(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.
To become a notary in Mississippi, you must
- Meet the eligibility requirement;
- Submit a notarized application
- Pay the $25 fee to the Secretary of State
- Obtain a $5,000 surety bond
- Take an oath of office within 60 days
- Purchase the notary seal and journal
- Keep up with notarial best practice
Although you could work on different types of documents, the loan signing business in the real estate market seems to be a lucrative niche.
So what does a loan signing agent do? When people are getting a mortgage to purchase a house, or they need to refinance their property, there will be loan documents involved. Your role as a notary loan signing agent is to walk through the set of loan documents with the borrower and witness them in signing the paperwork.
You would also need to verify the identity of the signers, place the notary stamp on the signed documents, then send them back to the signing services company or closing attorney.
But keep in mind that you should NOT be providing legal advice, and you cannot explain the terms of the loan documents to the borrower.
In this guide, you’ll find out the steps to become a notary in Mississippi, income updates, and FAQ about this profession.
But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal notary public training. It is for general information only. Please check with your state to be sure that loan signing agents are utilized in the closing process. Always follow your state’s notary laws and best practices.
Would you like to learn how to make $75 to $200 per signing appointment? Check out this loan signing training program from Mark Wills. (**) He is one of the highest producing notary loan signing agents in the country.
- A Table Summary to Become a Notary in Mississippi
- 9 Steps to Become a Notary in Mississippi
- Does Mississippi allow remote online notarization (RON)?
- How to become a mobile notary in Mississippi?
- How much can you make as a notary signing agent in Mississippi?
- Is there demand for notary loan signing agent in Mississippi?
- How much does it cost to become a notary in Mississippi?
- Can a felon be a notary in Mississippi?
- How long does it take to become a notary in Mississippi?
- How to renew notary commission in Mississippi?
- Can I notarize for a family member in Mississippi?
- I have more questions about being a notary public in Mississippi, where could I obtain more details?
A Table Summary to Become a Notary in Mississippi
|Age||Notary Course||Exam||Surety Bond||Term of Office||Application Fee|
|At least 18||No||No||$5,000||4 years||$25|
9 Steps to Become a Notary in Mississippi
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
- At least age 18 of age
- Resident of Mississippi for at least 30 days
- Citizen or legal resident of the U.S
- Able to read and write English
- Not be convicted of a felony
Step 2: Submit the application to the Secretary of State
The Mississippi Secretary of State is responsible for appointing and commissioning notaries. You need to fill out the “Application for a Notary Public Commission.“
Most of the questions in the application are pretty strict forward—for example, your name, business address, background info. It’s better to check that the name on the application will be the same as when you are notarizing documents.
You must sign this part and swear in front of a notary public. This is an affirmation that the answers on the application are true and correct. The notary public needs to sign and place a seal on it.
After you complete the form, you may send it along with all the required document to the Mississippi Secretary of State. There is a $25 filing fee. (Make check payable to Secretary of State)
Their mailing address is: Secretary of State, Business Services Division, P.O. Box 136, Jackson MS 39205-0136.
Step 3: Obtain a surety bond
The Secretary of State requires you to purchase a $5,000 surety bond with a 4 years term. You may get it from a licensed surety such as a notary bonding company, an insurance company, or a notary organization. You could search for them online.
Note that the surety bond is to protect those for whom the notary public performs a notarization, but not you as a notary public. If you need coverage for your practice, you should consider getting an Error & Omission insurance (E&O).
I just checked with a surety bond issuer. Below is their premium structure.
|$5,000 bond with $10,000 E&O coverage||$50|
|$5,000 bond with $20,000 E&O coverage||$70|
|$5,000 bond with $30,000 E&O coverage||$90|
Source: Suretybonds.com (Sept 7, 2020)
Step 4: Take an oath of office
Once your application is approved, the Secretary of State will notify you. Within 60 days, you must take an “Oath of Office” before a Mississippi Notary Public. The oath is an affirmation that that you agree to assume the duties of a notary public and will comply with the Mississippi notary acts.
Also, you’ll need to file the surety bond to the Secretary of State.
Step 5: Review the notary commission certificate
The Mississippi Secretary of State will send you the Notary Certificate of Commission. It is a good idea to review and make sure all the details on the commission are correct. (e.g., your name, city of residence, tern of commission).
Step 6: Get a notary seal
To start a signing services business in Mississippi, you may use a notary seal. It is a helpful business tool that ensures you won’t leave out any required details. It indicates the signing agent as an impartial witness and helps to prevent fraudulent acts.
