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How to become a notary loan signing agent in Florida? To become a notary loan signing agent in Florida, you need to submit the application to the Florida Department of State, complete 3 hours of notary course, pay the registration fee, purchase the notary seal and journal.
So what does a loan signing agent do in Florida? 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 escrow company.
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 the steps to become a notary loan signing agent in Florida, income updates. What does it take to work in this profession? And other helpful details about this career.
Note that this guide is for general information only and not to provide any professional advice. Although I’ve tried to put down info as accurate as I could possibly find, you should always refer back to the Florida Department of State and the State law.
So let’s go through the notary loan signing career in Florida.
- 7 Steps to Become a Notary Loan Signing Agent in Florida
- How much can you make as a notary signing agent in Florida?
- Is there demand for notary loan signing agent in Florida?
- What education do you need to become a Florida notary public?
- Is there a exam to become a notary in Florida?
- How much does it cost to become a notary in Florida?
- How long does it take to become a notary signing agent in Florida?
- Can a felon be a notary loan signing agent in Florida?
- How to renew notary in Florida?
- Can I notarize for a family member in Florida?
- I have more questions about being a notary loan signing agent in Florida, where could I obtain more details?
7 Steps to Become a Notary Loan Signing Agent in Florida
Step 1: Meet the basic requirement
- At least 18 years of age
- Legal resident of Florida
- Able to read and write English
Step 2: Complete the notary education course
You need to complete a 3 hours notary course that is approved by the Florida Department of State.
The course can be administered by a public or private sector entity, but it needs to be registered with the Executive Office of the Governor. Also, the curriculum must cover electronic notarization and the duties of the notary public.
The Governor’s Office and Department of State work together to bring you the required Notary Education Course. You could check out their class here.
It contains eight sections. You will need to answer questions at the end of each. (Except for Section 8, Electronic Notarization).
Even if you are a quick learner, they have a restriction where you need to spend at least 3 hours for the entire course. So you cannot complete a section in less than 23 minutes.
Once you complete the entire course, you may print out the Course Completion Certificate. It will display your name, date, and certificate number. This document will act as a proof when you are submitting the Notary Public Application to the State Department.
Keep in mind that the certificate is only good for one year from the issue date.
Step 3: Purchase a surety bond
The Florida Department of State requires you to purchase a $7,500 surety bond. You must get it from a licensed surety such as a notary bonding company, an insurance company, or a notary organization.
Here’s a list of notary processors. They would electronically transfer your Notary Applications to the Notary Commissions and Certifications Section.
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 professional services, you should consider getting an Error & Omission insurance (E&O).
Step 4: Complete the Notary Public Commission Application
You need to fill out the FL Notary Public Commission Application. The questions on the application are pretty strict forward—for example, your name, business address, driver license, background questions.
Furthermore, you’ll need to find an AFFIDAVIT OF CHARACTER to sign the application. Someone who knows you more than a year, but is unrelated to you. This is to confirm that they believe you are a trustworthy person.
As I’m reviewing the form, I see that there is a section that asks you to indicate your race. (e.g., Asian, Black or African America, Native American or Alaska Native, White, Other). I’m unsure what is the purpose of this question, so I’m guessing this could be used to verify the applicant’s identity.
However, other states would just ask the applicant to provide a passport photo. So this question does seem uncommon to me. Anyway, if I could find out why later on, then I’ll amend this post by then.
Note that you should only sign with your official signature. There is a fee of $39. ($25 for application; $10 commission fee; $4 appropriated to the Executive Office of the Governor)
On the last page of the application, you are required to fill out the Bond of Notary Public form. You must sign and include details of the surety company.
Once everything is in good order, you may send it to the surety bond company. (including the proof of course completion). Then they will electronically submit your applications to the FL Department.
Step 5: Receive the notary public commission certificate
Once FL Department approves your application, the notary public commission certificate will be sent to the bonding agency. Then they will forward it to you.
After you receive the certificate, it’s better to review and make sure all the details are correct. (e.g., your name, county of residence, commission dates).
Step 6: Get the notary business supplies
You may purchase the notary seal from the surety bond company. If you do, then usually they would mail it along with your notary public commission certificate.
You may also get it from another vendor. But make sure that their seal would meet the FL Department’s requirement.
Notary Public Official Seal and Commission Certificate
“A notary public seal shall be affixed to all notarized paper documents and shall be of the rubber stamp type and shall include the words ‘Notary Public-State of Florida.’
The seal shall also include the name of the notary public, the date of expiration of the commission of the notary public, and the commission number. The rubber stamp seal must be affixed to the notarized paper document in photographically reproducible black ink.
Every notary public shall print, type, or stamp below his or her signature on a paper document his or her name exactly as commissioned. An impression-type seal may be used in addition to the rubber stamp seal, but the rubber stamp seal shall be the official seal for use on a paper document, and the impression-type seal may not be substituted therefor.” Fla. Stat. § 117.05(3)(a).Quote from Florida Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries Public
As for the journal, although it is not required by law, it is an essential part of good business practice. It acts as proof that you have taken reasonable steps to identify the signer of a document.
Consider using a permanently bound journal because their pages are more difficult to remove or lose than loose-leaf pages. You may find it at the surety bond company, office supply stores, or through notary organizations.
You should record the list notarial acts in chronological order. Also, in your notary journal, it is better to take note of:
- When was the date of the notarial act?
- What had been done?
- What are the documents involved?
- Who is the person whose signature was notarized, and what is their address?
