complete and file an application form: Complete and submit an application form to your county clerk’s office to certify your election to the Tennessee Secretary of State. After paying the $12 application fee, you should be notified by the county clerk when they’ve received your notary commission certificate.
- Purchase a $10,000 surety bond: This bond protects the public from any liability that arises as a result of mistakes on your part when performing notarial services. These are commonly sold by the National Notary Association or a general insurance company.
- Take your oath of office: Once you take your oath of office in front of the county clerk and get your bond recorded, you’ll be qualified to operate as a notary in Tennessee.
- Procure notary supplies: Tools of the trade, such as a notary seal and record book, are essential fulfilling your responsibilities and maintaining professionalism. In Tennessee, there are certain requirements that your equipment, especially your notary seal.
- Take a notary training course: While entirely optional, these courses are popular among applicants as they provide the essential understanding of the notarial rules necessary to succeed in this career
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Tennessee, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Tennessee 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 Tennessee, 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 your commitment and specialized skill set, and can thus increase your marketability. Hiring companies also generally tend to prefer candidates with additional qualifications
- 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 highly recommended for all notary signing agents.
Being SPW compliant instills trust, protects clients’ sensitive information, and mitigates legal risks during document signings — especially in financial and real estate signings.
Overall, SPW compliance contributes to the integrity and efficiency of notarized 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 use a notary seal or stamp to emboss or imprint their official seal onto documents and sign their authenticity.
Having a notary journal or record book documents your performed notarial acts. It contains details, such as the date, type of document, a signer’s identity, and all parties involved, providing a secure and organized record of notarial activities.
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
While optional, it’s recommended to acquire a comprehensive E&O insurance policy.
This is a type of insurance that covers legal costs and potential damages if your client claims financial losses due to mistakes made during document signings, protecting you from personal liability.
Examples of where an E&O insurance policy can 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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Notary Signing Agent Tennessee FAQ
How do I become a notary signing agent in Tennessee?
To become a notary signing agent in Tennessee, you must first be an active notary public. Next, you may take a loan signing training course and other compliance requirements as mandated by the state. To know more about this process, visit our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent guide.
Does Tennessee use notary signing agents?
Yes. Tennessee does use notary signing agents — these are notaries public who specialize in handling loan document signings for real estate transactions. They play a crucial role in ensuring that loan documents are properly executed, witnessed, and notarized during the closing process, particularly in the real estate industry. To find out more about this career, see our Notary Signing Agent Tennessee article.
How much do loan signing agents make in Tennessee?
The earnings of loan signing agents in Tennessee can vary depending on factors like experience, location, and the volume of signings completed. Notary signing agents in Tennessee typically earn $36,905 per annum on average, though with experience this has been known to rise to as much as $46,000.
How hard is it to become a notary in Tennessee?
Becoming a notary in Tennessee is not overly difficult but does require certain requirements to be met. Aspiring notaries must satisfy eligibility requirements, complete an application, pay the necessary fees, get a surety bond from a notary bonding company, and obtain supplies. To ensure a successful notary commission, check out our article on How to Become a Notary.
Is remote online notarization allowed in Tennessee?
Yes. The state passed the Tennessee Online Notary Public Act, which permits commissioned notaries to perform notarial acts using remote notary technology. To obtain your online notary commission, you need to follow the state’s requirements. Getting your online notary public commission enables remote notarizations to be conducted securely and efficiently, enhancing accessibility and convenience for all parties involved.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.