You may purchase the notary seal from office supplies store. Its design must comply with the regulatory rules. For example, the seal must include
- Your name as appears on the commission certificate,
- The words “Notarial Public”, “State of Mississippi [insert county of residence] County”
- The words “Commission expires [insert expiration date]
- Have a circular shape border with diameter is no less than 1.5 inches, but no greater than 2.5 inches.
Step 7: Maintain a good record of business with a notary journal
As a notary signing agent in Mississippi, it is good to maintain a journal of all the notarial acts. Keeping a good record of your notary acts is an essential part of good business practice. It could serve as proof that you have taken reasonable steps to identify the signer of a document.
If your journal is maintained in a physical format, you should have one bounded with pre-printed pages. You may find it at stationery, office supply stores, or through notary associations. Also, you cannot have more than one active journal at any even time.
Whereas for a journal in an electronic format, it needs to be a permanent, tamper-evident. Make sure that it is complying with the rules of the Secretary of State.
A. For every notarial act, the notary shall record in the journal at the time of notarization at least the following:
1. the date and time of day of the notarial act;
2. the type of notarial act;
3. the type, title, or a description of the document or proceeding;
4. the printed name and address of each principal;
5. the fee, if any, charged for the notarial act;
6. the address where the notarization was performed if not the notary’s business address;Quote from Mississippi Code – Rule 5.16 Entries
Step 8: Familiarize with the Mississippi Notarial Acts
As a signing agent, it is important to understand the Mississippi notary laws and regulations. You must know what you can do and cannot do.
A good way to equip with the notarial knowledge is by reading the “Mississippi Code – Part 5.”
This is a 21 pages PDF file that consists of 8 chapters:
- Chapter 1: Notary
- Chapter 2: Notary Application
- Chapter 3: Commissioning Documents
- Chapter 4: Jurisdiction and Term
- Chapter 5: Notary Actions
- Chapter 6: Certificates for Notarial Acts.
- Chapter 7: Sanctions and Remedies for Improper Acts
- Chapter 8: Apostilles and Authentications
You can find the link of this guide in the reference section of the post.
Step 9: Keep up with notarial best practice
Continuing education is critical to being a notary signing agent. Rules and regulations would change over time. Also, there will be new technology to advance your business practice. A good way is to take high-quality courses from a trusted provider.
Learn to earn as a Loan Signing Agent
Without sufficient income, you are just doing it as a hobby and not a real business. The first step you should take is to learn how to build a “PROFITABLE” notarial practice.
But this could take years of trial and error in coming up with a feasible strategy. Rather than reinventing the wheel, a MUCH better way is to learn from someone who has done it before successfully.
Mark Wills is a top-notch coach for notary signing agents. He developed the Loan Signing System (LSS) training program, where many of his students have achieved massive success. Some can earn great money as a side-gig, where some are earning over six-figures every year.
Advance your credential by becoming an NNA Certified Notary Signing Agent
The National Notary Association (NNA) is one of the largest associations and most recognizable for notaries. They provide regular updates, training and networking events to the members.
Getting the NNA Certified status can show to title and escrow companies that you are maintaining a high standard as a signing agent. Thus, strengthen their trust and confidence in your signing services.
In there, you can find an exclusive interview I had with Melina Fuenmayor. She will share with you her thoughts in obtaining the certified credential.
Does Mississippi allow remote online notarization (RON)?
I like states that have the option for notaries to work digitally. Doing so could bring you great convenience to streamline your notary practice.
Remote online notarization allows you not to be physically present with the signer. Instead, you would verify their the signer’s identity through video and audio conference.
At the time I’m writing the post, there are emergency rules imposed which allows remote notarization in Mississippi. However, this could be a temporary measure. Whether they would revert to in-person notarization afterward is unknown yet. Therefore, you should check with the Office of the Secretary of State.
How to become a mobile notary in Mississippi?
Some signers cannot travel to your office in signing the documents, and they do not have the technology to perform the remote notarization. In such a situation, there would be a demand for a mobile notary. In short, a mobile notary is merely a notary that travels around in meeting signers.
To become a mobile notary in Mississippi, you must:
- Register with the Secretary of State as a notary. This is basically the same notary commission certificate, as discussed earlier. You don’t need to get a new one.
- Have ease of transportation. It is better to have your own car so that you could conveniently drive between appointments.
- Setup essential equipment: A mobile printer and an approved electronic notarization platform allow you to work on the documents whenever and wherever. You may check out our resource page for amazingly helpful tools that could streamline your business.
How much can you make as a notary signing agent in Mississippi?
The average Notary Signing Agent salary in Mississippi is $32,800. It typically falls between the range $32,042 and $41,721. (+)
As mentioned earlier, you could work on different documents, but the loan signing in the real estate market could be a lucrative niche.
