How to Become a Mobile Notary

You can be Your Own Boss as a Mobile Notary

Thirty years ago when I was working in the mortgage lending field, obtaining a mortgage loan was a four to six or more week process. It also required a minimum of two trips to the bank with the first involving the taking of the application and the second for the signing of the papers at closing. Of course, if there were questions or problems with the home or the borrower's credit, additional visits to the bank might be required.

Things have changed over the past thirty years and when my wife and I refinanced our mortgage last summer we never left home. I answered some questions for the loan officer over the phone and faxed and mailed some additional information. When the application package was complete a representative made an appointment to come to our home where we reviewed and signed the papers. A week or so later the loan officer called me to say that the loan was approved and set an appointment for the representative to come back to our home for the closing. The representative again came to our home where we reviewed and signed the papers. Two days later I was informed that the old mortgage was paid off and the new, lower rate one, was in place. Talk about convenience and customer service!

A Good Second Career

The key to this process was the representative. This person was a self employed notary public who did contract work with the lender we were dealing with as well as a couple of other lenders. This particular gentleman was retired from the military and had started his own business from home as a notary public. However, unlike other notaries who work as an employee and notarize documents when necessary as a minor part of their job or are a self-employed professional, such as a lawyer or accountant, who are also a notary and notarize documents for a fee as a small sideline to their regular duties, this gentleman was making a good living as a notary. The big difference between him and more traditional notaries is the fact that he is a mobile notary.

There is no difference between a traditional notary and a mobile notary in terms of job duties and the requirements for becoming a notary. Both are identical and there is no legal difference between the two. The difference is how they practice their trade. Traditional notaries support themselves with income from a regular job and are notaries on the side. Since most states regulate the fees that a notary can charge and usually set very low maximum rates, there is no way a person can support themselves by simply notarizing documents.

However, while mobile notaries have to follow the same fee structure for notarizing documents, they are able to support themselves as notaries by offering at least two other closely related services whose prices are not regulated. The first service is convenience and the second is form filling. If I go to the notary, the most I can be charged is the maximum fee allowed per document notarized (in some places this can be as low as twenty-five or fifty cents). However, if the notary comes to me, I will have to pay the small charge for the actual notary service PLUS a fee for the notary's time and travel expenses, and these are whatever the notary wants to charge. Of course, competition will help keep these fees in line and the mobile notary should either post time and travel charges or advise the clients of this amount when the appointment is made. Why would someone pay fifteen or twenty dollars or more to have a notary come to them when a consumer can have a document notarized at their bank for free and a business can go to a notary and rarely pay more than a few dollars for the service? If a consumer, making say, $20 per hour, has a document that needs notarizing and they are given the choice of taking an hour and a half off from work (at a cost of $30 in lost pay) to go to a notary or paying a notary $15 to come to their place of employment during break time, doesn't it make more sense to pay the $15 for the notary to come to them. In the case of a business, it will usually cost a business person more in terms of lost work time to go to a notary than to pay a mobile notary to come to them.

The second service, form filling, basically involves the notary preparing loan documents by filling in the blanks in existing document templates and then delivering them to the borrower's (and seller's if it is a loan for a home purchase rather than a refinance) for signing and notarizing. Note that the mobile notary simply fills in blanks on a document template. In almost every state, except Louisiana, notaries are forbidden to draft (write) legal documents, but it is perfectly legal for a notary, or anyone else for that matter, to fill in the names of the borrowers, addresses, loan amounts, etc. With computers, this process of forms filling can be done quickly and efficiently. In the case of the gentleman who came to my house with the loan papers, he was paid for each signature that he notarized (there were about five documents that required notarization and both my wife's and my signature had to be notarized so that gave him ten notary fees), he was paid for completing and printing the loan documents and he was paid for his travel and time spent at our home. Of course the lender paid him after including what they paid the mobile notary in the fees I was charged for the loan.

Given the amount of loan business alone, a mobile notary can probably make a good living performing form filling and going to people's homes to have the forms signed and notarized for just a few lenders. However, due to the cyclical nature of the housing and mortgage market, a person going into business as a mobile notary should diversify into other areas of mobile notary services as well and this would including form filling of other, non-mortgage, legal forms as well as traveling around town to notarize documents and perform any other duties their particular state allows..

