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How to make money as a notary

How to Make Money as a Notary Public (2024 Best Methods)

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In the world of legal documentation, the role of a notary public remains pivotal. Despite the digital age transforming many professions, the demand for notary publics continues to thrive. For those seeking a reliable and potentially lucrative side gig or full-time career, becoming a notary public offers a unique blend of flexibility, authority, and financial reward. This blog post aims to show you how to make money as a notary and explore the various avenues through which one can start, while also highlighting the steps needed to get started, strategies for maximizing earnings, and tips for sustaining a profitable notary business.

What is a notary public?

A notary public is an official appointed by the state governments (or other governmental authorities in different countries) to act as an unbiased independent witness in performing numerous established fraud-deterrent actions involving the signing of significant documents. Notarizations and testamentary acts are two terms used to describe these actions. A notary’s main duties include preventing fraud and making sure that the parties to a transaction are who they say they are and are deliberately and voluntarily entering into agreements.

Key Functions of a Notary Public:

  • Witnessing Signatures: One of the primary functions of a notary is to witness the signing of documents. The notary ensures that the person signing the document is indeed the person they claim to be and is not under duress or intimidation.
  • They Administer Oaths and Affirmations: Notary officials can administer oaths and affirmations, which are pledges of truthfulness or fidelity, often required in legal proceedings and other official documents.
  • Verification of Identity: Notaries are required to verify the identity of the individuals signing documents, typically through government-issued identification like a driver’s license or passport.
  • Jurats and Acknowledgments: Notaries perform jurats (for sworn statements) and acknowledgments (for documents like deeds, agreements, etc.) to ensure that the signers understand the contents of the documents and are signing voluntarily.
  • Record Keeping: Notaries often keep detailed records (journals) of their notarial acts, including information about the documents they notarized and the individuals they served.
  • Certifying Copies of Documents: In some jurisdictions, notaries can certify that a copy of a document is a true and accurate reproduction of the original.

Types of notaries:

  1. Traditional Notary Public: Performs notarial acts in person, requiring the physical presence of the signers.
  2. Remote Online Notary (RON): With advancements in technology, some notaries can perform notarial acts remotely using digital tools and video conferencing.

Becoming a Notary Public

To become a notary public, one must meet requirements for becoming a notary, which typically include being a legal resident of the state in which you wish to practice, being at least 18 years old, and having a clean criminal record. The training and certification process varies from state to state but generally involves completing a training course, passing an exam, and undergoing a background check. Additionally, a notary public needs certain tools and supplies, such as a notary seal and journal, to perform their duties effectively.

Earning Potential as a Notary Public

The earning potential of a notary public can vary widely based on location, services offered, and client base. In many states, notaries can set their fees for services, while others have a cap on how much can be charged. Factors influencing earning capacity include the number of clients, the types of services offered, and the area’s demand for notarial services.

How to make money as a remote online notary

Starting a remote online notary (RON) business is one of the best ways to make money online, and it involves several steps, including understanding legal requirements, obtaining the necessary technology, and marketing your services. Here’s a guide to help you get started:

Understand the legal requirements.

  • Research State Laws: Notary laws vary by state in the U.S. Ensure you understand the laws in your state regarding remote online notarization. Some states may not allow it, while others have specific regulations.
  • Notary License: If you’re not already a commissioned notary, you’ll need to become one. This process typically involves an application, a background check, and an exam.
  • RON Authorization: In states where RON is legal, you may need additional authorization or certification to conduct remote notarizations.

Obtain the required training and certification.

  • RON Training: Even if you’re an experienced notary, you’ll need to understand the specifics of conducting notarizations remotely. Look for state-approved RON training programs.
  • Certification: After training, you may need to pass a certification test to demonstrate your knowledge of RON procedures and technology.

Set up your business.

  • Business Structure: Decide on a business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC) and register your business.
  • EIN and Bank Account: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS if necessary, and set up a dedicated bank account for your business.
  • Insurance: Obtain errors and omissions insurance specific to RON activities.
  • Business Plan: Develop a business plan outlining your services, pricing, target market, and financial projections.

