Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Texas? 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 Texas 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 (NSA) 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 Maryland, 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 Texas
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Texas, 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 Texas.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic eligibility criteria: State law mandates all aspiring Texas notaries to be at least 18 years old and be legal residents of the state. You will also need to satisfy Texas’ background requirements.
- 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. Surety bonds can be purchased through the National Notary Association or through a general insurance company.
- Complete and file an application form: You will need to file Form 2301: Application for Appointment as a Texas Notary Public with the Secretary of State in order to become commissioned.
- Procure notary supplies: Tools of the trade, such as notary seals and record books, are essential for maintaining professionalism and fulfilling your responsibilities. These will need to be specific to the state of Texas.
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Texas, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Texas 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 Texas, 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 generally recommended.
This is because — similar to getting a loan signing training course — it allows hiring companies to know that you understand fundamental aspects of the finance and real estate sector, which makes you more desirable as a candidate.
All in all, SPW compliance is — generally speaking — seen as a testament to your trustworthiness and competence in the mortgage industry.
Getting compliant involves undergoing a background check, passing an exam, and purchasing Errors and Omissions insurance (minimum $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 generally need a notary stamp or seal, as well as a notary record book (or journal).
Your notary stamp will be used for notarizing documents during loan signings, whereas the journal will be for keeping a record of all of the notarial acts that you perform.
Step 5: Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance
As a final step, you will likely want to purchase a comprehensive Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance policy.
This is a type of insurance that protects you against any liability that may arise due to negligence or misconduct on your part.
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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Texas Notary Signing Agent Restrictions
While Texas presents promising opportunities for notary signing agents, it’s essential to understand the state’s specific restrictions, particularly pertaining to Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loans and wrap mortgage loans.
In Texas, notary signing agents cannot explain the meaning of a document or provide legal advice. Your role is primarily to verify the identities of the involved parties, oversee the signing of documents, and notarize these signatures.
However, certain loan types carry specific closing requirements:
- HELOC loans: As per the Texas Constitution (Article XVI), HELOC loans are shielded from a forced sale for the payment of all debts, provided they are closed in the office of a lender, an attorney, or a title company. This office must be a permanent physical location, which can include an indoor office or a parking lot, as clarified by the Texas Administrative Code
- Wrap mortgage loans: Effective January 1, 2022, Texas law dictates that a lien securing a wrap mortgage loan is void unless the wrap loan and the conveyance of residential real estate securing the loan are closed by an attorney or a title company
These specific requirements highlight the importance of your role as a notary signing agent in facilitating loan signings while strictly adhering to the state’s legal guidelines.
Notary Signing Agent Texas FAQ
How much does a notary signing agent make in Texas?
As of the most recent data, the average rate for a Texas notary signing agent is $15.32 an hour. Even though this can be as low as $8.60 an hour or as high as $27.56, the average notary signing agent’s rate is currently between $13.22 (25th percentile) and $19.42 (75th percentile). If you are interested in getting started, see our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent article.
How much can I charge as a notary signing agent in Texas?
In Texas, you will typically be able to charge between $75 and $200 per loan signing appointment as a notary signing agent. Having said that, keep in mind that this amount can fluctuate depending on the complexity of the documents and the time it takes to complete the signing. See our Notary Signing Agent Texas article for more information.
How do I become a Texas notary signing agent?
In order to become a notary signing agent in Texas, you will need to have already obtained a notary public commission certificate, completed a loan signing course from the National Notary Association, become SPW compliant, and purchased E&O insurance. You will then need to purchase all required notary supplies (e.g., notary seal, etc.). For more information, have a look at our How to Become a Notary article.
Do I need training in order to become an NSA in Texas?
No. Texas does not require notary signing agents to complete additional training in order to begin operating. Having said that, the nature of the role means that this is almost always recommended. This is because additional signing agent training will not only ensure that you are qualified to carry out your work efficiently and effectively, but it will also make you more attractive to potential employers.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.