- Andrea Morgan is a 22-year-old notary signing agent who earns up to $200 per signature.
- Morgan decides to try a notary job during the pandemic as a side job to help pay for college.
- She explains how to get certified, the difference between a notary and the NSA, and how to get clients.
This essay is based on a conversation with Andrea Morgan, a 22-year-old student and notary signing agent who works in California. Edited for length and clarity.
I originally got into the notary business during the pandemic after I came across a TikTok video of someone saying they were making $150 an hour as a notary signing agent. I had never heard of such a thing before and had no experience before investigating.
I’m a full-time college student, so this is a relatively low-income side job that helps me pay for my tuition. I work about 16 hours a week and just watch people sign papers and verify identities.
I usually make an average of about $150 per signature, but the highest I’ve ever made from a single signature was $200, and it only took about 30 hours.
Here’s my best advice for becoming a notary signing agent
After doing some research, I found out that I needed to become a notary public first.
Notary signing agents are completely different from notaries. Because we specialize in real estate and loan documents, we charge more than regular notaries. Most notaries can only charge what the state allows. On the other hand, we can reasonably charge whatever we see fit.
To get started, visit the Secretary of State’s website or National Notary Association websiteChoose your state and first read all the requirements and qualifications to become a notary public and then become a notary signing agent.
In certain states, called “lawyer states” or “escrow states,” in-house notaries handle the signing of documents, rather than notary signing agents like mine. For example, New York is a lawyer state, while California is an escrow state.
Becoming a notary public in California is a little more difficult than in other states. In most states, all you have to do is go to the county clerk’s office and say, “I want my application notarized.” It’s as easy as that. In California, you have to take courses, pass exams, and clear background he checks to become a notary public.
It only cost me $1,600 to start my business as a licensed notary signing agent
After becoming a notary public, I had to become a certified notary signing agent.
In California, it is not mandatory to have professional training to become a Notary Signing Agent, but I highly recommend it. I have.
I took a $497 course called loan signature system From Mark Wills, who eventually became my mentor. It took about 2 weeks, but it was very helpful for beginners, especially when it came to finding clients.
After taking that course, you are ready to complete your first signature. No college degree required. Her 18-year-old fresh out of high school becomes the notary’s signing agent.
The initial cost to become a notary signing agent totaled about $1,600, 100% worth every cent, including supplies and materials needed to run the business. Within two weeks of signing, he got his initial cost back.
The time it takes to sign depends on the document you are working on. If you buy a house, if you sell a house, reverse he refinances a mortgage, and so on. In most cases, signing takes him half an hour to an hour. But I signed her in 5 minutes and he made $150. 90% of the time it takes place at the signer’s home, but otherwise it takes place in a public place such as a local Starbucks or a park.
Notary signing agents typically get business in two ways
I am looking for a job through the signature service business and the direct client business.
On average, I get more business these days through signing services (intermediaries between notary signing agents and escrow or title officers) than direct customer business.
You can literally google “notary signing services near me”, but there are also popular platforms used by notary signing agents such as SigningOrder, Snapdocs, and notary rotary.
When I am booked through a signature service, it usually looks like this: They contact me and ask if they can do the signature. If I am, they will ask my fee or give me a number and ask if I am okay with that.
My next step is to print out the necessary paperwork after they send. You will also be provided with instructions specifying what kind of pen to use, what color of ink to use, what ID you need to bring, etc.
Then read each page sent to you to make sure everything is correct. Refinancing or reverse mortgages typically take 45 minutes to an hour, home sale paperwork typically takes 30-40 minutes, and signing the deed takes less than 15 minutes. After a while, the documentation becomes so familiar that it becomes second nature.
Then confirm the time and place of the appointment and go see the signer. All documents must indicate the title of the document, provide a brief description, and indicate where to sign and date. That’s all.
We recommend going a step further and booking your clients directly
Starting with a signature service is great for the first stage, but once you’re comfortable marketing yourself, whether it’s an escrow officer, title officer, or real estate agent, we recommend booking clients directly. Not only will you get more, but you’ll also build a relationship with your customers, making them more likely to book with you in the future.
There are several ways to find clients. All loan packages will include contact information for the Escrow Officer or Loan Officer when you book through Signature Services. I usually reach out to them myself and say:
“Hi, I’m Andrea. I’m a notary signing agent working with your clients. I just wanted to introduce myself. If you or the signer have any questions or need additional services in the future, please let me know.”
Another option is to walk into an escrow or loan office in person and introduce yourself. Surprisingly, many notaries do not realize that they can do this. When I meet people in person, I am almost always pleasantly surprised, and I think that helps build connections.
Now that I’ve developed relationships with clients and executives from previous signings, people reach out to me directly on a fairly regular basis. They found me on signingagent.com, a National Notary Public platform that automatically lists all accredited notary signing agents in a given area.
Clients can see my credentials, read my profile, and see that I have a professional headshot. When I asked her why she chose me, she said, She also explained common mistakes that notary signing agents make and ensured that those mistakes wouldn’t happen.”
There are other ways notaries can make themselves stand out. Showing gratitude is important. Say that you appreciate the business that the escrow officer or signature service owner provides. Even a small gesture of gratitude, such as bringing an escrow officer lunch or coffee, can go a long way. They are very busy and have very little time to get out of their chairs all day.
Don’t focus on money at first.
My first goal was to network and build genuine relationships and learn as much as possible about the job. It is recommended.
My rates started at about $45 an hour and after about 3 months I was able to confidently start increasing my rates. The owner of the signing service and his escrow officer noticed it and had no problems.
If you’re just starting out, we encourage you to explore notary-specific resources and platforms.To manage my finances, I use a platform called notary gadget This makes accounting and sending invoices much easier. To keep track of my marketing, I use a spreadsheet to organize myself and a Google Calendar to plan all my signatures.
I was shocked at how much money I was paid for doing a very simple job.
During this journey, I had to constantly remind myself to get out of the employee mindset. I wear all kinds of hats when it comes to running a business. Business has its ups and downs. I don’t blame myself if I don’t meet my monthly financial goals.
Anyone can do this as long as they meet state requirements. I see people making the switch from side hustle to full-blown careers all the time, and I definitely plan to do so when I graduate this spring.
If you have successfully created a secondary or passive income stream and would like to share your story, please email Dorothy Cucci: firstname.lastname@example.org.