Acquire the necessary technology.

  • RON Platform: Choose a RON platform that complies with your state’s laws. This platform should provide secure audio-visual communication, identity verification, document signing, and storage capabilities. Some leading RON platforms are OneNotary, Notarize, NotaryCam, and eNotaryLog.
  • Hardware: Ensure you have a reliable computer with a webcam, microphone, and secure internet connection.
  • Digital Seal and Electronic Journal: Obtain a digital version of your notary seal and an electronic journal to record your notarizations.

Marketing and Building a Client Base

  • Website: Create a professional website detailing your services, pricing, and contact information.
  • SEO and Online Presence: Optimize your website for search engines and maintain an active presence on social media and professional networks.
  • Networking: Connect with potential clients like law firms, real estate agents, and financial institutions.
  • Advertising: Consider online advertising through platforms like Google Ads or social media.

Compliance and Best Practices

  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with any changes in RON laws and best practices.
  • Record-keeping: Maintain secure and accurate records of all notarial acts.
  • Privacy and Security: Ensure the confidentiality and security of all transactions.

Continuous Improvement

  • Feedback: Regularly seek feedback from clients to improve your services.
  • Professional Development: Stay engaged in professional development opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge.

For distant website notarizations, choose your pricing structure. Think about the document’s difficulty, the amount of time needed, and any further service provided.

Sell more services: Clients are much more drawn to notaries who provide extra services, such as document preparation, language, or advice on the notarization requirements for global documents.

Strategies for Maximizing Income as a Notary

To maximize income, notary publics can specialize in services that are in high demand, such as loan signings or estate planning. Networking with local businesses, law firms, and financial institutions is also crucial for building a solid client base. Additionally, leveraging technology, such as online appointment scheduling and digital record-keeping, can increase efficiency and client satisfaction.

Expanding Your Notary Services

Expanding services is a great way to increase earnings. Offering mobile notary services, where you travel to the client’s location, can command higher fees. Becoming a notary signing agent, particularly for real estate transactions, is another lucrative avenue. Pursuing additional certifications for specialized services can also open up new revenue streams.

Challenges and Solutions in the Notary Business

While lucrative, the notary business comes with its challenges, including staying updated with legal changes, managing competition, and balancing time and resources. Adhering strictly to legal and ethical standards is paramount. Continuous learning and adapting to market changes can help overcome these challenges.

Conclusion: How to make money as a notary

Embarking on a career as a notary public can be both financially rewarding and personally fulfilling. By understanding the role, obtaining the necessary qualifications, and employing effective strategies for business growth, you can build a successful notary practice. Remember, success in this field relies on professionalism, adaptability, and a commitment to providing excellent service.


Q1: How much can I expect to earn as a notary public?

A1: The earnings of a notary public vary significantly based on location, demand, and the types of services offered. In general, part-time notaries can earn a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, while full-time notaries, especially those offering specialized services like loan signings, can earn significantly more.

Q2: Are there ongoing costs involved in being a notary public?

A2: Yes, there are ongoing costs, such as renewing your notary commission, maintaining your notary journal and seal, and potential travel expenses for mobile services. Additionally, investing in continued education and professional development can also be considered an ongoing expense.

Q3: How can I differentiate my notary services from competitors?

A3: Differentiating your services can be achieved through specializing in niche markets, offering exceptional customer service, utilizing technology for efficiency, and building a strong local network. Providing mobile notary services or becoming a certified notary signing agent are also effective ways to stand out.

Q4: What are some common legal pitfalls for notary publics?

A4: Common legal pitfalls include failing to verify the identity of signers properly, not understanding the documents being notarized, and not adhering to state-specific notary laws. Continuous education and strict adherence to legal guidelines are vital to avoid these issues.

Q5: How important is marketing to a notary public?

A5: Marketing is crucial for building and sustaining a successful notary business. A robust online presence, effective use of social media, local advertising, and networking can help attract new clients and retain existing ones. Customer service excellence leads to word-of-mouth referrals, further enhancing business growth.

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