Given the growing volume of business and the growing number of forms that need to be notarized, becoming a mobile notary can be a very good home based business for enterprising individuals. In the links capsule below I have included a link to my previous article on the requirements and process involved in becoming a notary as well as links to other sites with useful information on notaries and mobile notary business.

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23 comments

Chuck profile image

Chuck 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona Author

bankscottage - glad you found this Hub useful. And you are correct in that being a mobile notary can be a nice work from home job. The mobile notary that handled the closing of our loan that I mentioned at the beginning of the Hub was retired and augmenting his income part-time as a mobile notary.


bankscottage profile image

bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Nice Hub Chuck. Just found it. This could be a good part-time job for a stay at home mom. She could stay involved in a business and have marketable skills and contacts when ready to go back to work full-time.

Our kids are older and gone. I plan on talking to my wife about this.


Chuck profile image

Chuck 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona Author

Lysette Hamilton - I suggest that you first click on the links I put at the end of the Hub to learn more about being a mobile notary. I haven't checked the links since I wrote the Hub, but the last four are links to national directories and professional associations which, if they don't contain information about the requirements for becoming a mobile notary in New Jersey, should at least have links to sites where you could find out how to become a mobile notary in New Jersey.

Also,a word of advice, the money to be made in the mobile notary business does not come from the state mandated notary fees but from the fees for the extra services like the notary going to the client rather than vice versa and other services like document preparation. However, if you plan on making money with document preparation you will have to get used to proof reading and using your spell checker as I found three spelling/typing errors and one punctuation error in your three sentence comment.


Lysette Hamilton 4 years ago

I am a lawyee in good standinging in New Jersey where I am able to notarized documents.. I am semi-retired and looking fo a less stressful job as a notary. Can you help me?


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Chuck this is a great and very informative article.

I cannot believe this was written four years ago. It is much needed information for today.

Thank you for sharing.

Take Care,

N.E.


jennifer irizarry 5 years ago

i am a notary and i would like to become a mobile notary.. my email is jennirizarry30@yahoo.com


majied bgs 6 years ago

execellent one haaaaaaaaa


glendoncaba profile image

glendoncaba 6 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse

I don't live in USA but useful to see creative approach to self employment.


JoshuaBlack profile image

JoshuaBlack 6 years ago from Michigan, USA

Great post. I was looking into this myself.


Iberkenbosch profile image

Iberkenbosch 6 years ago from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Your narration on becoming a mobile notary is excellent,I don't have much idea on it,that's why I got a very good reference from it.Thanks for this hub.


subhashlaxmin profile image

subhashlaxmin 6 years ago from Chhattisgarh India

execellent one


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

This was interesting reading! I was just driving down the road the other day behind a mobile notary, and I thought, "I wonder how they got into that line of business?" It looks like easygoing work for someone who needs a second income or a retirement income. Another one I would consider doing is home appraisals. That one probably requires more training but it also looks interesting from a sheer profit-standpoint. Those professionals make about $300+ dollars per house, depending on the market. Stay dry!


NotaryWebSites 6 years ago

Very good article and straight to the point. We get asked this question all the time on our site. By the way any notaries reading this and looking to promote your notary business for free may add their listing for "FREE" on our site www.notarydirectory.net


scheng1 7 years ago

Surprising to read this informative hub. I have to see if this concept applies in Singapore


Business Financing Guru 8 years ago

Great, Thanks Chuck!


classifieds profile image

classifieds 8 years ago

Here's a great mobile notary directory indexed by state: http://www.statenotary.info/directory/mobilenotary...


Chuck profile image

Chuck 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona Author

Business Financina Guru - thanks for visiting my hub. As to the laws regulating notaries they are set by the states and can thus vary. While I suspect that the general rules and laws for notaries are similar for most states except Louisiana, the test (which most state require) and actual filing process will be specific for each state. I suggest that you go to the official government website for your state and do a search on "notary requirements" or similar wording. More than likely you will find the information you need in the Secretary of State's (for your state - Not the State Department in Washington) section or the Attorney General's section of the site but it may be in a different area of the state government. Once you find the page for noraries you should be able to get answers to all of your questions and initiate the application process.


