How to Become a Notary in Nebraska? (exam| handbook| income)


How to Become a Notary Signing Agent in Nebraska

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our website, RealEstateCareerHQ.com, 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 Nebraska, you must:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirement;
  2. Pass the Nebraska notary exam;
  3. Obtain a $15,000 surety bond;
  4. Submit a notarized application and $30 fee to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office;
  5. Review the notary certificate of commission;
  6. Purchase a notary seal;
  7. Maintain a business journal;
  8. Familiarize with the Nebraska Notarial Acts;
  9. 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 Nebraska, 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 Nebraska

AgeNotary CourseExamSurety BondTerm of OfficeApplication Fee
At least 19NoYes$15,0004 years$30 for initial commission; $100 for electronic notary;
$50 for online notary

9 Steps to Become a Notary in Nebraska

9 Steps to Become a Notary in Nebraska

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • At least age 19 of age
  • Resident of Nebraska/ OR resident of a bordering state that have a place of employment or practice in Nebraska
  • Have not convicted of a felony or other crime involving fraud or dishonesty
  • Able to read and write English

Step 2: Pass the Nebraska notary exam

Writing the Nebraska notary exam

According to Section 64-101.01, you are required to write an exam in testing your knowledge on the Nebraska notary laws, procedures, and ethics. 

This is a take-home test where you would request it from the Secretary of State. You just need to provide them with your name and home address. 

Here is their contact info:

  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • U.S. mail: Notary Division, P.O. Box 95104, Lincoln, NE 68509-5104.
  • Telephone: (402) 471-2558.
  • Fax: (402) 471-4429.

The Notary Public Examination consists of 20 questions. 10 are True/False questions, where the remaining 10 are in multiple-choice format. To pass the test, you must answer at least 17 questions correctly. Here’s a copy of the exam I found online. 

If you fail on the first attempt, they will send you a second test automatically. If you also fail on the second attempt, you need to wait at least six months to request a third attempt. 

However, if you still cannot pass the test on the third time, you will be disqualified from obtaining a notary public commission. 

Therefore, you must write the notary exam carefully. Besides, you can find all the answers on the Nebraska Secretary of State website.

Step 3: Obtain a surety bond

Nebraska notary getting a surety bond

The Secretary of State requires you to purchase a $15,000 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.

CoveragePremium
$15,000 bond with $5,000 E&O coverage$40
$15,000 bond with $10,000 E&O coverage$60
$15,000 bond with $15,000 E&O coverage$85

Source: Suretybonds.com (Sept 14, 2020)

Step 4: Submit the application to the Nebraska Secretary of State

Applicant filling out Nebraska notary public application

The Nebraska Secretary of State is responsible for appointing and commissioning notaries. You need to fill out the Initial Application for Notary 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.

Make sure you sign the application in the presence of a Nebraska notary public and take an “Oath of Office.” The oath is an affirmation that you agree to assume a notary public’s duties and will comply with the Nebraska notary acts. 

The same requirement goes for the General Notary Bond Form, but it must also signed by an agent from the bond company.

Furthermore, you must complete the United States Citizenship Attestation Form. If you are a non-resident, you need to fill out the Evidence of Employment in Nebraska form.

There is a $30 filing fee.

Once all the documents are in good order, you may send them to:

  • Business Services Division: Notary
  • 1201 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508
  • P. O. Box 95104, Lincoln, NE 68509

Step 5: Familiarize with the Nebraska Notarial Acts

As a notary signing agent, it is important to understand the Nebraska notary laws and regulations. After all, you must know what you can do and cannot do. A great way in getting to know the notary laws is by reading is the “Nebraska Notary Public Handbook.”

Nebraska Notary Public Handbook

This is a 24-pages comprehensive guide that consists of six chapters:

  1. Definitions
  2. Fees
  3. Guidelines and Good Practices for Proper Notarizations
  4. Notarial Seals
  5. Notaries Public Statutes
  6. Available on Secretary of State’s Website

Another excellent resource is the Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapters 64. This is a section within the Nebraska Legislature, which lists out every detail about being a notary. However, its wording is more technical and formal than the ones in the Handbook.

But it indeed is a good reference if you want to know more in-depth about a specific topic.

I’ll leave the links of the Notary Public Handbook and the Nebraska Legislature in the reference section.

Step 6: Review the notary commission certificate

Reviewing Nebraska notary commission certificate

Once your application is approved, you will receive the Notary Commission Certificate from the Secretary of State.

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 7: Get a notary seal

Purchase a Nebraska notary seal

To start a signing services business in Nebraska, 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, it must contains the following:

  • The words “State of Nebraska, General Notary” OR “State of Nebraska, General Notarial”
  • Your name as appear on the notary commission
  • The expiry date of your notary commission

Here is a sample of a Nebraska notary seal:

Nebraska Notary Seal

The Secretary of State does not suggest using a round seal. Rather you should use a rectangular shape with a suggested size 2.5 inches.

Since the seal contains the commission expiry date, you need to get a new one for each term of office.

Step 8: Maintain a good record of business with a notary journal

Nebraska notary taking notes in the business journal

As a notary signing agent in Nebraska, 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.

In the notary journal, you should record the following items in each entry:

  • Date on Document; 
  • Date Notarial Act Performed; 
  • Type of Document; 
  • Type of ID presented by Principal(s); 
  • Printed Name of Principal(s);
  • Printed Address of Principal(s); 
  • Signature of Principal(s)

Here’s a sample of a notary journal format.

