Perhaps you believe that notaries are solely available to bank tellers and workers of certain firms. The fact is that practically anybody may earn money as a notary as a side business or supplemental service.
If you’ve never thought about this as a way to make money before, this step-by-step article will show you how to get your own notary stamp.
Being a notary public may be a reasonably straightforward method to generate additional money with little work, provided you’re prepared to verify the signatures of those signing official papers.
How Much Do Notaries Get Paid?
You may expect to earn between $9 and $21 per hour as a notary public.
The amount you earn is determined by numerous factors:
Where do you reside?
For whom do you work?
What kinds of papers do you notarize?
Is it necessary for you to travel?
You may obtain a pay boost if your present company needs you to be a notary, but you will be paid a fixed wage depending on your existing employment position. If you work as a bank teller, administrative assistant, or county clerk, this may apply to you.
Because most notary clients are one-time customers, many self-employed notaries provide their notary service in addition to their principal company. It is feasible to work as a full-time notary, but it takes time, so don’t give up your day job too soon.
You’ll have the best chance of succeeding if you run a company that needs notarized papers so that your clients don’t have to go to their bank or the UPS Store.
Consider becoming a “mobile notary” who travels to notarize documents so you can serve more customers and make up to $75 for your work. This will increase your chances of being successful.
Learn about the notary public fees that you may charge.
How much you charge for your notary services determines how much money you can earn as a notary. Although each state has its own set of rules, you may normally charge anywhere from $2 to $5 per document or signature.
Although, in some places, notaries can charge $10 per signature, which means you can make more money on documents like mortgage applications and divorce filings that are more complicated.
What Does It Take to Become a Notary Public?
To become a notary public, you must complete a few steps, which are outlined below as a basic guideline. Because each state’s application procedures and costs change significantly, you’ll need to double-check the process with your local county or state government.
The following three general criteria for becoming a notary public are enforced in most states:
Your state requires you to be a legal resident.
18 years old or older.
I have never been convicted of a crime.
If you undertake legal business in that state, several states will enable you to become a notary public. Check with the state in which you want to become a notary first.
The National Notary Association can tell you more about how to become a notary in your state and where you can get official training and notary kits.
Application for Notary Public
If you satisfy the minimum requirements in your state, follow these procedures to become a notary:
To become a notary public, go to your county clerk’s office and fill out an application.
Take a notary course and pass a test to become a notary (if required by your state).
To become a notary, you must be elected by your county commission.
Obtain a surety bond.
Submit the application to your state government with evidence of a surety bond.
After your application has been granted, you may get your notary seal.
Each state has its own set of rules. You could be required to submit fingerprints and take a test as part of your application, but you won’t need a surety bond.
In the meantime, your acquaintance in another state merely needs a surety bond and may avoid the fingerprinting and exam.
What Does It Cost to Become a Notary Public?
During the application procedure to become a notary, you will be required to pay a number of fees.
Because each state and county has its own set of regulations, some states will be less expensive than others, but the total application process should cost between $100 and $500.
Here are some of the costs you might anticipate:
Application fees range from $12 to $60.
The cost of notary training and testing ranges from $15 to $45.
A surety bond (between $40 and $100) is required.
Seal of the Notary Public ($40)
All of the costs listed above are estimates and vary by state. The notary exam and the surety bond will be the two most significant variable charges. These two requirements are not required in every state.
Even if your state does not require a surety bond to become a notary, getting errors and omissions insurance protects you in the event that a customer sends you a bill for legal damages.
The amount of coverage you need will determine how much mistake and omissions insurance you need to buy.
For example, a $10,000 surety bond will be less expensive than a $90,000 bond, but you may anticipate spending between $40 and $100 every four years.
Because errors and omissions insurance is so inexpensive, the peace of mind gained from this tiny investment might be well worth it.
Making Money as a Notary: Some Pointers
After you become a notary, you can start collecting notary fees and doing some of the following things for the public:
Oaths should be administered.
Examine official papers for signatures.
