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February 19, 2017

Need an NNA Alternative?

NNA is a very reliable and quality organization that has been helping Notaries with education, supplies, background checking, and a world-class technical hotline for years. We at 123notary recommend them highly. However, their fees can be a bit high for some budgets, and you are probably thinking of alternatives for your Notary needs. Some claim that NNA has gotten too big, and is no longer the optimal source for Notaries to rely on. I refrain from having a personal opinion on this matter, although I would say that you should analyze your various Notary needs, and find the ideal source for each need rather than relying on one-stop shopping unless you feel that one-stop shopping makes more sense. So, here are the alternatives.

Signing Agent Education
(1) 123notary offers good loan signing combos with solid marketing advice and the convenience of take home course in printable, online, or take home book.
(2) We recommend Notary2Pro if you want thorough training and hand holding. they train their Notaries better than anyone else. Their courses are not as affordable as 123notary’s and do not have the marketing expertise that 123notary does, but they excel at nuts and bolts technical training.

Background Checks
NNA and Sterling are the two acceptable names for background checks. So, if you want an alternative to NNA, try Sterling.

SigningAgent.com used to deliver more jobs to Notaries than it does now. Over the last six years it has gone down hill from what I’ve heard.
(1) 123notary is a good source for high paying notary work
(2) SnapDocs is a good source for low-ball signing work for beginners
(3) NotaryRotary is the runner up for a mix of signing agent work ranging from top-notch to low-ball.

E&O Insurance
Notary Rotary and other organizations also sell Notary E&O insurance. Not sure who has better prices, but you can shop around.

There are various companies around the nation that offer supplies, Notary Rotary being one of them. Personally, I always relied on NNA as my sole destination for thumbprinters, acknowledgment pads, carry-all bags, and anything else I needed.

NNA seems to be the best destination for one-stop Notary shopping. However, the alternatives might offer better prices and in some cases better quality especially for signing agent education, background screening, and directory marketing. However, for E&O and supplies they would be my first choice. I am not here to make your decision for where you should go for what. But, compare the competition for each type of items or services that you need, perhaps try each option out, and then optimize your decision making skills!


You might also like:

For Background Checks, NNA & Sterling come highly recommended

A comprehensive guide to Notary organizations

Notary Marketing 102 – a free course

Index of information about documents



  1. world-class technical hotline ????

    I called them to ask how Blue Red-Yellow should initial.

    I asked would it be BR or BRY – not a tough question.

    Answer: We don’t know!

    For the record, IMHO it’s BR as the hyphen makes Red-Yellow one name element.

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — February 22, 2017 @ 12:42 am

  2. I have been using the NNA since 2002. I concur…they certainly have gone down hill since that time. Hotline? what hotline line. Perhaps the name should be changed to Cold Line as it is merely their marketing attempt to simply promote more money for their services. I just paid 130.00 to renew my commission as they have my background check and E & O.They attempted to sell me the world claiming that everyone comes to them to verify my credentials and continue to use their so called outfit to verify that I am signing agent and NSA certified who is experienced and on the top of their list. yeah right!

    Despite my negative feeling, I thought…ok lets give them another chance. Once I paid an additional 84.00 to try it out, my placement within my zip code with 25 years experience was at # 17 when searching my zip code. The other 16 where newbies that were 10 miles aways from my zip. Wonder if the newbies are getting any lowballing business for their placement? When I questioned the matter of #17 the NNA advised me that for an additional 35.00 I would be put in my zip code. really? They are charging an enorumus amount of many hard earned $s to move to the top of their list? I think not! After all was said and done …23 emails later they credited me the 84 bucks and offered me a 20% discount to change my mind in the future. Really? An insult to my intelligence! Enough is enough! When I look back I may have only received 10 closings from my listing over a 13 year period. I am definitely looking for other options for my future Background Check and E & O needs.

    Jeremy, I am sticking with http://www.123notary.com

    Comment by Jean Meyer — April 27, 2017 @ 5:38 pm

  3. Sorry, but I have to disagree that NNA is a world class provider and I definitely disagree that their primary objective is to help Signing Agents. They are extremely heavy on “sell, sell, Sell” products – when you visit their website they are constantly pushing products down your throat. So much so that they send me frequent mailers to “buy insurance” when I’ve already purchased it – through them!! Additionally, their prices for providing training, education and certification are very expensive. I have a hard time justifying their cost compared to the benefit. If you don’t time your Background Check and your Certification just right, you end up with double timing on your Background Check – for example, if you expire June 20th and don’t time your Background Check just right then you pay for June 15th-20th, or you risk being without a Background Check for 5 days while they process. This is exactly where NNA should be your advocate and streamline the process – but no. Speaking of advocating, they do nothing in terms of lobbying for protection laws for Signing Agents or anything similar.
    No, sorry, they aren’t my friend – they are just another bureaucratic layer in the process.

    Comment by Kelli Rosellini — April 27, 2017 @ 5:59 pm

  4. I was applying for a company to sign loan docs and they asked for the NNA account, I told them I did not have one therefore I could not qualify for their company. I used them once and did not get an answer to the questions I had regarding a notary document. I thought they were there to help. I never again signed up with them. Various years ago. And they are also expense. 123notary has helped with questions needed, sometimes that is all that is needed.

    Comment by Lupe — April 27, 2017 @ 10:57 pm

  5. No, NNA is not our friend. They are simply a commercial organization looking to maximize their income stream. Everything went downhill when they purchased the Certified Signing Agent designation from Susan and Scott Pence, and then began marketing their own brand of signing agent designation to unqualified notaries with promises of fame and fortune. Thus began the era of low-ball newbies. Poisoned our industry.

    Comment by John Cown — April 28, 2017 @ 12:21 am

  6. I am in total agreement that the NNA organization has lost touch with assisting and helping Notaries.
    I been wuth the NNA for over 10 years, and this will be my last year with them, yes the alternatives are in the Notaries favor.
    Please stop using NNA, they will nit help you, the Notary; they want to sell and give Notaries a hard time.

    Comment by John Mendoza — April 28, 2017 @ 1:23 am

  7. NNA is just another organization sticking it to Notaries. I have called the hotline several times and each time told the information isn’t guarantee-it was up to me the Notary to interpret my laws that they were not attorneys and this was their interpretation of the law or statue. There is no advocating on their behalf to which I can see benefit for. One of the biggest issues we have is pay and they wont discuss. I’m not sure how they have become the authority but because they have membership is mandatory and the forcing of their fees are unavoidable if you want to work. If you want to work pressure seems to be the attitude coming from not only NNA but Title Co also — we need to UNITE as Notaries.

    Comment by OLW — April 28, 2017 @ 12:21 pm

  8. That is interesting that you can get notary insurance from certain places. This is something I would want to look into if I were a notary. Maybe notary insurance is something that notaries should look into sometime soon.

    Comment by Dave Anderson — June 10, 2019 @ 7:46 pm

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