Do you want to make money as a notary but don’t know how to go about it? You are in the right place.
If you think bank tellers and employees of certain companies are the only people that can work as a notary, anybody can make money as a notary. You can earn from it either as a side hustle or as a business service.
If you have not pursued this income stream before, this detailed guide will show you what it entails to become a notary.
If you are ready to verify the signatures of those appending their signatures on official documents, you will find being a notary very easy.
In this comprehensive guide, you discover the different ways to make money with a notary. After going through this article, you will be able to decide if you want to be a notary or not.
What is a notary?
A notary (also referred to as a notary public) is anyone that is authorized to carry out official acts under the law of the state or country. However, you need to note that although most notaries are lawyers, many notaries do not practice law.
Also, not all lawyers are notaries. Non-lawyers that are allowed by law to be notaries have limited notarial obligations. I will discuss the requirements as well as the process of becoming a notary later in this article.
When people are asked what the duties of a notary are, most people usually think of notarizing documents or signing documents. Although these are true, notaries are also responsible for detecting the possible occurrence of fraud. They also determine the state of mind and understanding of the person that signed a transaction.
Duties of A Notary
As a notary, you will:
- Witness the signing of legal documents.
- Ensure that people signing a document understand what they are signing and why they are signing.
- Verify if the signatures of those signing a document are authentic.
These documents may be contracts, loan applications, or deeds amongst others.
How To Make Money With Notary
Here are the different ways through which you can make money as a notary:
1. Become a notary signing agent
Becoming a notary signing agent and getting certified to sign loan documents is one of the ways to make money doing notary.
The signing of loans is often executed by certified notaries and you can earn about $50 for the first or second mortgage loans you sign.
However, some states have restrictions on how loan signings are done.
The provisions of the National Notary Association helps you to become a certified notary agent.
2. Become a mobile notary
You can earn more money as a notary if your service is not limited to a particular location. In other words, becoming a mobile notary will increase your earning potential.
You can move about with your notary kits to meet clients in various locations.
Due to the travel expenses incurred, you can charge an additional $20 to $75.
This option allows you to earn more apart from your standard notary income. You will also be paid for the travel inconveniences.
3. Transcribe affidavits and depositions
Depositions are usually one by attorneys and they help in hastening court trials. This is not the same as online medical transcription jobs but you can also transcribe and notarize court documents for a specific amount. For instance, you can transcribe and sign depositions and affidavits that witnesses provide before a case is taken to the court.
As a notary, your signature will maintain the integrity of the process. So this is another option through which you can make money as a notary.
4. Advertise your service
You can print business cards and flyers and distribute them to local businesses. Also, you can build a website to give your notary service an online presence. A website will allow you to advertise your service on Facebook and local search engines.
Your local community needs to be aware that you are a notary. You can use social media, search engine queries, local advertisements, and telephone book listings to create this awareness for your service.
Here are some local businesses that you can leave your advertisement with:
- Law firms
- Medical services
- Engineering firms
- Insurance agencies
- Title and signing services
- Office supply stores
- FedEx and UPS stores
- Public libraries
- Grocery stores
If you come across a business that has a bulletin board filled with business cards of other local businesses, confirm if you can drop a pile of business cards too.
Also, remember to tell your friends because word-of-mouth is also an effective advertising tool.
5. Officiate weddings
You must be aware that religious group leaders or members of the Judiciary can officiate weddings. But you might not be aware that a notary could be a licensed ordained minister. Although few states permit a notary to officiate weddings. Also, additional qualifications and authorizations are required.
The responsibility of a notary as a wedding officiant is to verify the marriage license and other legal requirements of the bride and groom. You are also expected to keep records, such as the date of the wedding, the names of the bride and groom, as well as the location.
If you want to solemnize a wedding, you can charge between $75 and $250 depending on different factors. You can also coordinate non-notarial services, such as wedding planning, to increase your earnings.
6. Work for online notary companies
Technology has created a platform for a digital notary. This provides more work opportunities for notaries because of its convenience.
When you search online, you will come across different companies that provide e-notary services. There is no difference between working in an office-based notary company and working for an online notary company.
If you want to work for an online notary company, ensure you are a commissioned e-notary public. Some states may ask notaries to take a separate course and exam so they can be commissioned for e-notary.
