Becoming a notary public is a great way to make a little extra money on the side. Whether you work for a company or venture off on your own, choosing to become a notary public can put a little extra cash in your wallet. Depending upon the state that you live in, you may even be able to offer these services online. So if earning a little extra cash interests you, keep reading!
What is a Notary Public?
A notary public is best known for verifying the authenticity of a signature. Basically, their job is to make sure that the person signing a document is who they say they are. Notaries help to prevent fraud by checking the signer’s identity against an official document, like a driver’s license or state identification card. A notary should also make sure that the person signing is not under duress. This means that they are choosing to sign the document and not being forced to.
Notaries are often used to verify signatures for important documents. If you’ve ever bought a home, a notary public would have checked your mortgage documents. Depending upon the state you live in, a notary public may be necessary to verify signatures for bills of sale, promissory notes, adoption documents, or guardianship papers.
How do I become a Notary Public?
Every state has its own requirements for becoming a notary public. In general, all states will require that you are at least 18 years old, have no criminal record, and legally live in the state that you want to be commissioned to work in. In addition to these general requirements, some states may require that you take a course, pass an exam, go through a background check, or obtain insurance. You can find out what your state requires by checking the National Notary Association website.
An application and fee are required. You must purchase an official seal with your identifying information, along with any other required materials. Some states may also require that you purchase a bond.
Notary publics are typically allowed to work only in the state that they are commissioned in. Be sure to check where you can provide this service, especially if you live close to a state line.
How can I make money being a Notary Public?
You can make money as a notary public in many ways. Common ways to make extra money include;
- Work for a business – Companies that need to have signatures verified on a regular basis may employ a notary public. The most common industries include real estate and financing. People who buy or sell a home must have their signatures verified by a notary. If you can get a gig with a real estate or mortgage company, this may become a nice full or part-time job.
- Remote notary services – There are a handful of states that allow remote notary services. Instead of being in the same room, remote notary services allow the signer and notary to connect via webcam. Documents are signed and notarized digitally, instead of in-person. There are several online notary agencies that offer this service in one or more states. NotaryCam and Safedocs offer remote notary services and often look for notaries to add to their network.
- Venture off on your own – By going off on your own, you can work on your own schedule. Starting your own gig may take you a little longer, but if you have friends who are in real estate or banking, you may pick up work quicker than you think. Attend business networking events to get your name out there and connect with other professionals who may need your services. If you choose to go off on your own, be sure to check with your state to find out what fees you are allowed to charge. Many states place limits on what a notary public can charge.
Becoming a notary public can be a great way to make some extra money. Depending on which state you live in, it can be fairly quick to become commissioned and doesn’t require a lot of start-up money. As an added bonus, you can work on your own time.