How to Make Money as a Notary Public
If you’re looking to start your own small business, you’ve probably been racking your brain trying to come up with some low-cost options. As you know, commencing a business usually takes quite a bit of cash up-front to get things going. But there’s one possibility for a business you might not have thought about: becoming a mobile notary public.
Although you’re probably familiar with notary publics in general, you most likely haven’t heard of a “mobile” notary public. Read on to learn more about a new twist on an old profession that just might make you some easy money.
Whether you plan to earn some extra cash on the side or make it your full-time profession, developing a mobile notary public business can be done by following the information herein. Keep in mind you’ll likely need to be available at least some time to make notary calls during business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
What is a Notary Public?
A notary public is a licensed person who has completed training and a state exam regarding the statutes and duties of a notary. They can professionally witness signatures of individuals on official documents and issue official oaths. More specifically, many types of important papers require a notary’s signature and stamped impression to verify the authenticity of the signatures.
Depending on the state you live in, you’ll most likely be required to complete some fairly brief training — 3 hours in several states. Some states offer online courses in becoming a notary public while others have in-person classes that you must attend. Not all states require an exam and training. For instance, in Texas, no exam or training is required. You just fill out some paperwork and you’re basically a notary after that. However, pursuing some type of training is always a good ideal. Training can be as simple as watching a free video of your duties as a notary public which is usually offered from the place you get your notary license from. If your State does require an exam once you satisfactorily complete the training, you’re required to pass the exam and apply for state licensure.
In most states, a notary must be “bonded.” For example, notaries in the state of Florida must be bonded for $7,500. This means that in the event you make an error in your work, the company who bonded you will pay the harmed customer for the error. In essence, the bond is similar to professional liability insurance in the event you make a mistake as a notary.
The states of Florida, Maine, and South Carolina even allow notaries to conduct official wedding ceremonies that are “legal and binding,” if they’re performed only in the state that licensed you. Depending on your state, as a notary, you might also provide acknowledgments and affirmations or offer oaths and certify copies of original documents for your customers.
Although you could probably locate quite a few notary publics in your area, you could be the first mobile notary public locally. This means you’ll travel to the people, offices, and organizations that need notary services, which is a great selling feature for the business.
What You’ll Need to Start Your Mobile Notary Business
Compared with other businesses, a notary public business won’t require huge investments of time, energy, or money. Take a look at what you’ll need:
Completion of your state’s requirements to become a notary public. Based on where you live, these requirements (as mentioned above) will most likely involve a brief educational course, the passage of a state exam, your bond, and a license to be a notary in your state.
A telephone where people can reach you.
Of course, you’ll need a contact telephone number so your customers can get hold of you. You can use your home phone number or a cell number. The advantage of using your cell phone is that you tend to have it with you at all times and you can access calls and messages quickly and easily.
A dependable car.
Since you’ll be traveling to most of your customers, you’ll need a vehicle that runs well.
This is where each notary transaction you do will be recorded.
Your seal stamp.
You’ll be required to have a “stamper” that will make an imprint of your name and official seal on documents you notarize. The stamp also says you’re an official notary in your state.
Although not a requirement¸ a GPS will help you find your way efficiently from place to place.
Depending on how well you know the area where you live, a GPS could come in quite handy as a traveling notary.
Ponder what types of notary services you wish to offer.
Focus in on your preferences.
For example, will you notarize real estate documents and transactions?
Will you perform wedding ceremonies if your state allows?
Are you willing to notarize wills, even if written in long-hand by a person?
Know the direction you wish to go so you can focus your marketing on your potential customers.
Know your state’s maximum established fees for each type of notarization before you advertise.
Different States have different fee amounts. Know what amounts can be charged for each service in your State.
Think about what you’ll charge to travel to the customer.
In making your decision for the fees to charge, consider what your state’s reimbursement mileage rates are. For example, if your state’s reimbursement rate is 45 cents per mile, would it be reasonable to charge double that amount or even round it up to $1.00 per mile round-trip?
How far will you travel to provide notary services?
Decide on your limits before getting your advertising plan together. You could say something like, “Will travel anywhere in the city limits of Utopia” or “Will come to your home or office anywhere in Williamson County.”
