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February 14, 2021

Do you take the $75 signings or save time for the $200 signings?

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — admin @ 3:54 am

In my many years of being in the Notary directory business I have encountered many types of Notaries. Some work for cheap and try to make money with volume. Others try to do a great job for their customers and just do one or two jobs per day for a large sum of money. Then there are people who are clueless who take $40 jobs that are two hours away and end up just complaining only to take more jobs just like that in the future.

Every time you take a job, you are using up your phone time, patience, wear and tear on your car, gas, toner or wear and tear on your printer, paper, and more. Every time you drive somewhere, you should calculate how many minutes it took, how many miles, and whether they were highway or surface road miles. Highway miles put less wear on your car unless it is stop and go by the way. If you do a job for $40, and your total expenses are $15, and you put three hours into the job including phone calls, driving, signing, and dropping the package, you just made less than $12 per hour for your labor.

On the other hand, newer Notaries might have trouble attracting the higher paying jobs. So, if you turn down all of the lower paying work, you might not get any work, or might not have any work on particular days.

So, what do I recommend? You need a complicated pricing strategy. If people book in advance, you might offer them a lower price. That way you can keep your schedule medium booked. For same day orders, you can charge according to how your schedule looks.

Or, you could have a minimum price for signings. You could set your minimum at $90 and then charge extra for printing, long drives, and signings that are 150 pages or longer. For me, I charge based on my time.

Or you could book your first job of the day at a lower price, and then charge more for subsequent jobs. That way you will make money every day, and still have a shot at the big bucks.

Experienced Notaries often reject most jobs and stick to a much higher minimum like $125 or $150. They have the client base to be able to get away with that. If you have signed less than 5000 loans, you probably cannot command such high rates all of the time. You might get high pay on a third or a half of your signings, but not on all.

But, whatever you do, calculate the costs and time invested in each job, and try to figure out what your hourly rate would be for particular jobs before you accept a quote. And if you have signed less than 1000 loans, don’t be too picky because you need to pay your dues and get more experience so that you can become more valuable.



  1. Thank you for this article. I have been a Notary since 1994 but just became a LSA in December. I turned down jobs for almost 2 months while I sought out a mentor and continued to study. Now I struggle to get signings that are more than $75. This let’s me know to stay motivated and keep studying, and each signing counts.

    Comment by MONICA HUGHES — February 27, 2021 @ 9:36 pm

  2. Better Notary Settlement Pay is here. $200 or even $250. You just gotta ask.
    But then you gotta be VERY VERY GOOD ! Ordinary two penny notaries cannot make it. So best they may make is $125 to $150.
    However the noobs will take anything to get a free training.

    The problem is that there is a sucker (notary) born every minute and it does not take great brain power to be a notary. A person with IQ or 60 can become a notary. An I.Q. in the 60 to 70 range is approximately the scholastic equivalent to the third grade.

    So go figure it out. People will take advantage of this group who values themselves as much a third grade kid.
    Perhaps they will work for a lollypop candy (sucker candy).

    Comment by Sugar Lenoard — March 22, 2021 @ 5:27 pm

  3. Thank you for this article. It was a great read and now I understand my place in the notary signing industry.

    Comment by Shamina — March 22, 2021 @ 5:39 pm

  4. Not every job is a justified $200+ signing, But, when it is, my reply is , if you can give me this fee. Pks send it over. Otherwise, catch you on the next one, and have a great day!” Nice is always the best, but my abilities are worth more than a lowball offer

    Comment by Betty — March 22, 2021 @ 5:44 pm

  5. With years of experience, I provide a high caliber of work and my fee reflects that. I often reject offers that require a scan back because I drive right past the FedEx/UPS headquarters going back to the office to scan. A colossal waste of time. For the past few years, my base fee is $100 and the fee increases as the distance increases. I never accept offers from one company (you probably know whe they are) because they set up a signing days in advance for Friday afternoon and then Title never gets the documents to me until it is too late to prepare docs and get to the signing on time. I wouldn’t do a signing for them if they paid me a million dollars — well, maybe I would 😉

    Comment by Elizabaeth Croteau — March 24, 2021 @ 5:27 pm

  6. Elizabaeth Croteau, How do you charge for your distance? Do you add a charge for “time” on top of your mileage? I live in an area that is difficult to travel around it (traffic) and am trying to balance mileage/gas/wear-n-tear along with my TIME spent in the car.