However, there is no need to worry because some online notary companies help applicants apply for e-notary commissions. They also provide the required training.
One of the benefits of working with an online notary company is the freedom you will enjoy to decide about your working condition. You are free to choose if you want to work on a full-time, part-time, or freelance basis.
7. Become a field inspector
In most cases, you may not need to have any specific background or qualifications to work as a field inspector. Some companies even hire field inspectors irrespective of their educational qualifications. Being a field inspector provides an easier way to earn additional money.
You can use it as a side hustle in addition to the regular notarial services that you offer.
As stated earlier, you may not need to have specific qualifications to work as a field inspector, but you will have an upper hand if you are a notary. Some companies favor hiring notaries as field inspectors due to the skills and training they have.
Notaries have the reputation of being reliable, precise, and detail-oriented; these are the essential qualities that a field inspector needs to have.
Agencies usually hire field inspectors independently to visually inspect or preserve properties. Financial and insurance companies need the service of field inspectors to check and validate the information that clients provide about their properties.
For instance, an insurance company may hire a notary to detect possible problems before issuing a car insurance policy to the owner. Other services that a notary may provide to earn additional income include business and collateral inspections, commercial inspections, and mortgage and lease inspections.
How much does a notary make?
We have considered how you can make money doing notary. So, how much does a notary make?
Judging from the number of services that a notary can provide, notaries seem to earn more than enough. However, notaries earn differently based on different factors like the area of practice, number of transactions executed daily, and the type of document that the notary notarizes.
State rules also regulate what a notary earns by providing the highest amount a notary can charge for each service. In most cases, each notarization costs between $2 and $20 per signature or document.
The notary’s earnings are also influenced by the type of material that is being notarized. Documents such as mortgage and divorce papers cost more.
Also, working conditions determine what a notary makes. A notary working on a full-time basis will have a different earning from a notary working on a part-time basis. The type of practice also determines what notaries make.
Traditional notaries and online or mobile notaries make different incomes. Some companies charge on a per hour basis with a rate that is between $13 per hour and $22 per hour.
How much does a mobile notary make?
As a mobile notary, you are free to charge your travel fees in some states. A mobile notary travels to places to notarize documents, thereby allowing them to charge more.
Where can you get a notary?
If you want to hire the service of a notary, you can get one near you in almost every major town in the city. You can find a notary in the following places:
- Credit unions and some banks near you
- Police stations
- Public libraries
- Some car dealerships
- Organizations that you belong to, such as schools, military, AAA, etc
- Insurance agents near you
- Court offices or your local city hall
- Realtors near you
Another option is to use a directory to find the nearest notary in your location.
You can also search online by using ‘notary + location.’ This will bring results of notaries that are nearest to you.
Most notaries list their phone numbers so that prospects can call them to know how to get in touch with them.
4. How can you become a notary?
In the United States, the National Notary Association is in charge of regulating how people in different states can become a notary.
Here are the guidelines that most states follow:
- You need to be at least 18 years old and must be a legal resident in the state you intend to become a notary.
- You must not have any criminal record.
- Fill in and mail an application form to the office of the state you want to operate from.
- States such as California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania will ask you to complete a training course before you can become a certified notary. This course costs between $100 and $200.
- Unlike most states, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah require you to pass an exam before you can become a certified notary.
- You need to buy a surety bond in some states. This can be likened to insurance against errors that you make while working as a notary. The cost of the surety bond is between $50 and $100 depending on the state.
- Some states may require you to pass a background check and also check your fingerprints.
This article has revealed how relevant the notarial service is to our needs. Becoming a notary has lots of opportunities to offer. It also offers great earning potential; thanks to technology and the internet.
Apart from just notarizing documents, there are lots of side hustles that notaries can also venture into. Notaries can offer services such as transcribing depositions, becoming a field inspector, and also translating affidavits.
So, if you are interested in pursuing a career as a notary, ensure you check the requirements and the application process that are specific to your location. Once you are commissioned to be a notary, don’t limit yourself to just one earning opportunity. Explore the opportunities that I discussed in this article.
As a notary, it will be helpful if you set up a blog where you will educate your audience about your service. Learn more about how you can start a successful blog here.
Thanks for reading.