Keeping accurate records
You can notarize papers signed by your business partners, even if you can’t notarize the same document they’re signing. This law may be inconvenient, but it protects against notary fraud.
Locally Promote Your Services
Printing business cards and fliers to place at neighborhood establishments is one option. Another alternative is to create a website in order to have an online presence and promote it on Facebook and in local search engine results for terms like “notaries near me.”
After all, your neighbors need to know that you’re a notary. You may use social media, search engine inquiries, phone book listings, and local advertisements to spread the word.
You may want to consider advertising at the following local businesses:
Lawyers and accountants
Services for title and signature.
Insurance companies, FedEx and UPS locations
Stores that sell office supplies
Public libraries are available to the public.
If a company has a table or bulletin board with other local companies’ business cards, see if you may leave a stack of your own. Also, don’t forget to inform your friends, since word-of-mouth advertising is frequently quite powerful.
Depositions and affidavits should be transcribed.
You can transcribe and notarize depositions and affidavits if you’re also a legal transcriptionist. To speed up the process, witnesses could send in a deposition instead of going to court.
Maintaining the legal process’ credibility requires certifying their testimony.
Charge the highest possible notary fee.
You earn money as a notary dependent on the number of papers that need to be signed, unless your day job requires you to be a qualified notary public. As a freelance notary, you must maximize the value of each document.
This is why charging the maximum allowable amount per document is critical.
Because you may only charge a few dollars for each paper, there will be little price competition and no customer disputes.Unless their bank provides free notary services, they will very certainly pay the same amount you charge with another notary.
Weekends and holidays should be available.
Weekends and holidays are when some notaries earn the most money. Their bank and other local businesses are closed on these days. They could opt for freelance notaries like you since they can’t wait another day or two for their usual notary to come to work.
Become a Notary Public on the Go
You are not bound to a particular place as a notary. You may charge an extra $50 or $75 to meet your client if you have a vehicle and are willing to drive with your notary equipment.
Because you’re compensated for the convenience of your services as well as the normal notary fees, you may earn close to $20 per hour as a notary.
Electronic Documents Should Be Notarized
If you’re a public notary in Virginia, you may use Notarize to notarize electronic documents and get paid for it. Even if you live in Virginia, you may notarize documents for customers from any state.
Before you sign the papers as a notary, you will video chat with the customer to make sure they are who they say they are.
Other Ways to Make Money as a Notary
If you want to start your own notary company, you’ll probably have to do it part-time at first until you establish a local presence and client base. This implies that you’ll need to diversify your sources of income in order to pursue your goal of becoming a full-time notary.
Operating a firm where you can provide notary services to your customers is the best plan, but it isn’t needed. There are a plethora of company ideas to consider, but here are a few to consider:
Weddings may be lawfully officiated by notaries in Florida, Maine, and South Carolina.
This permission comes with a few stipulations:
Your wedding must take place in your home state.
A municipal government in the same state must issue the wedding license.
Apart from officiating weddings and premarital counseling, you may still provide notary services if you reside in one of the other 47 states. In several states, soon-to-be married couples must notarize their marriage license application.
Learn how to become a Certified Signing Agent.
You may expand on your notary public qualifications by becoming a Certified Signing Agent. Due to changes in the law, some papers now need a seal from a certified signing agent instead of a notary public.
Mortgage applications are the most common papers that need a Certified Signing Agent–also known as a Notary Signing Agent.
If you own or can work with a title agency, this might be a simple way to get started with your new, enhanced credentials.
Work as a Field Inspector
It’s not necessary to be a notary to work as a field inspector, although it certainly helps. This is due to the fact that field inspectors work flexible hours since they are paid on a per-gig basis to assess premises. You may go to a property that has to be surveyed while you’re not functioning as a notary.
As long as you give the property’s size and a brief description, this property could be undeveloped, used for business, or a home.
As with any career, the amount of money a notary makes is entirely up to them. Despite the fact that the amount of money you may charge for each document is limited, there is always a need for notaries.
There are several ways to generate money as a notary, whether you want to work for yourself or want to get a raise from your existing employment.