How to Become a Notary Closing Agent in Florida

Anyone wishing to become a public notary in Florida must submit an application through a bonding agency. The state of Florida does not directly accept notary applications from the public. Mortgage lenders and title companies employ notaries to close mortgages. The notary must ensure that all parties sign the mortgage and warranty deed. If necessary, the closing agent must transport documents if there are separate signings sessions for the sellers and buyers. Some lenders require the notary to disburse settlement checks after closings.The state of Florida does not approve notary applications for individuals below the age of 18 or people who are not state residents.

Go online to the Florida notary website: notaries.dos.state.fl.us/index. In the left hand column, select "Notary Education Program." On the next page select "Go To Next Page." Read the next page. It explains that you must complete a 3 hour training exam before applying to become a notary. You do not have to study for the exam as the 3 hour program provides you with relevant information about notary duties prior to test questions. You can retake any sections of the test that you get wrong. Select "Start Self Assessment" at the bottom of the screen. Create a new user account and complete the test. After completing the test you must print your certificate of completion.

Go to online to notaries.dos.state.fl.us/index. In the left hand column select "Notary Processors That Electronically Transfer Notary Applications." The next page provides you with a list of bonding companies licensed by the state to accept notary applications. Call or email several companies to ask how much they charge for their services. The state charges a flat fee of $39, but bond premium fees and notary seal prices vary from company to company. Decide which bond company you want to work with.

Write a check to the bond company for the Florida state fees and the bond company fees. You must complete a notary application and bonding form, both of which are provided by the bond company. Give the forms back to the bond company along with certificate of completion from the notary exam. You should receive your notary stamp within two to three weeks.

Look online for mortgage closing seminars or training courses in your area. Title companies, banks and law firms occasionally hold training classes specifically for mortgage closing agents. The classes enable Florida notaries to familiarize themselves with the responsibilities of a notary during a loan closing. If you work for a lender or title company, ask your supervisor or a co-worker to practice loan closings with you before you take your first clients.

Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with the Florida notary statutes and be aware that there are many instances in which you cannot notarize documents. If your employer paid for your notary stamp, your employer may further restrict the documents that you can sign while at work. If you leave a company, you can take your notary stamp with you even if your previous employer paid for it. You cannot transfer your notary to another state or use it outside Florida. Notary laws vary between states and you must apply for a new notary stamp if you leave Florida.

Warnings

  • Each lender prints its own mortgage documents, and although the content should comply with Florida guidelines, the layout often confuses people and mistakes are easy to make. If you submit a mortgage to the county that lacks a signature, the county must reject it. The mortgage cannot take effect until the county and the lender have confirmed that the documents have been correctly signed. Many closing notaries use a checklist to make sure that all the relevant areas of a loan are complete before submitting the loan package to the lender and the county.

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