    Does anyone else have a formula for this part?

    Comment by didi — April 5, 2021 @ 3:54 pm

  7. I wouldn’t take a $75.00 signing if it was my next door neighbor’s and it was 5 pages.
    I am not going to enable any company to make that kind of profit off my work. I’d rather sit home. If we all took this stance, we’d all be better off.

    Comment by Jerome Zeiger — November 12, 2021 @ 11:05 pm

  8. There’s a company that sends signings for $90 usually scheduled at 7pm or 8 pm and requiring scanbacks. I don’t understand how anyone can make any profit that way. Scanbacks are a two trip job plain and simple. How are you willing to make two trips for $90? This company sends 15 – 20 a day. I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole.

    Comment by Cathy Powell — November 12, 2021 @ 11:23 pm

  9. I used to get $150 – $175 a signing, and then the industry tanked the beginning of the year. Now the companies only want to pay $75-$100. If I dont take them for the $100, someone else will always do them around here. SO I can be proud, sit and and go hungry, or take the closings hoping these companies will remember me and call me first. BTW, I have been doing closings for over 12 years and over 6000 for sure. I am NOT A NOVICE, and no longer make any mistakes. Or I can just work behind a counter and make $12 an hour standing all day because I am over 60. That is the plain truth, no filter here.

    Comment by Darlene Murphey-Jones — November 13, 2021 @ 5:22 am

  10. Great read. I usually do not take signings less than $100. However, if it is a company that gives me lots of signings, I do it for a little less. If it requires scanbacks, I add $25. There are particular questions I ask the company when I accept an assignment, i.e. any scanback, any funds to be collected, what size paper letter/legal, any particular ink black/blue? That saves a lot of time. If distance is greater than normal range, I let the company know in advance and they either offer to pay more or find someone closer

    Comment by ROSE TALLEY — November 13, 2021 @ 1:33 pm

  11. Fees are not what they used to be last year still, I ask extra for large packages, multiple signers or long-distance if booked in advance. If I have a signing more than 30 minutes away I can usually book another one near that one to cut down on the time and mileage. I will accept a small package for under 100 but my base fee is 125. I am not getting every offer out there and also not asking for them. I leave the low-fee packages for those needing to build experience or I will counter-offer with my fee. Sometimes a signing company wants someone with my skill set and I get the fee I ask for. Signings at over 200 in my area are only for multiple signers, multiple loans (a refi and heloc combo or two refis) distance or rate lock expiration.

    Comment by Keaton Notary — November 13, 2021 @ 3:10 pm

  12. Here’s the real problem. Title companies and signing companies are taking most of the money for notaries. Now that companies use apps on your phone. They send the work to only the lowest bid. When a new notary takes a job for 75-90 dollars, it HURtS ALL NOTARIES! Stop! The companies will say ” this is the average price your area pays”. But, it is only because someone is doing the work for these low prices. We have to start being unavailable for these low fees. Until then it will only get worse.

    Comment by Bea — November 13, 2021 @ 4:54 pm

  13. If everybody could just stay competitive and stop taking order at low price the title companies will have to start paying and offing reasonable start up fee instead the $40 to $90 fees . No order should ever be accept for under a $100

    Comment by Jerry Toeben — November 15, 2021 @ 1:14 pm

  14. I’ve been doing this for over 27 years. I KNOW that when folks had to go into the title company to close their transactions, the title company charged $400.00. Then the notary finders came into being and they get the check and want to give us peanuts for doing the work. I have a $175 minimum
    and that is based on what I call Print and Prep time (emails, phone calls, printing documents, reviewing them, tagging notary pages, etc.), supplies (paper, ink, pens, clips and envelopes for borrowers’ copies), travel and on-site time, mileage, fax time if faxbacks required, and finalizing and drop time. This doesn’t even take into account State and NNA registration fees, E&O and Bond fees, training costs, computer and printer costs, etc. Inexperienced NSAs don’t realize all the expenses that go into an assignment and will take one for $75 and loose a bunch of loot! If it’s a business, you must treat it as a business. Those accepting lower paid jobs hurt the experienced and professional NNAs without realizing it. They are training the notary finders to keep payments low. Fellow NSAs…. don’t do that! We should ALL hold firm to what we are worth. You should never accept less than $125.00. And once you prove yourself and build a rapport you can expect and require more.

    Comment by JudyLou Davis — November 21, 2021 @ 5:25 am

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