Coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown hit us like a truck. Nobody truly knew what was going to happen. In a matter of days or weeks, we had to adjust to a completely different life.
We had to say goodbye to so many things for the time being. Going out to the store and to pick up take out were the only outings for lots of people.
Some people had to go out to go to work nonetheless. For some jobs, you can’t just work from home – like restaurants or grocery stores.
On the other hand, a lot of people found out that their work can be easily done from home. In reality, they figured out that their job is best done from home!
What about notaries – can a notary work from home? If being a notary is your full-time job or simply, a side hustle to earn some extra cash, can you work from home? Continue reading our article to find out can a notary work from home!
What Does A Notary Exactly Do?
A notary public has a few main functions that fall into their job description. Those main functions are to administer oaths, affirmations, take affidavits, statutory declarations, protest notes and bills of exchange, take acknowledgments of various conveyances and perform official acts.
All these functions depend on the jurisdiction that issued the notary license. Performing any of these acts is called notarization.
In the US, there are two types of notaries – civil law notary and a notary public. The differences between the two are major!
- For example, to become a notary public in the US, you have to be qualified to get the license, and the qualifications required can vary a lot depending on the state that issues the license. The minimal requirements are filling out the application, residency in the state in which the applicant is seeking the license, and the payment of a fee to obtain the license.
- A notary public doesn’t have to receive any official training or to provide a lot of services. All they have to do is attend a brief seminar, and they are completely forbidden from doing activities that could be understood as an unlicensed practice of law.
- That is if they aren’t qualified lawyers, as well. There is no legal obstacle preventing a lawyer from becoming a notary public, too – because the notarial practice is completely separate from the lawyer’s practice.
- A notary public receives a salary based on the amount of work they completed. The notary public is paid a fee to notarize a document.
- A notary public can also obtain the license of a notary public signing agent, also known as a loan signing agent. They specialize in notarizing documents related to mortgages and real estate.
- Notary signing agents can work for a lending institution, government agency, or they can work as independent contractors. They also have to confirm the ownership of the properties in question and to confirm any existing mortgages, hypothecs, and such loans.
Civil Law Notary
- Becoming a civil law notary is completely different. To become a civil law notary, you have to complete challenging training and coursework.
- Civil law notaries provide a wide range of services, and they work in a public office. A civil law notary can work in a private notary practice, and be paid a fee for every task they complete, but that’s less common. Usually, civil law notaries receive a fixed salary each month.
- Civil law notaries are usually as educated as any lawyer out there. On the other hand, civil law notaries are not qualified to be lawyers, they aren’t educated on procedural law or law of evidence.
- So, the civil law notary can give you some unofficial legal advice, because of their educational background. Their profession has far more functions than those of the notary public.
Like all jobs, being a notary comes with certain pros and cons. If you’re looking into this field of work, read our article to find out the best and the worst about it!
Can A Notary Work From Home?
Working from home has been the ideal setup once the coronavirus outbreak hit. Now, being outside or working with clients all day just means more exposure to the virus.
If you own a notary commission or you’re just looking into getting one, this may be a particular topic of interest. Do you have to go into the office every day, or can you limit your exposure to clients by working from home?
It’s time for the grand answer! Yes, a notary can work from home.
How great! Many notaries across the US can complete all of their work from home, but some cannot. The reason behind that are the state regulations and your setup.
If the State Law allows remote notarization, you can easily work from home full-time. That’s not the only requirement, though.
To work from home, you will need to provide your clients with electronic notarization. To sign, or notarize documents electronically, you need a proper setup to be able to do so.
Working from home or not, you have to verify the identification of your client nevertheless. The State Law dictates how the identification can be done.
The instruments a notary working from home needs are either electronic notarization or remote notarization. We will talk about those more in the next section.
Besides the lockdown, there are various other reasons why would someone choose to work as a notary from home. The main benefit would be saving up on certain things.
Number one would be saving up on the office rent. Renting an office can make a big dent in your earnings, especially if you choose to work downtown.
Notaries get a lot of walk-in clients, so it’s only natural that they choose a busy street to work on. So, when you work from home, the downside may be losing the walk-in clients.
Luckily, that can be fixed in no time. Invest in some advertising online for your notary business. If you can’t figure out what kind of advertising works best, consult with a marketing agency for help with creating and placing ads to increase your volume of work!
Electronic And Remote Notarization – What Is The Difference?
Electronic notarization and remote notarization are the necessary instruments you will need to work from home. Regular notarization requires face-to-face contact, and that’s not easily achieved if you work from home.
- So, let’s talk about electronic notarization first. It’s also known as e-notary, and it’s a way of signing documents and transmitting documents electronically.
- However, you still need to meet signer or signers in person to verify their identity – that can be a little tough if you work from home full-time.
- If you are a loan signing agent, or a notary signing agent, part of your job is to bring the documents regarding the loan to the borrower. So, you can verify the identity at the borrower’s place of work or their home.
- You would need to look at a valid ID with a photo, like a driver’s license or a passport to make sure that the borrower is the person in the photograph.
- The signing can be finished with a laptop or tablet. Upon signing, the notary would submit all the documents back to the lending institution or escrow company electronically.
Becoming a notary signing agent can be a great career choice because you are not likely to ever run out of work. What’s the salary of an average signing agent, though? Read our article to find out!
- Remote notarization is similar to electronic notarization. It’s the ideal instrument to work from home as a notary.
- Just like electronic notarization, the signing of the documents and transmitting those documents can all be done electronically, without the need to go to the office. On the other hand, you are not required to meet the clients to verify their identity.
- So, that’s the reason why remote notarization is a little better than the electronic kind. Verification of the signer can be done through an audio and video conference.
- These methods are very similar, but to truly enjoy working from home without the hassle of meeting the clients, remote notarization is the way! There are some obstacles, though.
- Do keep in mind that not all states recognize remote notarization as a valid way to verify the identity of the signer. Some states require face-to-face contact to verify their identity.
- To make sure you’re not overstepping your legal boundaries, call or visit the notary public department of the Secretary of State. They will inform you on this particular subject, and give you answers to any other questions you may have.
Can A Notary Work From Home? – Conclusion
Luckily, a notary can work from home. There are even instruments created to make your life as a home-working notary easier!
Remote notarization makes sure you truly do enjoy working from your home. Working from home has benefits like saving up on rent for the office. Also, you work more flexible hours, among other things.
However, remote notarization is not legal in all states in the US. Check with your notary public department first, if you want to work as a notary from home.
To conclude, can a notary work from home? Yes, but not in all states!