(**) 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 New Mexico, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirement;
- Obtain a $10,000 surety bond;
- Purchase a notary seal;
- Submit the Notary Public Application to the New Mexico Secretary of State;
- Take an oath of office
- Get endorsement from two NM residents
- Pay $20 fee
- Review the notary commission certificate;
- Maintain a business journal;
- Familiarize with the New Mexico Notarial Acts;
- Keep up with notarial best practice
Although you could work on different types of documents, (i.e., marriage certificate, POA), 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 New Mexico, 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 New Mexico
- 8 Steps to Become a Notary in New Mexico
- Does New Mexico allow electronic notarization?
- Does New Mexico allow remote online notarization (RON)?
- How to become a mobile notary in New Mexico?
- How much can you make as a notary signing agent in New Mexico?
- Is there demand for notary loan signing agent in New Mexico?
- How much does it cost to become a notary in New Mexico?
- Can a felon be a notary in New Mexico?
- How long does it take to become a notary in New Mexico?
- How to renew notary commission in New Mexico?
- Can a notary refuse to notarize a document in New Mexico?
- Can I notarize for a family member in New Mexico?
- I have more questions about being a notary public in New Mexico, where could I obtain more details?
A Table Summary to Become a Notary in New Mexico
|Age||Notary Course||Exam||Surety Bond||Term of Office||Application Fee|
|At least 18||17 minutes of training video (optional)||No||$10,000||4 years||$20|
8 Steps to Become a Notary in New Mexico
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
- At least age 18 of age;
- Resident of New Mexico;
- Able to read and write English;
- Have not pleaded guilty or nolo contendre to a felony or been convicted of a felony;
- Have not had a Notary Public commission revoked during the past five years.
Step 2: Obtain a surety bond
The Secretary of State requires you to purchase a $10,000 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.
|$10,000 bond with without E&O coverage||$50|
|$10,000 bond with $10,000 E&O coverage||$90|
|$10,000 bond with $20,000 E&O coverage||$110|
|$10,000 bond with $30,000 E&O coverage||$130|
Source: Suretybonds.com (Sept 21, 2020)
Step 3: Get a notary seal
To start a signing services business in New Mexico, 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 a embosser or rubber stamp from office supplies store. But its design must comply with the regulatory rules.
Requirement for a notary embosser
An embosser is heavy metal for making an impression on the paper. It must contain the following:
- The word “Notary Public-State of New Mexico”
- Your name as appears on the notary commission
Requirement for a notary rubber stamp
A rubber stamp must contain your printed name, the words “Notary Public State of New Mexico” and “My commission expires:_____________”.
Keep in mind that the rubber stamps cannot be round, and
cannot contain a signature line or the expiration date printed.
Step 4: Submit the notary application to the New Mexico Secretary of State
The New Mexico Secretary of State is responsible for appointing and commissioning notaries. You need to fill out the Notary Public Application.
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 take an oath of office and sign the application in the presence of a New Mexico notary public. This is is an affirmation that you agree to assume the duties of a notary public and will comply with the New Mexico notary acts. The notary public also needs to sign the application and place a stamp/ seal on it.
There is a $20 filing fee. You may make a check or money order payable to: New Mexico Secretary of State.
The NM Secretary of State needs some reassurance that you are a trustworthy person
In the application, you need to get references from two New Mexico residents. The endorsers are really giving their approval and support to you as the applicant. Therefore, they should personally know you and believe that you are a person with honesty and integrity.
Once all the documents are in good order, you may mail them to:
- New Mexico Secretary of State, 325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300 Santa Fe, NM 87501
Also, keep in mind that you must complete the application in “black ink.”
Step 5: Review the notary commission certificate
Upon approval of your application, you will receive the notary commission within two to ten weeks.
It is a good idea to review and make sure all the details on the commission are correct. (e.g., your name, county, term of commission).
Step 6: Familiarize with the New Mexico Notarial Acts
As a notary signing agent, it is important to understand the New Mexico notary laws and regulations. After all, you must know what you can do and cannot do.
Watch the New Mexico Notary Training Video
This video is produced by the New Mexico Secretary of State. It is a 17 minutes clip which covers most of the fundamental topics about being a notary public.
