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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On Making Your Notary Commission a Full-time Business

If you spend much time in any of the notary groups on Facebook, you will see that the eternal question goes something like this:

I’m a notary & heard I can make money at this. Is this true? How do I get started?

Here is my answer in several parts:

First, know the ways you can make money as a notary: How Do Notaries Make Money?

Second, get the education you need as a notary: Education For Notaries

Third, if notary signing agent work sounds appealing, do the research on it: Research Before Launching Your NSA Business

Fourth, get educated on NSA work if your research shows an unmet demand in your area or if you have a plan to out-compete others already active in your market: NSA Education

Fifth, get trained and credentialed: Training for NSAs – Part 3.

Sixth, read at least the last month of all the posts in every notary group you join on Facebook. Make notes of everything. Yes, everything. Read the files in the Files area in every group. Use the search function to look up every possible client. Use Google to look them up, too, as that should show you comments on NotaryRotary, NotaryCafe, 123notary, and other sites that aren’t Facebook.

And learn the terminology so you can speak like a professional (if you want to be treated like a pro, you need to sound like one): What Terms Mean.

Seventh, if you’ve become an NSA, read this: My Advice for New NSAs.

Finally, go to Amazon and get the ebook: Notary Marketing 2019 by Laura Vestanen. It costs less than $10 and it will teach you most of what you need to know about marketing for notaries.

I don’t make any money from endorsing her book. It’s just that good.

If you’re inclined to throw some money at me after reading all those free articles above, see my books page at Books .

And please remember to subscribe to this blog so you get new articles emailed to you for free, as well as hear about my new books as they come out.

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Saturday Thoughts On Notary Signing Agent Fees

This article is part of a series on notary fees and on how to decide what to charge.


One issue that comes up when notaries mention many of the signing services on Facebook (or in other social media spaces) is why someone would accept fees that the commenter sees as so far below acceptable.

This is one reason why no notary should answer the question about what to charge for anything if it is another notary asking — your circumstances are your own. Your market is not their market — unless it is, then they are your competitors, and why would you want to help those competing against you ?

I don’t work for some firms because I think their fees are low and for other reasons, so those firms have very little to no impact on the fees that I get from my clients.

If you want to work for any so-called lowball company and you believe you are making a profit from it, that is your business.

You may have lower expenses than other people do, or be willing to take a lower profit, or just not know how much this work is costing you in various ways. It is not my role to substitute my judgment for yours.

If you ask me for advice, I will give it. Otherwise, you do you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can not or should not take a fee that you find acceptable.

On the other hand, if you’re bashing other notaries for taking fees that are lower than you like, please just stop it.

If you blame your competitors for competing on price, you have work to do on learning marketing and other #businessbasics.

One business basic everyone needs to understand is supply and demand.

In this context, supply and demand means there will be reduced fees offered as the supply of workers increases as long as the demand stays the same.

One way out of that trap is to develop better marketing so you’re not competing with those other notaries, even if you’re going after the same clients. You need a unique selling point (USP) that makes your business better in a way that your clients or customers are willing to pay extra for. If you don’t come up with your own USP, you are limited in how effective your marketing can be.

Another way out of that trap is to find other clients, so you’re not supplying services to the same demand. (See my article on How to Land Title Company Work for some ideas on how to do that.)

Blaming your competitors (for being willing to accept the fees that are offered or anything else) does not lead to you having a successful business. It puts you at their mercy — which is a recipe for failure.

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Closed Until Christmas

Due to my full-time job, my available hours for notary services have already been reduced to Saturday only.

Last night, my employer advised us that we would be working 14 hours of overtime per week for the next three weeks, including part of a shift on Saturdays.

So, please be advised that Notary Memphis is closed until Christmas.

If you need a notary in Memphis during this time period, I recommend PakMail at 2809 Kirby Road (in the shopping center with Kroger on Kirby just a bit north of Quince).

Or you can try your bank or credit union, the nearest UPS Store, or any number of mobile notaries listed on or or

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On Standardized Fees

Why an Industry-Wide List of Standard Fees for NSAs is Not Available

Based on comments and questions seen online, it’s clear that many notaries want an industry-wide standard set of fees. You’re not going to get that for a host of reasons.

First, that would be price-fixing and probably illegal.

Second, you’d have people who were quite happy to work for 5 or 10 dollars less if it meant they could undercut the rest of us.

Third, everyone has the right to set their own fees — we are independent contractors.

Fourth, trying to educate people on their costs so the fees they set will actually make them money is a worthy goal. It is focused narrowly enough that it does not run against any of the other points I’m making in this piece, so I support anyone who wants to help with that.

Please learn your own costs, do market research in your own service area to see what you can charge without losing business or breaking your state’s laws, and set your fees accordingly.

Please stop going on Facebook and other social media to ask your competitors or those in different service areas to tell you what you should charge. It’s not a question that one professional asks another who is in the same line of work.

Posted in Business, For Notaries, Notary fees | 1 Comment