Becoming a notary public can be a rewarding career. It carries a high earnings potential, offers great job flexibility, and provides an excellent deterrent to fraud.
Find out the steps you need to take to become an online notary in your state. Learn about the responsibilities, salary potential, and state-specific information. Plus, find out about the need for a notary public bond and errors and omissions insurance.
- Prepare for the Exam
The exam is not monkey business, but you do need to be prepared. Feeling anxious about taking a test is normal, even when you’ve studied well and know the material. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for and take exams effectively, which can help you get better grades with less stress.
Begin your preparation by planning out a study schedule and identifying the topics you will be responsible for on the exam. This will make it easier to divide up your studying, allowing you to focus on the more difficult subjects first and the simpler ones last. Having a clear plan will also make it easy to see when you are progressing and where further review is needed.
It is also helpful to simulate the conditions of the exam. This can be done by finding or creating practice questions of the type you will face (whether multiple-choice, short answer, essay, etc.) and working through them under timed conditions. This will help you understand how to approach each question and ensure that you’re familiar with the process of answering an exam.
It’s also helpful to arrive at the exam site early to give you a chance to become acquainted with the testing environment and to review your materials. This will allow you to calm yourself and focus before beginning the exam, helping you perform better on it. During the exam, be sure to follow all of the instructions provided by your proctor. This will include not opening any additional materials or submitting any responses that are not appropriate. Once the exam has been completed, you must submit a signed and notarized application and a four-year Mississippi notary errors and omissions insurance bond to the Secretary of State to be commissioned as a notary public.
- Learn the Basics
Notaries are a key part of the real estate and mortgage closing process. They verify the signer’s identity and signature on legal documents and then stamp and seal the document to make it official. To become a Mississippi notary signing agent, you need to understand the profession’s basic laws and regulations.
In addition to learning the law, you also need to purchase your notary materials. This includes a notary seal, which must meet state requirements, and a journal, where you record all of your official acts. You can buy these items at notary supply stores or directly from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office. You’ll also need to get a $5,000 Mississippi notary bond and a $10,000 Mississippi notary errors and omissions insurance policy from Travelers, which the state requires before you can begin work.
If you have a felony conviction, it may affect your application to become a notary in Mississippi. The Secretary of State wants to make sure that you have the integrity, honesty, and reputation to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. However, having a felony doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be approved for the job; it will just depend on the nature and severity of the conviction.
You’ll need to strictly record all your notarial acts, including when and where you performed them. A tamper-evident journal is recommended, and it should have pre-printed pages that you can find at most notary supplies stores or online. The journal must be bound and have a permanent seal so that it’s easy to find later when you need to reference it.
- Take the Exam
You must pass the state’s notary exam to become a Mississippi notary. You can take the exam in person or online. To qualify to sit for the test, you must have a physical address in the state and be able to read and write English. You also need to be at least 18 years old. Finally, you must not have had a notary commission revoked or suspended or been found guilty of misfeasance, malfeasance, or official misconduct in the past. You must also not be currently incarcerated or on parole.
The exam is administered by Pearson VUE. The test covers laws and procedures that notaries must know to perform their duties. It includes information about notarial acts, such as verifying a signature, taking an oath or affirmation, and making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.
Once you’ve passed the exam, you’ll receive a pre-commission certificate from the Secretary of State. You’ll need to order your $5,000 notary bond and take the oath of office within 60 days of getting the pre-commission certificate.
After you’ve received your commission certificate, you must get a seal to use when performing notarial acts. Your seal must be legible and photographically reproducible. You can purchase a Mississippi notary stamp in our online store that meets all the state requirements.
In addition to traditional notary work, many Mississippi notaries earn extra income by becoming notary loan signing agents. Title and escrow companies hire notary loan signing agents to handle the paperwork and signatures involved in real estate transactions. You can make up to $150 per loan signing in this career. To be a successful notary loan signing agent, you need to complete additional training and certification and have an Errors & Omissions insurance policy.
- Apply for the Commission
To become a notary public in the state of Mississippi, you must complete the following steps:
Apply for your commission. This is usually done online, though it can also be completed by mail. Generally, you’ll need to submit an application that contains personal and professional information. You’ll also need to meet educational and training requirements and pass an exam. In some states, you may be required to satisfy background checks and criminal history requirements as well.
Obtain a notary bond. The state of Mississippi requires notaries to post a $5,000 bond to guarantee that they will faithfully perform their notarial duties. The bond will protect someone who is harmed by a notary’s misconduct or mistakes. It’s important to have an errors and omissions (E&O) policy in place to limit your financial exposure.
Pay the $25 state filing fee and buy a notary seal. Once you’ve met all of the above requirements, you can begin performing notarial acts in the state of Mississippi. Notaries are also required to take ongoing education and consult Notary experts for guidance.
The governor technically appoints Mississippi notaries public, but the secretary of state administers the commission process and reviews all application materials for approval. In order to receive a commission, applicants must have all of their applications and supporting documents submitted to the secretary of state within 60 days. Once all paperwork is in order, the notary will receive an email indicating that their commission has been approved. Once the notary is commissioned, they will need to select an electronic notarization system from the list provided by the secretary of state. Afterward, the notary can provide in-person or remote electronic notarial services.
- Get Your Bond
When you’ve got your commission, you can work as a Mississippi notary public. Whether you’re doing traditional notarizations or lending your services as a loan signing agent, there is always demand for qualified Notaries in the state of Mississippi.
Notaries are able to perform notarial acts at any location within the state of Mississippi unless they’re specifically prohibited from doing so by another law or regulation. Some examples of notarial acts that Notaries can perform include verifications on oath or affirmation, taking acknowledgments, making protests on negotiable instruments, and recording land records.
To be a notary in Mississippi, you must meet the following qualifications:
You’ll need to fill out the Notary application and get it notarized. You’ll also need to pay the Secretary of State a $25 filing fee. Once your application is approved, you’ll need to purchase a $5,000 surety bond and return it to the Secretary of State along with your pre-commission certificate.
The surety bond is to protect the public from financial harm should you engage in wrongdoing or fraud as a Notary. Only about 30 states require that Notaries obtain a bond before they can be commissioned. A Notary bond in Mississippi costs around $60 for 4 years of coverage. You’ll also want to buy your Notary seal and supplies, which can add up quickly. It’s also recommended that you get E&O insurance, which will limit your financial exposure in the event of a claim.