How to Become a Notary Signing Agent

April 10, 2024



Embarking on a career as a Notary Signing Agent (NSA) can significantly expand a notary’s business, offering a specialized path that involves overseeing the signing of important loan documents, such as mortgages. This guide will walk you through what an NSA does, the certification process, the associated costs, and the time commitment involved, providing a comprehensive overview of how to embark on this rewarding professional journey.

What Is a Notary Signing Agent?

A Notary Signing Agent is a specialized notary public who has been trained specifically to handle and notarize loan documents. NSAs play a crucial role in the real estate world, ensuring that the signing of mortgage and loan documents is conducted smoothly and in compliance with lending laws. Unlike traditional notaries, Signing Agents are often involved in the closing process of real estate transactions, requiring a thorough understanding of mortgage documents and the ability to act as an impartial witness during the signing.

Notary Signing Agent Certification Process

The certification process for becoming a Notary Signing Agent typically involves several steps:

  1. Become a Notary Public: Before you can specialize as a Signing Agent, you must first obtain your notary public commission in your state, which involves meeting your state’s eligibility criteria and completing any required training or exams.
  2. Complete NSA Training: Many organizations offer specialized training courses for notaries looking to become Signing Agents. These courses cover the types of documents involved in loan closings, how to handle typical signing appointments, and the ethics and conduct expected of a Signing Agent.
  3. Pass the Certification Exam: After completing your NSA training, you’ll need to pass a certification exam that tests your knowledge of the loan signing process and the documents involved.
  4. Background Check: Due to the sensitive nature of the documents handled, many companies require Signing Agents to pass a background check before they can work with them.
  5. Purchase NSA Supplies: In addition to the standard notary supplies, Signing Agents may need additional tools, such as a laser printer capable of handling legal-size paper.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Signing Agent?

The total cost to become a Notary Signing Agent can vary, but generally includes:

  • The cost of obtaining a notary commission (which varies by state).
  • Fees for NSA training courses, which can range from $100 to $300.
  • The certification exam fee, typically around $50 to $100.
  • The cost of a background check, usually around $50.
  • Additional supplies needed for loan signings.

Overall, you might expect to invest several hundred dollars into becoming a Signing Agent, depending on your state’s requirements and the specific training you choose.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Signing Agent?

The timeframe to become a Notary Signing Agent can vary based on several factors, including the length of time it takes to obtain your notary commission, the scheduling of NSA training courses, and your personal study pace for the certification exam. On average, the process can take from a few weeks to a few months. It’s important to factor in the time for your background check and any wait times for receiving your certification and supplies.


Becoming a Notary Signing Agent offers a lucrative opportunity for notaries to specialize in a niche area of the real estate market, providing essential services in the loan signing process. While the path to becoming an NSA involves additional training, certification, and potentially a background check, the investment can lead to a rewarding career assisting with real estate transactions. As with any professional endeavor, success as a Notary Signing Agent requires dedication, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to upholding the highest standards of accuracy and impartiality.