Business Financing Guru 8 years ago

Good info here on notaries. I'm working on starting a notary small business. Help me understand what some of the differences are on state laws? Are there major differences?


How to find a notary public 9 years ago

How to Find a Notary

During the course of your lifetime, there will be several situations, which will require the services of a Notary Public. If you are transferring the title to a vehicle, the Title Certificate must be notarized. If you are purchasing a home or refinancing a mortgage, you'll also need a Notary Public when signing certain documents. Thought about setting up a Living Trust, you'll need to locate a notary public.

A Notary Public is an individual who satisfies an individual state’s requirements and obtains a notary commission to witness to the authenticity of an individual's signatures and/or signors’ identities on many important documents. Requirements for obtaining a notary commission vary widely from state to state. Some states require notaries to take educational classes other requires continuing education. There are states, which require notaries to be bonded. All states pretty much require notaries to swear or take an oath to adhere to the laws that governing.

Before you contact a notary you need to do a little homework. Remember, as a general rule, a notary public should not do any official act in any capacity as an attorney, except licensed to practice such. With an Oath, the affiant is swearing to the content of a document. With an Acknowledgment, the affiant is acknowledging that he/she did sign the document.

Have your ID available to validate your identify for the notary public

Contact the entity that want the notarized and ask them what type of notarization is required, Jurat or Acknowledgment?

Go to your computer and open any browser and type: needAnotary.net

Enter you Zip Code, City or just click your State

Once the webpage opens up enter your zip code to find the most local notary in your community. Notaries are normally small local business leaders and professionals. When you use http://www.needanotary.net/ you help reinvesting in your neighborhoods and experience the fastest and smartest way to find a local mobile notary on the Internet

Select from the list of notaries and call to make a mutual time and date for an appointment. You can also email the notary public or visit their website if they have one.

If you notary did a good job, send them a thank you or compliment to express your satisfaction or lack thereof, as feedback for professional development.

Remember to bookmark the notary’s homepage if you had a good experience and now you have a business contact to had document notarization at your convenience.

A notary public may refuse to notarize documents, if they have concern about the signer's competence, suspect the affiant is being coerced, or the identity of the signer.

Sites like http://www.needanotary.net/ also frequently provide tools, utilities and resources for users. Be courteous if you have to change the time of date of your appointment, as these again are busy professionals and work by appointment.

Many of the notary professionals you will engage have solid backgrounds and offer a great depth of specialized knowledge in such diverse areas as banking, law, investment banking, marketing, venture capital, international business, and many other fields - or just successful entrepreneurs.


Ntsike 9 years ago

Here are two great articles that will help you start and grow your notary practice, even in tough times.

http://www.insiderreports.com/storypage.asp?StoryI...

http://ezinearticles.com/?What-is-a-Notary-Signing...?&id=509088

Remember: when times get tough, the tough make their move. There is a filtering out going on right now, as many notaries have quit their business and gotten a job. The pros are gearing to increases in their business as a result of this fallout.

You need an Internet presence and strategy to stay competitive as a mobile notary in 2007. People value their time and freedom from work! Most Americans maintain a busy lifestyle and will pay a notary for convenience and professional service. You as a notary need to be in the forefront of people in your local community.


Timothy Levens 9 years ago

Mobile Notary Document | Loan Signing Company|Notary Public Services, Irvine CA

Our aim is to provide you with the best experienced staff for all your mobile document, loan signing and notary ublic services needs.

http://www.performnacenotary.net


Ntsike 9 years ago

Need a notary public now, simply click www.needAnotary.netTraveling Professional Notaries is a service-oriented company, providing a nationwide notary network of notaries public available 24/7/365. Our notaries specialize in providing mobile loan document signings and general notary services.Using needAnotary.net lenders, closing companies, signing services and the general public can find quickly and easily qualified notaries public within the desired geographic area efficiently. Your Premier Source for Finding a Neighborhood Notary Public 24/7/365 Nationwide.http://needanotary.net


find a notary 9 years ago

Good article on becoming a notary!

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