Set the days and hours you’re willing to work.
Keep in mind that since you’ll be traveling to and from your customers, your workday will begin a bit earlier and extend a bit later. For example, an advertised workday of 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. will allow you an hour at each end (morning and evening) to travel to and from your customers.
Growing Your Notary Public Business
Expanding your business to ensure ongoing work is necessary for your financial livelihood.
These techniques will keep business dollars rolling in:
Find your niche.
For example, if you live in or near a senior community, maybe you could specialize in notarizing wills, both in attorney’s offices and in your customer’s homes.
Establish relationships with people in the community that regularly require notary services.
Attorneys and business owners are people you should become acquainted with.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce.
Most cities and towns have a group of business owners who get together monthly to share ideas and help one another expand their businesses. You’ll become acquainted with many business leaders who will eventually start utilizing your services and telling others about them.
Know your community.
When you know your community, you’ll have steady business. In terms of a small business start-up, a mobile notary public business may be the way to go. You get to be out and about all
day, interact with people from all walks of life, and earn some money with few overhead costs. As a supplemental job to your full-time position or as your only career, consider becoming a mobile notary public to beef up your incoming dollars.
Since the requirements to become a notary vary from state to state, you must be a resident of the state in which you are applying, and have no convicted felonies.
On another note did you know that you can also be an electronic notary? These type of notary publics do not travel to do notarizations but it’s all done electronically online and through skype. There’s a specialized training for that.
Different Notary Jobs
Executive and Administrative Assistants sometimes become notaries. Especially if they work in a financial or legal field.
This one is the obvious choice for those that want to work from home as discussed earlier. Mobile notaries can travel to places of business, homes, or anywhere to provide notary services while others may choose to work out of an office. You can make nice supplemental income with the potential for full-time income if you are motivated enough. The amount of money you can make will partly depend on how much your state allows you to charge for notary services. The other part of the equation regarding how much money you make will depend on how far and how much you’re willing to travel. Someone who only wants to take on two assignments a day obviously will make less than someone who treats it like an 8 to 5 job and does assignments all day until can’t fit any more in. However, the beauty of being a mobile notary is that the choice is yours. You set your own hours. You are your own boss. You can take off when you want. That’s my kind of job!
To be successful in this area, market yourself to engaged couples, wedding coordinators, and wedding photographers. Think outside the box when it comes to related people and places that can help you market your business and who might need our services.
Real Estate Notaries
Branching out into the real estate arena can keep you quite busy! I know others that make a full time living being a notary in the real estate industry in different states and cities, one being Houston where there are many homes for sales in Houston. There are tons of houses being bought and sold every day. Agents, titles companies, customers, and more need notaries for all the paperwork involved in real estate transactions. So if you live in a fairly decent real estate market this will work for you. Some states require you have a particular license if you want to be a real estate notary or loan signing notary. Other states do not. However, as a loan signing agent, you’ll definitely want to get specialized training in this field as it’s not as simple as just being a regular notary. Don’t let the thoughts of this turn you from pursuing the ideal. The training is not anything long and tedious, and the potential for a large amount of income is even better when you have the skill set of a loan signing notary.
These are just a few of the many opportunities available to notaries. Start visiting neighborhood associations and home communities to become familiar with the process. Visiting will also help you network and meet not only businesses looking for notaries, but people buying homes.
Notary signing agents can charge $75-$200 a signing and can be very lucrative. However, becoming a notary signing agent involves a bit more training than just a regular notary.
If you are interested in becoming a notary signing agent you first will want to become a regular notary public. This way you can get your feet way and become familiar with the process. After you do that then you can go on to be a loan signing agent by taking the specialized training you’ll need.
The first step is to do the research to see the exact requirements for your State. After that, you can determine if you feel becoming a notary in your state is worth your while.
Consider reading and learning How to Become a Notary as this post only touches the very basics and you will learn much more about how to go about becoming a notary in the course. There’s really no way to cover everything you need to know on becoming a notary here. Otherwise this post would go on and on.
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I’d love to hear your success stories about becoming a notary. If you’re already a notary share how it’s going for you.