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March 9, 2016

The Notary industry is getting more professional

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 6:52 am

It pleases me to honestly say and claim that the Notary industry is getting more professional. When I call people, I notice that people are answering the phone more professionally. Also, I have an assistant who worked for me five years ago, took time off, and joined me again. She noticed a huge change in how professional people were. But, what do we owe these changes to?

One thing that comes to mind is that the NNA has raised its standards. They are a huge influence in the business. I believe they have required yearly or bi-yearly certification testing for years. However, the new annual background check requirements became a standard during the time that my assistant and I noticed that the industry improved. Although background screening is not the same as Notary education, it weeds out those who aren’t serious about the profession.

Additionally, 123notary (that’s us) published a free educational mini-course on the blog called the 30 point course. I have noticed that when I ask Notaries questions over the phone, they are doing much better these days than they did five years ago. Several years ago the rate of correct answers was below 50% while now it is around 70%. We are still far from perfect as a professional community, but there are so many encouraging signs that things are getting better.

I cannot prove that the NNA or 123notary made the Notary industry suddenly better in the last few years, but we have both raised our standards in particular ways, and that seems have reflected positively on the industry.

Additionally, I am personally evolving. And as I evolve, I begin to see that there are so many factors that make a good signing agent. The components range from following directions well, to being polite, to understanding Notary law, to knowing your way around the documents. There are more factors than those, but I am just beginning to realize how important following directions can be. Unfortunately, most Notaries do not do a good job at following directions. I am considering creating a new program solely to help Notaries master the art of following directions and then testing them on it.

Why all this testing going on? It’s annoying to Notaries and to me as well. It raises the bar, and helps me determine who knows their stuff and who is just faking it. As a directory owner, delivering quality search results to the end user is my main goal and this is one my tools for doing so.



  1. Following directions is indeed important, but be sure to include some limits to acquiescing blindly to authority. Of course legality is paramount – no directions can override the law. But there are often other situations where “following directions” is not the best course of action. Sometimes the directions are “boiler plate” and used of all projects. “You MUST return 3 signed copies of the Right to Cancel” – but it’s an investment property and has no RTC. It’s great to call about it, but sometimes nobody is available.

    Often the package contains directions that vastly change the verbal “sign up” description. Verbally: go to address and have A B and C sign. In the package: each has a different address, far apart. Nothing illegal, but you quoted for 3 sigs at same location. That little 80 page job can blossom to 180 pages, with 45 notarizations. Keep it legal AND keep it fair.

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — March 9, 2016 @ 9:42 pm

  2. I just sat thru the 6hr renewal class on wednesday and took the test.

    it was so hard to concentrate on the questions and answers for the whole 6 hrs.

    the instructors were good – the room was hot – the monitors were late and there wasn’t enough time to study in between breaks and lunch.

    if it wasn’t for 123 Notary – and the NNA staff – their feedback and keeping all notaries ;up to date – I’d be lost –

    I’m Hoping I passed – as did most of the people I spoke with afterwards.

    My commission doesn’t expire until Feb 2017 but it was suggested to start early on taking the class and test.

    After this experience – I’m glad I started the process early…

    Good Luck to the Future Notaries and Renewalbees. Its going to be weeding out time like Jeremy and staff said….

    Hold On To Your Hats.

    Comment by hope lynn — March 25, 2016 @ 2:02 am

  3. Regarding instructions…. Often the instructions are buried within the package….often there are instructions in assignment that conflict with the instructions in package. What concerns me is the LO misleading signers on things that obviously are law in Texas. That! Concerns me! I have high professionalism and integrity and have seen quite a few messy packages lately that are not title’s fault.

    Comment by Melanie k — May 24, 2016 @ 1:12 pm

  4. How do we get reviews of companies we work for…areas of improvement.. what kind of feedback from the borrower given to lender.
    Has anyone ever been taken off a signing company”preferred” list? And if so, did they ever tell you that there were too many errors or borrower compliant…
    I think we Notaries need more feedback back…
    Also, has anyone seen a reduction in Signings in the past month

    Comment by hopelynn — November 11, 2016 @ 2:44 pm

  5. Many Signing Companies have outdated instructions, as well as instructions that does not pertain to the loan documents that are assigned. This makes it confusing, especially when many signings are last minute and after hours.

    I suggest updating instructions, so there is no confusion. The expectation is no errors, so we need to make changes so the Notary has the best chance to return a perfect set of documents every time.

    Comment by Judy — July 14, 2018 @ 2:56 pm

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