- The list of fees received
- A note section where you could add personal annotations
You must keep both the seal and journal in a locked and secured area, where only you have direct and exclusive control of it. (e.g. a locked drawer or cabinet.)
Step 7: Register for Online Notary
One thing I really like about this industry in Florida is the availability of Online Notary. Doing so could bring you great convenience to streamline your notary practice.
To register, you’ll need to fill out the “Registration for Online Notary” form. The submission process is similar to the one we just went through. But this time, you are required to have:
- A bond with the minimum amount of $25,000
- An E&O with at least $25,000 coverage
- Registration fee of $10
- Complete a course that covers the duties, obligation and technology requirements of being an online notary public.
Although you still need to meet the signer in person, a rubber stamp or an impression type seal is not needed for an electronic notarization. This allows documents to electronically notarized rather than in traditional pen and ink.
Not only that, this is a lot more convenient for record-keeping and delivery of completed documents, but less paper usage is good for the environment too. Here’s a post on how to run a paperless office.
However, you must use a RON Service Provider that is in compliance with Florida Law. Also, the technology and process need to satisfy the requirements set out in Ch. 117, Florida Statutes and Ch. 1N-7, Florida Administrative Code.
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.
How much can you make as a notary signing agent in Florida?
The average Notary Signing Agent salary in Florida is $35,548. It typically falls between the range $34,727 and $45,216. (+)
(+) Source: Salary.com – March 26, 2020
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.
Is there demand for notary loan signing agent in Florida?
As long as people are obtaining mortgages or refinancing their homes, there would be a demand for notary loan signing agents in Florida.
All originated mortgages in Florida
|YEAR||All originated mortgages|
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (April 11, 2020)
Furthermore, some states are “Attorney states,” which means only an attorney can handle the closing paperwork. Whereas, others are “Escrow States” where a loan signing agent can do the work.
According to the First American Title, Florida is a not an “Attorney State,” which is good news if you are interested in starting a notary loan signing business.
What education do you need to become a Florida notary public?
To become a notary public in Florida, you’ll need to complete a 3 hours notary course from an approved education provider.
But a good place to learn about this profession is by reading the Florida Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries Public. It is a 28 pages guide published by the State of Florida and prepared by the Notary Coordinator.
I’ll leave a link of this handbook in the reference section at the end of this post.
Is there a exam to become a notary in Florida?
No, there is no examination requirement to become a notary public in Florida.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Florida?
It would cost approximately $151 to become a notary loan sign agent in Florida.
The FL notary application fee is $39. I checked with a surety bond issuer. They have a $112 Deluxe package which includes
- Rectangular Stamp
- Notary Bond
- Notary Certificate
- Window Decal
- Choose your Notary E&O coverage
There could be other expenses involved, such as travel expenses, and other business supplies.
How long does it take to become a notary signing agent in Florida?
The 3 hours of notary education can be completed in a day. Getting the surety bond and the notary application can be done in a day or two.
Assume you have everything in good order, (completed application, including having an Affix to prove your character). The surety bond issuer should be able to electronically submit your info to the FL Department on the same day.
I checked on the FL Governor’s Reference Manual. It says that depending on the volume of workload, it would take at least five business days for the FL Department to process your application.
Once they approve your application, it probably would take another few business days to mail out the certificate to the surety company, which would be forwarded to you later on.
So give or take, it would take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to become a notary loan signing agent in Florida.
Can a felon be a notary loan signing agent in Florida?
Having a conviction for a felony may impact the application to become a notary loan signing agent in Florida. The Florida Department of State needs to make sure that you are a person with credibility, truthfulness, and integrity to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.
If ever convicted of a felony charge, you must have your civil rights restored, pursuant to Article VI, section 4(a) of the Florida Constitution.
If ever convicted of a felony, or if ever had adjudication withheld or sentence suspended for a felony offense, you must submit the following documents:
– Written statement regarding the nature and circumstances of the charge(s);
– Copy of the court judgment and sentencing order, or a comparable court document; and
– If convicted, copy of the Certificate of Restoration of Civil Rights (or pardon). The name of this document may vary depending on the state where the conviction occurred. If the conviction occurred in a state that does not provide a document of this nature upon the restoration of civil rights, the applicant is responsible for providing explanation and substantial evidence as proof of the fact.
– This information is required whether the felony charges were brought by the State of Florida, another state, or the United States. If adjudication was withheld and civil rights were not forfeited, the written statement and court documents are sufficient.
Quote form Florida Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries Public
– To obtain information about the restoration of civil rights, you may contact:
Office of Executive Clemency
4070 Esplanade Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2450
On the application, there are questions about any felony record or professional misconduct.
Having a felony does not necessarily mean your application will automatically be declined. It depends on the severity and nature of the conviction. The Department of State would review it on a case-by-case basis.
How to renew notary in Florida?
You need to renew the notary commission every four years. Similar requirements (e.g., submission application) discussed above would apply.
To avoid an interrupted business period, it’s better to send in your notary public application at least six months before your current notary commission certificate is expired.
Also, upon renewal, you’ll need to get a new notary seal and destroy the old one so that it would not be misused.
Can I notarize for a family member in Florida?
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 loan signing agent in Florida, where could I obtain more details?
You may contact the Florida Department of State:
- Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, Notary Section P.O. Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314-6327
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.
(**) 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.
- First American Title- Your Guide to Real Estate Customs by State (Source)
- Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations -Notary Section (Source)
- Florida Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries Public (Source)
- Salary.com – Notary Signing Agent Salary in Florida (Source)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (Source)
- Florida Notary Now (Source)