A notary public is a public officer of integrity commissioned by the state or county government. A notary’s main functions are to validate signatures on legal documents and to administer oaths and affirmations. There are, however, many other functions a notary can serve depending on the state and/or jurisdiction. In addition to notarial acts, there are diverse services offered by notaries due to their versatile professional backgrounds. In this article, we will review several fields of expertise notaries have. With the many specialties and certifications notaries hold there can be advantages when booking them for services.
1. Notary Loan Signing Agent:
A notary loan signing agent is a notary public who assists with home closing signatures, escrow, mortgage refinance documents, and other real estate financial documentation for borrowers. The laws vary depending on the state of the borrower regarding training for this specific notary service. Whether your state requires specialized training or not, it is imperative a notary knows and understands the different documents used during this process. In some states an attorney must also be present during the loan signing process.
As mentioned above, in many states an attorney has to be present during the notary loan signing process. They can also perform the notary loan signing process with the borrower. Notary loan signing is the completion of home closing or refinancing documentation with a borrower. Notaries should never provide legal advice or explanations of these documents which can be misconstrued as the practice of law. However, if the notary also happens to be an attorney this requirement is fulfilled. In addition, attorneys serve to provide valuable legal guidance for a myriad of areas. It may be to the advantage of a person or entity seeking notary services to seek legal advice prior to signing a document. Attorneys have distinct knowledge of the laws and are experienced at explaining to the signer in any instance their rights.
3. Wedding Officiant:
Currently, there are a handful of states that authorize notaries to officiate weddings as a part of their notarial duties. Choosing a mobile notary to officiate your wedding over going to the courthouse offers benefits that can make your special day more memorable. First and foremost, it allows you to select a unique and meaningful location for your ceremony, be it the beach, a picturesque park, your own backyard, or a place with sentimental value. This personalization adds a heartfelt touch to the event. Mobile notaries provide a level of flexibility and convenience that courthouse weddings often lack. You can schedule your wedding at a time that suits you, avoiding long lines and crowded waiting rooms. Plus, the intimate atmosphere ensures that your ceremony is private, and shared only with your closest loved ones. You’re not bound by rigid government hours or rules, making your wedding day truly your own.
4. Field Inspector:
Another versatile service offered by a notary public is field inspections. Similarly, to notaries, field inspectors adhere to specific requirements. They collect information on properties in the field for banks and finance companies. Becoming a field inspector does not require a college degree and there are no licensing or certification requirements for 98% of the inspections performed (NNA. Add Field Inspections To Your Notary Resume, 2020). Additionally, there are several field inspection companies one can choose to work for simultaneously. Field Inspector mentors are available to get new inspectors acclimated and experienced in the different types of inspections available. Building a good reputation in the field will ultimately help to maximize potential growth and earnings for a notary public.
A fingerprinting technician is another field where full-time notaries invest additional services. The need for fingerprinting services is in demand due to the growing requirement for processing employment applications. Duties include performing on-site manual ink or live scan fingerprinting to capture a person’s fingerprints and operating an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to record and organize data. Education and training requirements will also vary depending on the company or locality. However, at minimum fingerprint technicians should possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. There are also a number of web resources for training on fingerprinting techniques and properly maintaining the equipment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic science technicians which include fingerprinting techs, is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Apostille services occur after a notary has finalized their notarial act for the use of the document in another country. It certifies the authenticity of the signature of the public official who signed the document, the capacity in which the public official acted, and the identity of the seal or stamp such as a notary seal. Apostilles can only be used in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention. Common documents requiring an apostille are birth certificates and court orders. A notary may submit an apostille request on behalf of their customer. Depending on each state, fees will vary for the apostille request and handling fees for each different public official’s signature to be authenticated. Apostilles for federal documents must be issued by the U.S. Department of State. Common federal documents are documents signed by a military notary, consular officer, or federal official (Apostille Requirements – Travel, n.d.).
7. Certified Public Accountant (CPA):
A CPA is an accountant who has met both educational and experience requirements to become licensed. CPAs who are also notaries have the ability to notarize all of the same documents as a general notary. However, they are uniquely qualified to provide services regarding taxes, tax audits, financial projections, and a host of other financial services. A CPAs services would be greatly beneficial when drafting or notarizing financial documents for a business. CPAs can service individuals but more so small or large organizations, and city and state governments, as well as the federal
8. Notary Mentor:
One of the most common questions asked by mobile Notaries starting their own businesses is how to find a mentor to guide them (Clarke, 2019). Because notary laws differ in all fifty states, experienced notary publics are sought after to mentor new notaries as the need for notaries increase. Rural communities are especially in need of new notaries with little access to larger businesses and major banks who offer notary services. Even populations with access to these locations are only offered limited hours. Notary mentors have the ability to offer online classes and provide shadow services. For new notaries looking for an experienced notary with integrity, browsing those professionals listed on notarizeitbooking.com and reviewing their ratings would be a great start!
YouTube. (2020). Add Field Inspections To Your Notary Resume. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CChtuxuHefs.
Apostille Requirements – Travel. Retrieved March 21, 2022, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/records-and-authentications/authenticate-your-document/apostille-requirements.html.
Clarke, K. (2013). 4 Ways to Find a Mentor for Your Mobile Notary Business. National Notary Association, Published May 22, 2019, https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2013/08/five-ways-find-notary-mentor.