This video is excellent for those who prefer to learn in a more interactive manner. However, I personally prefer the presenter to speak quicker, so I selected the 1.25X play speed while watching.
Another great way in getting to know the notary laws is by studying the “New Mexico Notary Public Handbook.”
This is a 17-pages comprehensive guide which cover the following topics:
- Requirements to become a Notary Public
- Steps to Becoming a Notary Public
- Applying with the Office of the Secretary of State
- Appointment and Reappointment
- Rights and Responsibilities of a Notary Public (Notarial Acts, Notary Information changes, Fees)
- Appropriate Notary Actions and Best Practice
- Inappropriate Notary Actions
- Resigning a Notary Commission
- Suspension or Removal from Office
- Apostilles and Certification of Appointment
- Sample Apostille
- Sample Certificate of Appointment
- Notary Public Complaint Information
- Precautions and Reminders recap
- Sample Notarial Acts (English)
- Sample Notarial Acts (Spanish)
Another excellent resource is the New Mexico Notary Public Law. It layouts 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.
Anyway, I’ll leave the links of the Notary Public Handbook and the Notary Public Law in the reference section.
Step 7: Maintain a good record of business with a notary journal
As a notary signing agent in New Mexico, it is better 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:
- What is the the date of the notarial act performed?
- What is the notarial act?
- The identifying information of the signer
- Other details which you believe would be useful when referring to this notarization
Step 8: 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 New Mexico 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.
An electronic notarization would involve:
- Electronic document
- Digital notary seal
- Digital signatures of the notary and signer
At the time, I’m writing this guide, E-Notary is unavailable in New Mexico. But situation could change. So you may check with the Secretary of State.
At this time commission approval for E-Notary is unavailable, as the required ACCET accreditation is not currently being provided in the state of New Mexico. Our site will be updated when an accreditation course is made available, to meet the requirement in become an E-Notary.Quote from New Mexico Secretary of State – Become an E-Notary
Does New Mexico allow remote online notarization (RON)?
Remote online notarization (RON) 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 New Mexico.
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 New Mexico?
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 New Mexico, 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 New Mexico?
The average Notary Signing Agent salary in New Mexico is $34,459. It typically falls between the range $33,663 and $43,831 (+)
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 New Mexico?
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 New Mexico
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (Sept 21, 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, New Mexico 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 New Mexico?
It would cost approximately $102 to become a notary in New Mexico.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs to start a notary signing business
|Notary application fee||$20|
|Surety bond without E&O||$50|
There could be other expenses involved, travel expenses, car maintenance, auto insurance, E&O, remote notary technology, laptop and other business supplies.
Can a felon be a notary in New Mexico?
Having a conviction for a felony may impact the application to become a notary in New Mexico. 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.
On the application, you are required to take an oath and confirm that:
I have never been convicted of a felony; I have not had my NotaryQuote from Notary Public Application
Public commission revoked during the past five years.
How long does it take to become a notary in New Mexico?
It takes 2 to 10 weeks to become a notary in New Mexico. After you obtain the surety bond and notary seal, you must submit the application to the Secretary of State. Upon approval, you will receive the notary commission by mail.
How to renew notary commission in New Mexico?
You must renew the notary commission every four year. The renewal steps are similar as you were applying for the initial application.
- Complete and submit the renewal application to the Secretary of State
- Pay the $20 renewal fee.
- Get a notary seal with a new commission expiry date
You may submit the renewal application within one month prior to the expiration of your current commission. 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 New Mexico?
Yes, a notary may refuse to notarize a document in New Mexico if:
- You believe to be an unlawful transaction
- The signer shows unwillingness or doubt about the consequences of the transaction
Can I notarize for a family member in New Mexico?
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 New Mexico, where could I obtain more details?
You may contact the Secretary of State’s Office at:
- 325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300 Santa Fe, NM 87501;
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)
- New Mexico Secretary of State (source)
- New Mexico Governor Emergency Orders 2020-015 (source)
- Salary.com – Notary Signing Agent Salary in New Mexico (source)
- SuretyBonds.com – New Mexico Notary Bond (source)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (source)