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.

You may click here to check out his training program. (**)

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.

What is a Certified Notary Signing Agent?- An Exclusive Interview with Melina Fuenmayor

Here is a review I wrote about the NNA Certified Notary Signing Agent Program.

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 Nebraska allow electronic notarization?

Does Nebraska allow electronic notarization?

I like states that have the option for notaries to work digitally. Doing so could bring you great convenience to streamline your notary practice.

Electronic Notarization, also known as “e-notarization” is where the signings and document transmission can be done electronically. But you’ll still need to meet the signer in-person to verify their identity.

You can perform “electronic notarization” in Nebraska. But the meeting must be conducted within the state of Nebraska.

An electronic notarization would involve:

  • Electronic document
  • Digital notary seal
  • Digital signatures of the notary and signer

Here are the steps to become an electronic notary:

  1. Take a course and pass an exam regarding notarial laws, procedures, technology, and the ethics of electronic notarization.
  2. Select technology for electronic notarization.
  3. Submit the Electronic Notary Public Registration form and pay the $100 fee.

Does Nebraska allow remote online notarization (RON)?

Does Nebraska allow remote online notarization?

Remote online notarization (RON) also known as “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 Nebraska. 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.

To become an online notary, you must:

1) Complete an approved course

To ensure you are familiar with the technology for digital notarization, you are required to complete a 90 minutes Online Notary Public Course from an approved provider. You may find more info here.

2) Choose a technology provider

As a notary signing agent, you would be handling documents with confidential details. Therefore, it is critical to choose a technology platform with a high level of security. 

Below is a list of approved technology providers I found on the Nebraska Secretary of State website. 

3) Register at the Secretary of State

You need to complete the Online Notary Public Registration form. Once again, you must sign it in front of another notary public.

There is a $50 commission fee.

How to become a mobile notary in Nebraska?

How to become a mobile notary in Nebraska?

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 Nebraska, 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 Nebraska?

How much can you make as a notary signing agent in Nebraska?

The average Notary Signing Agent salary in Nebraska is $34,572. It typically falls between the range $33,773 and $43,975. (+)

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 Nebraska?

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 Nebraska

YEARRECORDS
201743,786
201652,019
201548,157
201439,960
201356,003
201267,081
201150,258
201059,744
200965,475
200844,333
200751,923

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (Sept 17, 2020)

Since not all active notaries can perform electronic notarization or remote online notarization, you definitely should consider incorporating e-notary and RON in your practice to maintain a competitive edge.

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, Nebraska is not 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 Nebraska?

How much does it cost to become a notary in Nebraska?

It would cost approximately $297 to become a notary in Nebraska.

Here’s a breakdown of the costs to start a notary signing business

Notary application fee$30
Electronic notary application fee$100
Online notary application fee$50
Surety bond with E&O$85
Notary seal$17
Journal $15

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 Nebraska?

Can a felon be a notary in Nebraska?

Having a conviction for a felony may impact the application to become a notary in Nebraska. 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.

In the notary application, it will ask the following questions:

Have you been convicted of a felony?

Have you been convicted of a crime involving fraud or dishonesty within the last 5 years?

Quote from Initial Application for Notary Commission

If you answer “Yes,” you will need to attach a detailed written explanation.

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 Nebraska Secretary of State would review it on a case-by-case basis.

(6) No appointment shall be made if such applicant has been convicted of (a) a felony or (b) a crime involving fraud or dishonesty within the previous five years.

Quote from Nebraska Revised Statutes 64-101 Appointment; qualifications; term

How long does it take to become a notary in Nebraska?

It takes 10 to 14 days to become a notary in Nebraska. After you pass the notary exam, you would obtain the surety bond, submit the application and all required documents to the Secretary of State.

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 Nebraska?

How to renew notary commission in Nebraska?

You must renew the notary commission every four year. The renewal steps are similar as you were applying for the initial application. 

  • Sign the renewal application in front of a notary public and submit it to the Secretary of State
  • Pay the $30 renewal fee. (Note: This does not cover the $50 for online notary and $100 for electronic notary)
  • File a new surety bond
  • Get a notary seal with a new commission expiry date

You can start the renewal process within 30 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 a notary refuse to notarize a document in Nebraska?

According to the Notarial Acts 64-105, you may refuse to notarize a document in Nebraska if the signer is not in the presence at the time of the notarization; or you do not personally know the signer or cannot identify the signer through satisfactory evidence.

Can I notarize for a family member in Nebraska?

Can I notarize for a family member in Nebraska?

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.

I have more questions about being a notary public in Nebraska, where could I obtain more details?

You may contact the Notary and Certifications Division of the Secretary of State’s office at [email protected] or call (402) 471-2558.

Here’s a Snippet of What Stephanie Espinal Think about Being a Notary Signing Agent!

Stephanie Espinal 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 website, RealEstateCareerHQ.com, 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.

Reference:

  • First American Title- Your Guide to Real Estate Customs by State (source
  • Nebraska Secretary of State (source)
    • Steps to obtain a new notary commission (source)
    • Nebraska Notary Public Handbook (source)
    • Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapters 64 (source)
  • State of Nebraska Judicial Branch (source)
  • Salary.com – Notary Signing Agent Salary in Nebraska (source)
  • SuretyBonds.com – Nebraska Notary Bond (source)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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