Have you ever wondered how to become a notary? This is a home business/side gig that many people who need flexible or remote work consider starting. If this interests you, continue reading. Notary work can provide an additional income stream for you as well as help you serve your community.
What is a notary public?
Most of us need a notarized document from time to time. A notary public or “notary” is an officer appointed by the state government to act as an impartial witness in performing a variety of duties, usually in non-contentious matters relating to contracts, international business, property, deeds, wills, etc.
The purpose is to act as a deterrent to fraud and identity theft as it relates to signing important documents. A notarized document is recognized as a legal document by the court system of that state.
Many industries require notaries to notarize both their employees and their clients/customers. These industries include financial institutions, medical clinics, hospitals, law offices, county governments, insurance companies, and technology companies.
Who usually works as a notary?
Unless you’re doing it for a company, a lot Virtual assistant Or virtual bookkeepers offer notary services in addition to their other services.
More often than not, these are mobile or traveling notary services. Instead of meeting complete strangers at your home, you can offer to meet them at their business, their office, home, hospital, or other location.
I found a website, At your service mobile notaryWhich is run by a woman in California who not only has a mobile notary service, but teaches others how to set up their practice.
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford the course, you can also check out this cheap e-book available on Amazon that teaches you Everything you need to know about becoming a great notary public.
What equipment do you need to become a notary public?
There are two most common pieces of notary equipment Employee seal on execution of documents And Transaction stamp. Notary seals are raised embossed letters used to show the notary’s name, state, expiration date of their commission, and their commission number.
Many states no longer require a seal, but are fine with just a notary stamp. There is also the transaction stamp, which the notary stamps and signs with his/her name and the county, state, and names of the parties involved and the commission at the end.
Some notaries may use a notary log book to record their notarized transactions. This is generally not a requirement in all states.
You will also be given a guidebook for your state from the county you plan to become a notary from.
How to Become a Notary Public
The exact steps to take vary from state to state. Having said that, the information below breaks down how it usually works:
- Understand your state’s requirements and certifications. Some states do not require training and you can either go to a county courthouse or local community college. Also National Notary Association A great state by state resource as well as your local county courthouse.
- Find out your state’s requirements and submit an application.
- Pay the state filing fee.
- Get any recommended training and then take the test. NNA may allow you to take all training and tests online for your state. However, please check with your local authority first. Some states will only offer a handbook as “training”.
- Complete background check and fingerprinting if applicable.
- Get your commission certificate from the state.
- Obtain a surety bond if applicable. Not all states require it.
- File all your documents with your Notary Regulatory Officer.
- buy your Notary Supply Which is usually just the seal/stamp and then the transaction stamp.
How much does it cost to be a notary public?
The amount you pay to become a notary will ultimately depend on where you live since requirements and fees differ from state to state.
However, it turns out that in most cases you won’t pay more than $200 (often less). Filing fees, fees for testing, and delivery costs will vary widely.
To find out exactly what you’ll pay in your state, a quick Google search for “how to become a notary (in your state)” will give you some results that include information specific to your state.
How can you offer your services as a notary public?
Many work-at-home experts say that offering mobile notary services is the ultimate side gig for several reasons. They are:
- It gets you out of the house. You have to go out and meet the actual people involved in the transaction and do it in person, unless you can get them to come to you instead.
- This is something that compliments other services, such as virtual assistance, transcription and translation services that you already do from home
- It’s a way to give back to the community. Sometimes the people who need a notary the most are the homeless or those who need notarized college transcripts.
- It is easy to fit it into other ways of earning. Some Shift Driver apps can handle notary work on request.
What are the other benefits of offering mobile notary services?
With mobile notary services, the IRS currently allows .54 miles that can be charged to the client for mileage. A $10 transaction fee (varies from state to state) will then be charged.
Some notaries also become NSAs, or notary signing agents, who specialize in notarizing loans for the real estate industry. These notaries act as liaison between the bank and the borrower. They charge more for this service.
Do you need to specialize with your mobile notary services?
While you are welcome to notarize anyone who needs your services, most notaries will agree that having a specialty helps you and serves you in that industry.
By specializing, you show that you really know and serve an industry. For example, you can offer your services to several immigration attorneys and offer translation services as well as transcription services in that industry.
What do you charge for notary services?
Again, that will really vary from state to state. The going rate is $10 per transaction.
However, if you’re .54 miles from travel—as well as offering a plethora of other services—your mobile notary service can become profitable and open the door to your other services.
The good thing about being a notary is that you demonstrate integrity – even if you are recognized by the courts. It adds credibility to any or all of your other services.
Where to advertise or find work as a notary?
Most mobile notary services advertise in their local chamber of commerce or BNI Groups are great places to offer all kinds of services.
However, don’t stop there. You can form partnerships with local law firms, banks, financial institutions, etc Another way to find work is to have your own website listing your services in addition to creating a LinkedIn profile
Having a mobile notary service can certainly add integrity to your current services as well as help you build a specialty or sub-specialty. It can get you out of the house and serving those in your community who really need your services. Notaries can be found in almost any industry or business—and you can be one of them!
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