To begin with, the world of notary services can be a bit confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the distinctions between a Notary Public and a Notary Signing Agent. In this article, we’ll explore these two essential roles in the field of notarization. First and foremost, let’s start by discussing what each of these professionals brings to the table.
1. Notary Public:
A Notary Public is a public officer appointed by the state government as an impartial witness in document signings. Their primary role is to verify the identity of signers and ensure the documents are executed correctly according to state laws. Here are some key responsibilities of a Notary Public:
a. Identity Verification: Notary Publics verify signers’ identities through government-issued IDs, ensuring that the individuals signing the documents are who they claim to be.
b. Oath Administration: They may administer oaths or affirmations required for specific documents, such as affidavits.
c. Acknowledgments and Jurats: Notary Publics can perform two types of notarizations—acknowledgments and jurats. Acknowledgments confirm that the signer willingly executed the document, while jurats require the signer to swear to the truthfulness of the document’s contents.
d. Notary Seal and Recordkeeping: Notary Publics affix their official seal to documents and maintain a journal of all notarized transactions, which records their notarial acts.
e. Limitations: Notary Publics are typically prohibited from offering legal advice or providing guidance on document content. Their role is strictly to verify identities and witness signatures.
2. Notary Signing Agent:
A Notary Signing Agent (NSA) is a specialized type of Notary Public who plays a crucial role in real estate transactions, particularly mortgage signings. NSAs are hired by title companies, lenders, or signing services to ensure that loan documents are signed correctly and comply with lender requirements. Here are the primary responsibilities of a Notary Signing Agent:
a. Document Package Handling: NSAs receive loan document packages from the lender or title company and ensure all documents are in order.
b. Mobile Services: They often provide mobile notary services, traveling to borrowers’ homes or other convenient locations to facilitate document signings.
c. In-Person Signing: NSAs oversee the signing process, ensuring that borrowers sign all documents accurately and that signatures and initials are consistent.
d. Oath Administration: Similar to Notary Publics, NSAs may administer oaths or affirmations when required by specific documents.
e. Document Return: After the signing, NSAs are responsible for securely returning the completed documents to the lender or title company.
f. Expertise in Loan Documents: NSAs are well-versed in loan documents, understanding the terminology and requirements of mortgage transactions.
On one hand, we have the Notary Public, a public officer appointed by the state government. On the other hand, we have the Notary Signing Agent, a specialized type of Notary Public. In contrast to the standard Notary Public role, Notary Signing Agents have specific responsibilities and areas of expertise. Similarly, while both play pivotal roles in the notarization process, they have distinct duties and functions.
One major distinction is that a Notary Public typically serves as an impartial witness for various document signings, such as affidavits, acknowledgments, and jurats. In contrast, a Notary Signing Agent specializes in overseeing the signing of loan documents in real estate transactions. Notably, these differences affect the types of documents they handle and the industries they serve.
When it comes to their responsibilities, a Notary Public’s primary duty is to verify the identity of signers, administer oaths, and ensure that documents are executed correctly according to state laws. Conversely, a Notary Signing Agent’s role revolves around handling document packages, providing mobile services, overseeing in-person signings, and ensuring that loan documents are signed accurately and in compliance with lender requirements. Let’s delve deeper into what each role entails.
Notary Publics verify identities and notarize documents, while Notary Signing Agents oversee the signing of loan documents in real estate transactions. Understanding these differences is crucial when seeking notary services. Both play important roles in safeguarding the integrity of important documents.