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How I launched my remote Notary business

When I was approved as a remote Notary for the state of Virginia in 2017, I was excited to jump in, but work was very slow at first. Remote online notarization (RON) allows a Notary to notarize a document online using an approved technology platform for signers located in other states or even other countries.

I was very interested in remote notarization, because the idea of offering Notary services without needing to leave my home was very appealing. Unfortunately, when I started in 2017, remote online notarization, or “RON,” was not widely known or understood and wasn’t nearly as profitable as I had hoped. Many state officials, Notaries and signers were unsure about RON since few people understood or had used it at that time.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and suddenly all roads led to RON.

RON and COVID changed the entire industry for Notaries. COVID-19 required people to stay at home to avoid catching the disease, and many businesses were forced to close or begin operating remotely to stay open.

Today, RON services are a major part my Notary business. It has become just as profitable for my loan closing and general Notary work, and I predict that by the end of 2022, it will be the lion’s share of my Notary business.

To get started as a RON, you want to make sure that your state authorizes its Notaries to provide this service (a few states, such as California, don’t allow RON at this time). If your state permits remote online notarizations, you will need to apply with your state first. Different states have different requirements when you apply. You may be required to take additional training, sign up with an authorized remote notarization provider, or purchase additional supplies such as an electronic Notary seal or digital certificate.

Selecting a RON technology provider

Choosing a technology provider is often the most important step to becoming a remote Notary. Many states require Notaries to sign up with a technology provider that meets the requirements of their RON laws.

In general, there are two types of RON technology providers:

  • Companies that provide the online technology and send business your way.
  • Companies that provide you the online technology you need to perform RONs

The first type of company not only sets you up with the technology, but they also provide RON work for you. Notarize, SafeDocs and NotaryCam are examples of this type of company. I recommend these types of companies for new Notaries who want to get their feet wet in the industry and learn the dos and don'ts before branching out on their own. You will be limited on what you earn per notarization, because your fee is determined by the provider, and it is usually lower than if you acquired the clients yourself. But the advantage to working directly for this type of RON provider is that you do not have to handle marketing yourself or locating clients — the provider will send you assignments, and all you have to do is log on to complete notarizations and then log off again.

The companies that only provide you the technology will set you up to perform remote notarizations, but do not contract to provide you with notarization work. DocVerify, Secured Signings and SIGNiX are examples of this type of independent technology provider. These platforms will typically charge a monthly or annual usage fee in addition to transactions fees for each remote notarization completed. Fees for platforms vary so be sure to research each platform individually to ensure your rates will result in profitability.

Getting customers 

If you choose to work independently as a remote Notary, you will be solely responsible for acquiring your clients, charging and collecting payment and completing their notarizations. This is the most profitable way to conduct RONs. You can set your own fees (but make sure you stay within your state’s Notary fee schedule) and you do not have to split your earnings with the technology provider. The only major hurdle Notaries may face when going this route is doing your own marketing to build a customer base.

This is an online business, so most of your clients will find you online. You should acquire additional training on how to properly and effectively market online such as running Google AdWords.

In my experience, working as remote online Notary can provide you with income potential similar to working as a Signing Agent. I have completed RON assignments where I earned $50 in 5 minutes and $400 for a 30-minute assignment. If your state permits it, you may be able to charge additional fees such as technology fees. Remember this is your business, so you can charge fees based on your company's fee structure and your state’s limitations.

Editor's note:

States set the maximum fee Notaries can charge for a notarization. Most (but not all) states allow a flat fee of $25 for a remote notarization. In addition, some states allow remote Notaries to charge a technology usage fee. In these states, the signers would pay the technology fee for use of the platform. Out of these fees, remote Notaries have to pay the technology provider for using their system.

Working as a remote online Notary, can be a profitable full-time business as you can work around the clock, 365 days a year. Like any business, you should always do your due diligence and research the industry to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to be successful. In my professional opinion, I believe every Notary should take steps to become a remote online Notary, because as technology continues to evolve, we Notaries should too.

Vanessa Terry, owner and head trainer at Notary2Notary, has over 10 years of experience building successful businesses nationwide. After finding her own six-figure success as a Notary trainer and entrepreneur, she launched Notary2Notary to empower those all over the country to start their own business. Vanessa coaches her Notary students on these three tiers to help others build their successful Notary signing agent businesses across the country.

4 Comments

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ERICA WAYNICK

21 Mar 2022

This RON is very interesting and I intend to get more information to develop work-from-home notarizations. Do you offer the progam and supply the clients? Please advise at your soonest convenience. Thank you.

National Notary Association

21 Mar 2022

Hello. More information is available here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary

Carolyn Ballou

21 Mar 2022

Very good information. Interested in doing RON

Angelique

22 Mar 2022

I just became a notary and I am definitely working on getting the funds to be a RON and a loan signing agent. This was great information. I know I'm making my grandma in heaven proud. I finally did what she been wanting me to do over 20 years. She was a notary n bail bondsman over 30 years

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