How to Become a Notary Signing Agent in Louisiana? (exam| income| e-notary)


real estate notary signing agent

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our website, 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 signing agent in Louisiana, you must submit an application to the Louisiana Secretary of State, pass the notary exam, pay the application, commission and exam fees, take an oath of office, and obtain the surety bond.

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 learn the steps to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana, income updates, and FAQ about this profession. 

Also 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.

7 Steps to Become a Notary Signing Agent in Louisiana

How to Become a Notary Signing Agent in Louisiana?

Step 1: Meet the basic requirement

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • U.S Citizen or alien of the state
  • Be registered to vote in the parish you are seeking for appointment
  • Able to read and write English
  • Have not convicted a felony that has not been pardoned
  • Hold a high school diploma or completion of an equivalent program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Step 2: Submit the notary commission application to the Louisiana Secretary of State

Submit the notary commission application to the Louisiana Secretary of State

The Louisiana Secretary of State is the office that grants the notary commission to applicants and maintains records of all notaries public in Louisiana.

You need to submit the application to qualify for appointment as notary public to the Louisiana Secretary of State. Most of the questions on the application are pretty strict forward—for example, your name, business address, background info. Make sure the name on the application will be the same as when you are notarizing documents.

There is a $35 application fee. You can pay by check or money order payable to the Secretary of State. You may also pay by credit card. To do so, you need to create an account through sos.la.gov/notarysignin, then add the card info there. 

Once all required documents are ready, you may mail it to: Notary Division P.O. Box 94125 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125.

Step 3: Pass the Louisiana Notary Public examination

Pass the Louisiana Notary Public examination

After your application is approved, you need to login to the online account on the Secretary of State website and take the Notary Exam Pre-Assessment. This is an online test administered by the Secretary of State and the LSU Office of Testing and Evaluation Services. 

The test questions surround the Louisiana Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, and the Louisiana Revised Statutes. 

However, the pre-assessment test score is just to give you an idea of whether you should continue pursuing the notary commission. You can take the test as many times as you like. 

Once you are confident in writing the ‘real’ notary exam, you may register for it by filling out the Exam Registration form. There is a fee of $100. You may find the exam schedule on the Secretary of State website. 

You must score at least 75% to pass it. I will go over more details about the exam later in the post. 

Step 4: Obtain a notary bond

The Louisiana Secretary of State requires you to purchase a $10,000 notary bond with a 5 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 professional services, you should consider getting an Error & Omission insurance coverage (E&O).

I just checked with a surety bond issuer. Below is their premium structure.

CoveragePremium
$10,000 bond without E&O $110
$10,000 bond with $10,000 E&O $150
$10,000 bond with $15,000 E&O $160
$10,000 bond with $25,000 E&O $180

You need to complete the Notary Bond form and get it signed by the surety company. There is a $20 filing fee to the secretary of state. 

Step 5: Take an oath of office

Louisiana notary oath of office

After you pass the Notary Public exam, the next step is to take an oath of office. Here is the form you need to complete. You need to do it in front of an official who is authorized to administer oaths – for instance, governor, secretary of state, clerks of court, notaries public, judges, justices of the peace. 

Two copies are needed. You will file one to the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125, while the other is to the parish Clerk of Court.

After you receive the Notary Commission Certificate, it is better to review to ensure all the details are correct. (e.g., your name, county of residence, commission dates).

Step 6: Get a notary seal

Louisiana notary seal

You are not required to get a seal to start a notary signing business in Louisiana. According to the Secretary of State website, your signature is considered as your seal.

However, having one helps you to include specific info in every document so you won’t leave out any required details.

I have seen that in some other states, the seal needs to contain: 

  • the word “notary public”;
  • name of the notary;
  • the state of appointment
  • the expiry date of the commission;

You may purchase the notary seal from office supplies store. Just make sure its design is complying with the regulations and state laws.

You must keep the notary seal 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: Maintain a good record of business practice with a notary journal

notary journal Louisiana

As a notary signing agent in Louisiana, the State law does not require you to keep a business journal.

However, 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. That is why many notaries would keep a business journal.

It is better to have one bounded with pre-printed pages. You may find it at stationery, office supply stores, or through notary associations.

For the states that require notary signing agent to maintain a journal, they typically would recommend taking notes of the following:

  • Name and address of the signer;
  • Date of the notarization;
  • Method by which each person was identified to the notary;
  • Type of official act (oath or affirmation, acknowledgment, protest, notary as an official witness);
  • Type of document involved (deed, mortgage, lease, motor vehicle form, deposition, etc.);
  • The fee charged; and
  • Signature(s) of person(s) signing document.

