Notary Service vs. Notary Signing Agent: What's The Difference?

Finding a good notary can be a frustrating experience. Even understanding what a notary does can lead to a headache.

Despite these issues, finding a good notary is important for many legal or official matters. Anytime you have legal paperwork that requires an authentic signature, a notary makes it simple to verify its authenticity should issues arise.

One of the more complex aspects of notarization is the difference between a notary service and notary signing agents.

Both of these options provide the same basic authentication services, but there are a few important differences for you to know in order to make the best choice.

If you find yourself in the market for some notarization services, read on to learn more about each option and which one may be the right fit for you.

What Is A Notary?

The most basic service that a notary provides, whether they are notary service or a signing agent, is notarization. This is the process of authenticating the identity of people’s signatures in order to avoid fraud.

A person’s signature is a unique mark that is used to approve contracts and documents.

Unfortunately, it has become easier and more common for signatures to be forged or duplicated electronically. When this occurs, the authenticity of the signature may be called into question.

Notarization is meant to help prevent this type of fraud.

By having someone to act as a designated witness when a person signs a document, they can vouch for the authenticity of the signature if it is called into question.

This service helps many people avoid complicated legal steps that may be required to verify their signature in a court of law.

Notary Service

A notary service, also known as a notary public, is a person that is authorized to help and witness the signing of important documents.

They are usually a person appointed by a state government who is entrusted with the responsibilities of being an impartial witness to the signing of these critical documents.

Notaries public help judge the signers by verifying their identity and making sure they aren’t signing without important information or while under duress.

Notaries public are extremely important for signing many important life-changing documents, such as property deeds, powers of attorney, and final wills.

These people are expected to remain impartial, meaning they act as a neutral third-party and will ignore any issues related to race, gender, religion, or other non-important factors.

This type of notary offers basic notarization that is enough for most legal documents.

Notary Signing Agents

Sometimes, people need more notarization help than is provided by a basic notary service. In this case, they will turn to a notary signing agent for additional help.

Signing agents are able to offer more services due to extensive training and certification requirements. These requirements will vary state-by-state, but almost all of them train the agent to handle other important legal matters and documents.

The additional services of a notary signing agent can include closing and signing documents related to loans, debt consolidations, and loan modifications. Matters of finance are a typical focus for most notary signing agents.

Their extensive training also allows them to act as a witness in the signing of many important documents common in loan paperwork. This is handy if a person’s signature needs validation in court.

Some signing agents will work as a notary service in addition to these extra duties. This way, they are able to offer the same exact services as a notary public in addition to everything else.

Finally, signing agents can also be more beneficial if you are limited in your ability to travel. Whereas a notary public typically works from one location that you have to travel to, signing agents often are willing to travel to your home to conduct business. This can help you conveniently choose when and where you want to sign.

Most signing agents are considered freelance entrepreneurs working on their own. Fees can go all the way up to $125 an hour.

Major Considerations

Choosing the best option for yourself ultimately comes down to the type of services you need. This depends on the type of documents you have to sign and authenticate.

If you're dealing with typical legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney, and property deeds, you can choose either option. A notary public will probably be the better choice in most cases since the required fees can be lower than a signing agent.

On the other hand, if the documents you need to sign are related to loan or other financial matters, a notary signing agent will be required. They're the only ones typically authorized to authenticate and bear witness to the signing of these documents. Many signing agents can also perform certain courier services to deliver completed loan packages to lenders.

Finally, your location may also play a small part in your decision-making process. Most cities and towns have a good selection of notary services and signing agents. If you live in an area with limited options, you may have to go with what is available.

Search online to determine what options are available where you live. Signing agents are usually the better choice for financial documents since their training is focused on financial matters. For anything else, the choice is up to you.

Finding A Good Notary Service

Finding the best notarization service doesn't have to be a headache. Even though it can seem complex at first, the only thing you're really looking for is someone to authenticate your signature on important documents. Whether you go with the notary service or a signing agent won't change this basic fact.

As long as you think about the types of documents you have to sign and what's available in your area, you will make the right choice.

If you aren't sure of what option is best for you, feel free to consult the professionals. We can help you find the right notary public in your area. Feel free to contact us.

Read next: Everything You Should Know Before Your House Closing

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