Training for NSAs – 2020

I encourage people to look at YouTube videos before spending money for training. Not everyone learns the same way.

One person might understand Carol Ray at Notary2Pro better. Another might get more from Bill Soroka at Notary Coach (Sign and Thrive – SnT) or the professionals at the National Notary Association (NNA) or someone else. Some get the most from Mark Wills at the Loan Signing System (LSS). You won’t know which fits your learning style until you spend some time watching their teaching style.

I do recommend Notary2Pro and the NNA. This is based both on having taken their classes and on their acceptance and long standing history in the NSA community.

I do not currently recommend LSS or SnT, as I have not taken their classes.

It’s worth noting that LSS and SnT promote the myth that anyone can make six figures as an NSA and can do so “fast and easy.” They’re part of the wave of new trainers that have flooded the NSA business with so many new people who are driving down fees and causing other issues.

That said, I have to mention LSS and SnT because almost every time the topic of training is raised in notary groups on Facebook, various notaries sing their praises.

Also, I note that Bill Soroka has his Sign and Thrive ebook available for free in the Kindle Unlimited program, and Carol Ray wrote a forward for it. It’s over 200 pages, so that should give you a lot to think about.

Meanwhile, Mark Wills of LSS has a 56 page ebook on Amazon for $3. And LSS is the most expensive option of the trainers I’ve mentioned so far.

There are some notaries of long standing who are doing good work as educators. In this group, I would include Brenda Stone and Laura Biewer.

You can use the search function on Facebook and Google to research any person or firm that offers training for notaries. If their website lacks names and a relevant biographical background for the trainers, you would do well to keep your money and keep looking.

There’s even one person who is offering an online class for $5,000.00 !!!

If you have 5 large to drop on getting trained, send me an email and I will hook you up with all the best training and only charge you 1/2 of that. (LOL)

Seriously, I’m not offering a course. I’m saying you could take the NNA, N2P, Sign and Thrive, and LSS classes — all of them — and have over 1/2 that 5K left. So, some guy promoting a notary class for $5,000 — that’s just highway robbery. There’s no way anyone is offering notary training that’s worth 5K.

I won’t mention any of the other trainers, as they’re either worthless or you will hear about them from their marketing — or both.

For notary basics, I recommend the Notary Essentials class from the NNA. It’s state-specific.

For GNW marketing, I suggest Laura Vestanen’s ebook Notary Marketing 2019 which is available for less than $10 for the Kindle app.

For NSA training, the industry credential is taking the NSA class from the NNA and passing their exam and background check. So, you need that. And you will learn from it. Some folks don’t think much of the NNA classes because they used to be very weak. They’ve gotten better because of competition from N2P and others.

Once you’ve done those NNA classes, I recommend Notary2Pro. That includes mentoring and a vetted list of potential clients, some of whom will use new N2P grads.

Finally, you can learn a lot from the articles here on my website, starting with this page: Notary Tips .

Wherever you get your training, please understand that this business is not for everyone. It takes a certain mindset to make your living doing paperwork where you’re not an employee, but are an independent contractor expert boss of your own time.

Your local library should have books on the entrepreneur mindset and how to figure out if being self-employed fits in with who you are. See my Business Basics article for more help on that.

Good luck. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Carry a whistle and mace. Wear a mask.


This is a companion piece to my article on Education for NSAs and a follow up to my previous series on NSA training. Please see those articles for more information.

Training in rainbow colors
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Stop Focusing on How Much Others Get Paid

If you’re looking at a Settlement Statement or Closing Disclosure and you see a line item for notary services, you may wonder why the lender charges so much — especially if you know that notary signing agents or mobile notaries don’t make anywhere close to the fees shown.

Lenders don’t charge for notary or NSA services. Title companies do. That’s what you see on the settlement statement or closing disclosure — what the lender is being charged by title.

A portion of that is kept by title for related work they’re doing; some is what the signing service charges them (there’s a list of services and benefits that SSes provide to title companies).

We get as little as the SS can convince us to accept.

This is how business is done. Everyone lives in the margin between expenses and income.

You will drive yourself nuts if you focus on what someone else gets. All you can control is what you accept.

You *may* be able to influence a small number of people, but you’re never going to stop people from taking what you see as lowball fees, at least not enough of them to increase what’s being offered.

Most of the fee discussion online is based on a lack of understanding of #businessbasics such as marketing and contracts, not to mention things like price fixing (attempted or actual).

