Notary Public Certification

The Notary Public is commissioned as an official with authority to verify identifications of signors which represents a serious responsibility. With identify theft and fraud on the rise, the Notary Public play an important role in thwarting these criminals while protecting transactions of honest citizens.

To certify is to proclaim that something is what it claims to be. For individuals this means verifying that they are who they say they are. Forging identities is even easier with sophisticated copiers and photo software. Notaries have turned to the same electronic systems to beat them at their game. For example, a Notary can purchase background check certifications from an online identification registry service such as This service is priced reasonably and does not require monthly maintenance or annual memberships of more expensive identification matching services.

A notary public may be asked to certify that a document is a true copy of the original. When it is not possible or desired to send an original of the document, a person can have a notary examine both original and copy then certify that this is a true copy of the original. Before using the procedure, check with the state as some states do not allow the notary public to verify authenticity of a copy. In those states, only an original document can be notarized.

Whether a document remains in the states or travels to other countries determines what type of certification a notary provides. The Apostille is used on documents submitted to foreign countries that are signors to the Hague Treaty. Other foreign countries accept a Certificate of Authority.

Another aspect of certification is in advanced training for notaries. State requirements vary for becoming a Certified Loan Signing Agent. To earn this certification, a person must already have a notary public commission. The training includes real estate and mortgage terminology, related legal concepts, procedures for signing loan documents and working with loan officers. With this specialized credential, a notary public can earn substantially more per transaction than the $2 to $10 that states mandate as fees for notarizing documents. For example, a Certified Loan Signing Agent in California can charge $75-$150 per loan. Even a part timer or college student working on weekends could make enough more from two signings a week than the typical part time job pays and have more time for fun. Notaries who develop the signing agent specialty can work this into a full time job income without punching a clock five days a week.

Notary training schools may claim to be certified or approved for training in basic notary skills or specialty skills such as loan signing agent or electronic notarization processes. Before accepting that claim, ask to see a written statement of the authority who certified the training program. States that have exams or required training hours may approve certain training programs. Those programs will have a letter from the state or be listed on the state web site as approved trainers.