Can you make over $10,000/month as a notary loan signing agent? Be sure to check out our notary earning guide. You’ll find a case study where a loan signing agent has built her business to such a successful figure.
(+) Source: Salary.com – Aug 27, 2020
Is there demand for notary loan signing agent in Mississippi?
As long as people are obtaining mortgages or refinancing their homes, there would be a demand for notary loan signing agents.
All originated mortgages in Mississippi
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (Sept 05, 2020)
Some states are “Attorney States,” which means only attorneys can coordinate the closing paperwork of a real estate. Whereas, others are “Escrow States” where escrow companies would handle the mortgage closing.
According to the First American Title, Mississippi is an “Attorney State.”
Here is a post covering the differences between escrow states and attorney states and its impact on the loan signing business. You will also find a case study where a signing agent went from barely making end needs to earning over $10,000/month even in an attorney state.
If you want to succeed in the loan signing industry, you must check out this loan system training program. If you review the testimonials of his students, you’ll be amazed at how the notary career changes their life after they learned from Mark Wills. (**)
How much does it cost to become a notary in Mississippi?
It would cost approximately $37 to become a notary in Mississippi.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs to start a notary signing business
|Notary Application Fee||$25|
There could be other expenses involved, travel expenses, car maintenance, auto insurance, remote notary technology, laptop and other business supplies.
Can a felon be a notary in Mississippi?
Having a conviction for a felony may impact the application to become a notary in Mississippi. The Secretary of State needs to make sure that you are a person with credibility, truthfulness, and integrity to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.
However, having a felony does not necessarily mean your application will automatically be declined. It depends on the severity and nature of the conviction. The Mississippi Secretary of State would review it on a case-by-case basis.
Rule 1.8 “Felony” or “disqualifying felony” means the conviction of any of the crimes below under the laws of this state or any other state or country:
A. Murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretenses, perjury, forgery, embezzlement or bigamy,
B. “Theft” in subsection (1) includes the following offenses: larceny, taking unlawful possession of a motor vehicle, armed robbery, robbery, receiving stolen property, extortion, felony shoplifting and timber larceny.
C. You may, however, apply for the office of Notary Public if you have been convicted of a disqualifying felony if:
1. You have received a full and complete pardon from the Governor for your crime(s) or if the Mississippi Legislature has restored your right to suffrage (right to vote), and
2. Disclose your conviction(s) in your application and provide copies of the conviction order(s) and supply a copy of the Pardon from the Governor or Act of the Legislature restoring your rights.Quote from Mississippi Code – Rule 1.8
How long does it take to become a notary in Mississippi?
It take less than one week to become a notary in Mississippi. After the Secretary of State receives your application and all the required documents, they you must take an oath of office and file the surety bond within 60 days.
Once everything is in good order, the Secretary of State will send you the notary certificate. Then you could purchase the notary seal and journal.
How to renew notary commission in Mississippi?
You must renew the notary commission every four year. The renewal steps are similar as you were applying for the initial application.
- Sign the application before a notary public
- Submit the application to the Secretary of State
- Taking an oath of office
- File a new surety bond
- Get a notary seal with a new commission expiry date
You can start the renewal process within 60 days that your current commission will expire. But to avoid an interrupted business period, don’t wait till your current notary commission is expired.
Can I notarize for a family member in Mississippi?
You must not notarize any documents where you have any financial or beneficial interest in the transaction. Therefore, notarizing a document for any family member could call into question, and such practice should be avoided.
A notary is disqualified from performing a notarial act if the notary:
A. is a party to or named in the document that is to be notarized;
B. is a spouse, ancestor, descendant, or sibling of the principal, including in-law, step, or half relatives and other persons residing in the same household;
C. will receive as a direct or indirect result any commission, fee, advantage, right, title, Interest, cash, property, or other consideration exceeding in value the fees specified in this Chapter;Quote from Mississippi Code – Rule 5.2 Disqualifications
I have more questions about being a notary public in Mississippi, where could I obtain more details?
You may contact the Mississippi Secretary of State, Business Services
- (601) 359-1633
- (601) 359-1499 FAX
You can also email them by filling out their online contact form.
Here’s a Snippet of What Stephanie Espinal Think about Being a Notary Signing Agent!
“My advice is that don’t be afraid to start the loan signing career on a part-time basis”– Stephanie Espinal, Notary Loan Signing Agent
Here is an exclusive interview with Stephanie. She will share with you what it takes to be a notary signing agent as a side gig, her valuable journey, and secret sauce to success.
Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.
(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
- First American Title- Your Guide to Real Estate Customs by State (source)
- Mississippi Secretary of State
- Salary.com – Notary Signing Agent Salary in Mississippi (source)
- SuretyBonds.com – Mississippi Notary Bond (source)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (source)