(**) 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 South Carolina, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirement;
- Submit a notarized application and $25 fee to the Secretary of State;
- Review the notary commission certificate;
- Obtain a notary seal;
- Maintain a business journal;
- Study the South Carolina notary laws;
- Keep up with notarial best practice
Although you could work on different types of documents (i.e., POA, marriage certificate, living will), 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 South Carolina, 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 South Carolina
- 7 Steps to Become a Notary in South Carolina
- How to become a mobile notary in South Carolina?
- How much can you make as a notary signing agent in South Carolina?
- Is there demand for notary loan signing agent in South Carolina?
- How much does it cost to become a notary in South Carolina?
- How long does it take to become a notary in South Carolina?
- How to renew notary commission in South Carolina?
- I have more questions about being a notary public in South Carolina, where could I obtain more details?
- A real life story of a successful notary public and loan signing agent
A Table Summary to Become a Notary in South Carolina
|Age||Notary Course||Exam||Surety Bond||Term of Office||Application Fee|
|At least 18 years old||No||No||No||10 years||$25|
7 Steps to Become a Notary in South Carolina
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a resident and registered voter in South Carolina
- Able to read and write English
Step 2: Submit the application to the South Carolina Secretary of State
The South Carolina Secretary of State is responsible for appointing and commissioning notaries. You must submit the Notary Public Application to the office of the local county legislative delegation for endorsements. Then they will forward it to the Secretary of State’s office.
Most of the application questions 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.
There is a $25 filing fee. You may make a check payable to Secretary of State.
Step 3: Obtain a notary seal
Notaries are required to use an official stamp in South Carolina. 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.
It can be either an ink stamp or embosser and you may purchase it from office supplies store. Its design must comply with the regulatory rules. For example, it must contains the following:
- Your name exactly as it appears on the application
- The words “Notary Public” and “State of South Carolina.”
The stamp’s image must be sharp and legible printed so that it can be reproduced under photographic methods. To prevent fraudulent acts, it is important to keep it in a safe and secure place.
Step 4: Review the notary commission
Typically speaking, their processing time is 2 to 12 weeks after they receive the application. Upon approval, you will receive the notary public commission certificate.
You should review and make sure all the details on the certificate are correct. (e.g., your name, county of residence, term of commission). If there is any inaccurate details, you need to notify the Office asap.
Once everything is in good order, you need to file the commission certificate to the county clerk. There is a $10 fee.
Step 5: Maintain a notary journal
Although notaries in South Carolina are not required to keep a business journal, maintaining 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 numbered pages. You may find it at stationery, office supply stores, or through notary associations.
In the notary journal, you may consider recording 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 6: Study the South Carolina notary laws
The financial well-being of many people depends on the accuracy and completeness of your notary work. You must equip yourself with the necessary notary knowledge.
You should read the South Carolina Notary Public Manual
This handbook is prepared by the South Carolina Secretary of State. It is a 17-pages comprehensive guide that covers the following topics:
- General Information
- The Application Process
- Reporting Changes in Status
- Term, Jurisdiction, Title, Equipment, and Fees
- Notarial Acts
- Definitions of Notarial Acts
- What a Notarization Means
- Requirements for Notarization
- Special Circumstances
- Marriage Ceremonies
- What Notaries Cannot Do
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Foreign Language Requirements
- Authentications and Apostilles
- Unauthorized Practice of Law
- Contact Information
You can find comprehensive details on the South Carolina Code of Laws
When you read Code of Laws – Title 26 – Notaries Public and Acknowledgments, it pretty much covers mostly everything you need to know about being a notary.
The South Carolina Statutes indeed is a good reference if you want to know more in-depth about each notary topic.
However, its wording is more technical and formal. So I would go through the handbook first, then read the South Carolina Code of Laws only further clarification is needed.
Anyway, I’ll leave the links of these study resources in the reference section.
Step 7: 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.
How to become a mobile notary in South Carolina?
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 South Carolina, you must:
- Register with the South Carolina 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 South Carolina?
The average Notary Signing Agent salary in South Carolina is $35,341. It typically falls between the range $34,525 and $44,953. (+)
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 South Carolina?
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 South Carolina
|YEAR||All originated mortgages|
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (Sept 30, 2020)
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 South Carolina?
It would cost approximately $60 to become a notary in South Carolina.
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, E&O coverage, laptop and other business supplies.
How long does it take to become a notary in South Carolina?
It takes 2 to 12 weeks to become a notary in South Carolina.
After you submit an application to the Secretary of State along with the $25 filing fee, you will receive the notary commission certificate. Then you will file at the County Clerk’s Office.
How to renew notary commission in South Carolina?
The notary commission is not renewed automatically in South Carolina. You need to reapply for a commission every ten years.
The steps are the same as you were applying for the initial application. To avoid a business interruption, you should start the renewal process before the expiration of your current commission.
I have more questions about being a notary public in South Carolina, where could I obtain more details?
You may contact the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office at 605-773-3537 or email Notary@state.sd.us.
A real life story of a successful notary public and loan signing agent
What’s a better way to learn about the business than learning from someone actually working in it! Here is an exclusive interview I conducted with Luisa Cook. She is a successful Certified Notary Public and Loan Signing Agent.
In there, she shared her journey and business strategy in running a notary and signing business. I’m sure this could help you to understand more about the notary career.
If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in the notary signing profession. But why reinvent the wheel when there is a proven system that works? Many students had great success following the Loan Signing System (LSS) from Mark Wills. You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)
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)
- South Carolina Secretary of State – Notary Public (source)
- South Carolina Notary Public Reference Manual (source)
- South Carolina Code of Laws – Title 26 – Notaries Public and Acknowledgments (source)
- Salary.com – Notary Signing Agent Salary in South Carolina (source)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (source)