Furthermore, it is better to retain the journal for a reasonable period. Some states would require a notary signing agent to keep them for at least ten years.

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.

As promised, here is more info about the Louisiana Notary Exam!

Is the Louisiana Notary exam hard?

Louisiana Notary Exam Passing Rate

The Louisiana notary exam indeed is challenging. The required passing score is 75%.

But as you see in the above graph, the passing rate has been quite low throughout the years. The highest was only 25% which was the exam administered back on June 02, 2007.

While most states do not even have an exam requirement, the one in Louisiana is an extensive five-hour sitting!

How do I study for the Louisiana Notary exam?

At the time I am writing this guide, the current version of the exam will consist of scenarios that are typical of notarial practice in Louisiana. Then there would be multiple-choice questions pertaining to the scenarios.

Get the official study guide

Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice

If you want a higher chance of passing the exam, you definitely should consider getting the official study guide, “Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice.” I believe most of the exam materials would be based on the information from it. 

Also, you are allowed to bring the study guide to the exam room and reference it while writing the test. However, it has to be this particular study guide. If you bring others, then it would be considered cheating. 

For easier reference, the study guide can have tab pages. But the tabs cannot be longer than two inches and must be in clear plastic. Here is a sample.

Take a LA notary training course

Some people cannot absorb the materials well by just reading the study guide. If you have the same problem, then you may consider taking a notary training course. 

Rather than taking a course from a random education provider, it is important to find one that is trustworthy. Below is a list of notary course providers I found on the Secretary of State website. 

Notary Course ProvidersLessons FormatCourse HoursCourse Price
A + PELICAN STATE NOTARY CLASSClassroom49$572
BATON ROUGE COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom45$725
BLENDED PREP LLCClassroom, Correspondence, Electronic30$695
BOSSIER PARISH COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom38$309
DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom48$599
DONALDSON EDUCATION SERVICESClassroom36$695
FAST TRACK NOTARYClassroom54$695
FLETCHER TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom39$775
HILKER ENTERPRIZES, INC. - NOTARY AT YOUR SERVICESClassroom48$650
HOLISTIC EDUCATION REHABILITATION CENTER, INC.ClassroomN/AN/A
INOTARYNOWCorrespondence, Electronic, DISTANCE LEARNING42$550
JACKSON & ASSOCIATES LLCClassroomN/AN/A
LISA MCCOY/REAL MOTION NOTARY SERVICESClassroom42$500
LOUISIANA DELTA COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom3$550
LOUISIANA NOTARY & TAG, LLCClassroom, ElectronicN/AN/A
LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY SHREVEPORTClassroom52$450
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANSClassroom48$599
LSU - CONTINUING EDUCATION DEPT.Electronic42$550
LSU-A CONTINUING EDUCATIONClassroom24$400
MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE FOR INDUSTRYClassroom48$599
NORTHSHORE TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom48$599
NOTARY ACE, LLCClassroom, Correspondence, Electronic36$595
NOTARY INSTITUTE OF LOUISIANA, LLCClassroom, Electronic39$600
NOTARY INSTRUCTION & SERVICES, LLCClassroom72$525
NOTARY TOUTE SUITE, LLCClassroom54$600
NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom30$500
PASS MY NOTARY, LLCClassroom, EDUCATIONAL MATERIALSN/A$150
PELICAN BRIEFS, LLCClassroom60$725
PELICAN STATE NOTARY ACADEMY LLCClassroom, Correspondence, ElectronicN/AN/A
PETER A. RYAN, ATTORNEY AT LAW, LLCClassroom36$600
RONDA M. GABB & ASSOCIATES, LLCClassroom40$750
SOUTH LOUISIANA COMMUNITY COLLEGEClassroom, Electronic45$499
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AT NEW ORLEANSClassroom65$520
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AT SHREVEPORTClassroom16$299
SUZAN JACKSONClassroom55$500
TANGI NOTARY SCHOOLClassroom, Correspondence, Electronic20$1,000
TRINITY CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITYElectronic60$675
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTEClassroom45$1,299
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE - DEPT.OF CONTINUING EDUCATIONElectronic42$550
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE CONTINUING EDUCATIONElectronic72$550

Can you digitally notarize a document in Louisiana?

Can you digitally notarize a document in Louisiana?

eNotarization is where you notarize an electronic document using an electronic signature and electronic seal. You still need to meet the signer face-to-face.