Fintech (financial technology) is very likely going to wipe out independent contractor NSAs over the next 5 to 10 years anyway. Watch platforms and RON and blockchain tech and their impacts.

In the meanwhile, I strongly suggest you focus on what you can control, which does NOT include the fees that your competitors accept or what other parties in the pipeline are making.

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On the Non-Borrowing Spouse

On the Non-Borrowing Spouse
by Tim Gatewood

I think there’s some confusion over what “the law” requires versus what lenders want.

First, each state has state law that spells out who has an ownership interest in the real estate when a couple are married and one or both of them live in the home. This state law can range from community property (everything you own is also owned by your spouse) to homestead (if it’s your property and you live there, your spouse also owns it but you can own rental or investment property separately) to none (each spouse owns their own property). So, first you need to know your state’s law on property ownership.

Second, if both spouses are on title, both are owners, no matter what the state law says about real estate.

Third, once you know who the owners are, then the federal law kicks in. Under RESPA and TILA, and the combined TRID, owners must agree to mortgages on their residential property. They do that by signing the mortgage or deed of trust, the Closing Disclosure or Settlement Statement, and the Notice of Right to Cancel.

Fourth, even if the non-borrowing spouse is not an owner under state law or by virtue of being on title to the property, the lender may still make it a requirement that they sign those documents and others (such as any forms for the IRS or the VA or HUD) or they won’t let the loan close.

In any case, if the Non-Borrowing Spouse is not signing freely and willingly, you can’t notarize the documents — and trying to convince them to do so could be seen as violating your oath of office as a notary public. That’s because you’re supposed to be a disinterested witness, not an advocate for one side or the other in the transaction.

The first question for a notary is can you verify their identity. The second is do they choose to sign the documents freely and willingly. If the answer to either of those is no, the notary cannot proceed. So, you need to be very careful on how you speak with all of the signers in order to stay within the proper role of a notary public.


As with every article on this site, this is not intended to be legal advice or legal opinion. It is the author’s opinion as to the expectations for notaries based on many years of reading sources both widely and deeply. In other words, the author believes these are notary best practices or industry standards. If anything here conflicts with your state law or state’s official position, please go with your state’s rules.

Posted May 20, 2020

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News on Notary Memphis

Due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, Notary Memphis is closed until further notice.

During this break, we recommend you check with PakMail at 2809 Kirby Rd, Suite 116, Memphis 38119 for their notary’s hours.

Also, some UPS Stores may have notaries on staff.

We hope to resume offering notary services soon.

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More Thoughts on Notaries Fees

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles here on the subject of notary fees, there are good and sufficient reasons for not answering the “what do I charge?” question.

There are zero good reasons for answering it and doing so may be spreading misinformation (as my circumstances and those of the person asking may be very different).

As much as you want to know how much to charge, this is simply not an easy question that you should expect your competitors or random notaries in other states to answer for you.

That said, blaming people that take lower fees than you for the work you’re being offered is not going to help your business succeed.

I don’t blame new notaries for taking lower fees. Even if they knew what the market rates were for their specific market, they might still choose to take a lower fee in order to get experience. That is a business decision that they have every right to make.

Blaming other notaries for the fees being so low now is backwards, IMHO.

We simply cannot all be getting business from the same list of companies and doing so in the same way and expect the fees to stay the same while the pool of available NSAs is getting bigger. More supply vs the same demand means lower price. That’s basic business (or #businessbasics as I usually put it).

The only good answers that can ever be given to the fees question are 1) have you done your own market research? 2) What did that research tell you?

Asking random notaries on Facebook what to charge is not market research.


Some title companies are on snapduds and they pay like signing services. I’ve had several over the years that dropped their fees to notaries once they found out we were willing to take less by working for signing services.

My point is you don’t know that *most* title companies pay the ranges of fees that some people will tell you they pay. All you know is what the ones you have personally dealt with did.

As RON rolls out over the next year or 2, look for some title companies to open call centers with webcams and minimum wage employees who are notaries.

The endless berating online of other notaries for what they accept is pointless. Focus on how YOU are adapting to platforms and RON and blockchain technology. Those are what’s going to destroy your ability to make a living at being a notary. Competitors will come & go. Tech changes that benefit rich investors will be here much longer.


This article is one of several that I’ve posted here on the subject of notary fees.

Posted Sunday, August 4, 2019.

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