Interested in finding out how to become a notary signing agent in Wisconsin? 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 Wisconsin 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: Purchase E&O insurance in order to ensure that your personal assets are protected in the event of a negligence lawsuit.
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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin
If you’re interested in the idea of becoming a notary signing agent in Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin.
In order to do this, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Meet the basic eligibility criteria: You must be 18 years of age or older, have at least the equivalent of an eighth-grade education, and be a US citizen and resident of the state. You will also need to meet Wisconsin’s background requirements
- Pass the notary exam: After fulfilling the eligibility requirements above, the next step is to pass the online Notary Tutorial Exam by achieving a score of 90% or better
- Purchase a $500 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 a general insurance company
- Purchase your notary supplies: Tools of the trade, such as notary seals and record books, are essential for maintaining professionalism and fulfilling your responsibilities. The seal and record book you select must meet Wisconsin’s requirements
- Complete and file an application form: You will need to file the Wisconsin Notary Online Application, along with a $20 application fee, to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Once your notary application is approved, you’ll get a notice from the Wisconsin DFI
Online applications should be submitted via email: DFINotary@wisconsin.gov.
Mail-in applications should be submitted to the following address:
Notary Records Section
Wisconsin Dept of Financial Institutions
P.O. Box 7847
Madison, WI 53707-7847
For a more in-depth overview of the process of getting commissioned as a notary public in Wisconsin, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, 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, which greatly increases your marketability. Furthermore, these additional qualifications tend to make you a preferred choice by 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.
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.
Being SPW compliant as a notary signing agent is important because it demonstrates professionalism and ensures high-quality service in handling sensitive legal documents.
In addition, employers — especially in the finance and real estate industry — will see that you adhere to industry best practices, regulatory requirements, and safeguard the integrity of financial and property transactions.
Getting compliant involves undergoing a background check, passing an exam, and purchasing Errors and Omissions (E&O) 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 obtain your notary supplies.
Notary supplies include a notary stamp or seal and a notary journal or record book.
Your notary seal or stamp is used to authenticate documents that include your information as a notary. The notary journal or record book is used to record important details, such as a signer’s identity or notarized transactions, providing a chronological record for your reference and other legal purposes.
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 not required by Wisconsin, it’s a good idea to protect yourself with comprehensive Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
This type of insurance protects you by covering financial losses resulting from professional mistakes, negligence, or omissions. It does this by providing liability protection in case of claims or lawsuits related to notarial errors, offering financial security and peace of mind.
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 Wisconsin FAQ
How do you become a notary signing agent in Wisconsin?
To become a notary signing agent in Wisconsin, you must first become a commissioned notary public in the state. Once commissioned, you can pursue additional training and certification specific to notary signing agent services. More state-specific information can be found on our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.
Can you make money as a notary in Wisconsin?
Yes. In Wisconsin, notaries are allowed to charge a $5 fee per notarial act. The fees can vary depending on the type of service provided and are set by the state. Notaries often earn income by charging fees for their services (such as travel and technology fees) in various transactions and document signings.
How long does a notary last in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, a notary commission lasts for a term of four years. At the end of the four-year term, you have the option to renew your commission by submitting a renewal application and paying the required fees to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).
How much is it to be a notary in Wisconsin?
The cost of becoming a Wisconsin notary includes a $20 application fee to the Department of Financial Institutions, a $500 fee for the bond, and other expenses for notary tools and supplies. These fees are subject to change, so it’s recommended to check the latest information in our Notary Signing Agent Wisconsin article.
Can I work remotely as a notary signing agent in Wisconsin?
Yes. Remote online notarization (RON) has become increasingly popular, allowing notaries to perform notarial acts electronically for clients as permitted by Wisconsin law. You can also work as a mobile notary, who travels to the location of the client to perform notarial acts, providing convenience and flexibility for document signings.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary Signing Agent page.