How to become a notary is depend on the state you live in. The requirements that need to be fulfilled differ from one state to another. However, becoming a notary is a profitable and valuable career decision. It can gain more goodwill to your name. Most of the people become notaries to start their own notary services.
In this article, we are going to learn about how to become a notary, qualifications required, and frequently asked questions.
What is a notary?
A notary can be defined as a person who authorizes different kinds of documents on behalf of the jurisdiction. The person assigned as a notary is impartial and faithful to the state government. The main objective of the notaries is authorizing the documents, which include signatures, identities, and other key points. Here the government expects from them to detect any frauds and authorizes the documents which only have accurate information.
Why people become notaries? Benefits
Earn extra income
Most people are becoming notaries to earn extra income. After becoming one, you can start your own Signing business. You can do that as part-time, and you can charge from the people for making appointments with you. But most of the states are governing the notaries and regulating their prices. Even though you can earn a good income under that.
Add value to your career.
Some people are become notaries to add additional skills for their careers. Most of the business is interested in having notaries inside their companies. If you are a notary, you earn a high chance when seeking employment. Because most employers are seeking employees with excellent skills like a notary.
Because it is easy to manage time
You can choose the time to provide your service. The remaining time can be used in any task you like. This is an excellent opportunity for self-employed people who earn money online. You can arrange a convenient time for your clients and enjoy the rest.
As a social service
There are so many people who seek for notaries but without having the capability to contact one. For instance, disabled people, homeless people, elders, etc may also seek notaries. So, If you are a person who interests in social services, you can help them by becoming a notary.
How to become a notary?
As I said before, the qualifications, training, exams, and applications are different from state to state. The best way to find those is by using the National Notary Association’s website. For the easiness, I will attach links for each page, which has information about each state.
Common questions on becoming a notary public?
What is the minimum age requirement?
Most of the states are having limitations for the age of the applicants. Here they say the applicant should be at least 18 yeas old and the resident of the state they apply for. They further clarify the applicant should have clean criminal records. These three requirements can be seen in many states.
Some states are allowing notaries from other states to do their jobs. Also, some states have declared English speaking and writing skills as requirements.
Is the background check compulsory?
It’s not compulsory. But few states are asking for a background check. The other sates may ask for a background check when you have sentenced as guilty in a past case. It’s better to apply with a clean criminal record. Also, the notaries who are willing to become signing agents have to face a background check according to the industry standards.
Do I need to complete a training program?
Not all states are asking for the training. You can follow up on each link I have provided to find out whether the state you are applying for requires training. The states which asking for training, are covering the basics from this training.
Usually, a training program takes 3 to 6 hours. So it’s better if you can engage with training whether your state requires it or not. When it comes to the cost, there is no standard training cost for the notaries. It gets varied from one state to another. Usually, online training may cost less than $100.
Before registering for online training, you can check with the secretary of state’s office or Local community colleges to get an education.
What is the cost of becoming a notary?
This totally depends on the state requirements. Sometimes the cost may be less than $100 and sometimes more. Most importantly, it depends on application fees, training fees, supplies cost, etc. The highest cost associated is purchasing surety bond. But it depends on the state and notary requirements. Here are the basic costs associated.
- Applications fees
- Training fees
- Exam Fees
- Background checking
Even it takes less than $100 or more than $100, becoming a notary is profitable. The average hourly rate is around $14 for the notaries. If you can hold more than one position, you can earn more. If you are a loan signing notary, you can receive more than that. Some notaries make more than $5000 per month. So it is worth to spend on.
What are the supplies required?
Notaries are required to have three supplies. This common for most states.
- Notarial certificate
- Stamp seal for stamping
- A journal for keeping records of notarization
Some states don’t require to keep a journal. But it is highly recommended to keep a one to give extra protection to you and the public. However, it is not hard to find certificates. You can try online methods to download the right certificates. Additionally, even your state doesn’t require these supplies, always try to use supplies as a best practice. You can easily find out helpful supplies.
How long it takes to complete the process?
If your state requires all requirements, including exams, training, and others, it will take 7-9 weeks. But, if your state doesn’t require them, it will take up to 4 weeks. Secretary of State’s office, Country Clark, or other government bodies are regulating and commissioning notaries.
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