Frankly, I prefer states that have the option for notaries to work digitally. This can bring you tremendous convenience to streamline your notary practice.

So far, I could not find anywhere on the LA Secretary of State website, which talks about eNotary. But as I was reading the docVerify, it states that commissioned notaries can perform electronic notarizations in Louisiana. (docVerify is one of the well-known technology providers for e-notary)

Since there could be confidential info involved in the notarization process, you must use a technology service provider with a high degree of security. Most states would have a list of approved technology providers. Before you subscribe to a technology platform, it is better to check with the Secretary of State first.

Can I perform remote online notarization in Louisiana?

Can I perform remote online notarization in Louisiana?

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 in many states, which allows remote notarization. The good news is Louisiana is one of them. To register, you just fill out the same eNotary application, as discussed earlier.

However, this could be a temporary measure due to the emergency. But whether they would revert to in-person notarization afterward is unknown yet. Therefore, you should check with the Secretary of State.

If you want to know how can you work from home as a notary? The tools that you’ll need in your home office. Here’s the post for you.

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

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

The average Notary Signing Agent salary in Louisiana is $36,009. It typically falls between the range $35,178 and $45,803. (+)

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 – June 28, 2020

Is there demand for notary loan signing agent in Louisiana?

I am just looking at the Notary Bulk Data from the Secretary of State website. There are 47,675 active notaries in Louisiana. I firmly believe that as long as people are obtaining mortgages or refinancing their homes, there would be a demand for loan signing agents.

All originated mortgages in Louisiana

YEARAll originated mortgages
201783,323
201694,261
201589,327
201481,230
2013101,849
2012107,636
201190,349
201096,150
2009103,928
200897,778
2007126,278

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (July 20, 2020)

Some states are “Attorney States,” which means only attorneys can coordinate the closing paperwork. Whereas, others are “Escrow States” where escrow companies would handle the mortgage closing.

According to the First American Title, Louisiana is a an “Attorney State.” Here is a post that talks more about the differences escrow states and attorney states. In there, you will also find two case studies where a loan signing agent has achieved their success 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. (**)

What education do you need to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana?

What education do you need to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana?

There is no education requirement to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana. But to achieve the best business practice in this profession, it is always good to equip yourself with notarial knowledge.

Some helpful resources include the “Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice” Study Guide, notary courses from a qualified education provider, and the pre-assessment test on the Secretary of State website.

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

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

It would cost approximately $467 to become a notary in Louisiana.

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

Notary Application$35
Commission Filing Fee$20
Notary Exam Fee$100
Surety Bond with E&O$180
Study Guide (Optional)$100
Notary Stamp (Optional)$17
Journal (Optional)$15

There could be other expenses involved such as notary education course, travel expenses, car maintenance, auto insurance, electronic notary technology, laptop and other business supplies.

Can a felon be a notary signing agent in Louisiana?

Can a felon be a notary signing agent in Louisiana?

Having a conviction for a felony may impact the application to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana. 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.

But having a felony does not necessarily mean your application will automatically be declined. It depends on the severity and nature of the conviction. The Louisiana Secretary of State would review it on a case-by-case basis. 

In Section Two of the application, there is a page of questions about the attestation of good moral character, integrity, and sober habit.

How long does it take to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana?

How long does it take to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana?

It takes quite a long time to obtain a notary commission. It would take around one to two weeks to process your application submission, registration, and scoring of the Notary Exam Pre-Assessment registration.

Furthermore, you need to qualify and complete the pre-assessment at least 37 days before the exam. Therefore, it would take approximately two months to become a notary signing agent in Louisiana.

How to renew notary commission in Louisiana?

Although it is relatively more challenging to obtain a notary commission in Louisiana than in other states, the good news is it is registered for a lifetime. So you do not need to apply for a re-appointment.

Can I notarize for a family member in Louisiana?

Can I notarize for a family member in Louisiana?

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 signing agent in Louisiana, where could I obtain more details?

You may contact the Louisiana Secretary of State, the Notary Division:

  • 225.922.0507
  • 225.932.5359 fax

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 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
  • Louisiana Secretary of State (source)
  • Salary.com – Notary Signing Agent Salary in Louisiana (source)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (source)
  • SuretyBonds.com – Louisiana Notary Bond (source)
  • 2018 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes TITLE 35 – Notaries Public and Commissioners (source)
  • State of Louisiana – Proclamation Number 37 JBE 2020 (source)
  • docVerify – Electronic Notary Louisiana (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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