Signing Agent State Restrictions
Most states only require that a signing agent has a valid notary commission. However, some states have additional restrictions for signing agents. These state requirements may restrict notary signing agents from performing loan document signings.
Attorney Closing States
Attorney closing states require an attorney to be present at, or involved in, real estate property closings. In some cases, a signing agent may still notarize loan documents if an attorney is present. The attorney closing states are:
|Delaware||North Carolina||West Virginia|
|Georgia||South Carolina||New York|
It is common practice for an attorney to be involved in a real estate closing in Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. However, signing agents can still perform loan signings in these states.
Connecticut law requires a Connecticut attorney to conduct real estate closings for most mortgage loans. However, notary signing agents can perform loan signings for loans which don’t require a title insurance policy, and loans for property in other states.
The Supreme Court of Delaware ruled that a Delaware attorney must conduct Delaware real estate closings.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a Georgia attorney must be present at or conduct Georgia real estate closings.
Massachusetts law requires an attorney to be present or involved with a real estate closing. However, a notary signing agent who is employed by an attorney or a lender may notarize a document in conjunction with a real estate closing conducted by their employer.
North Carolina law allows a signing agent to perform a loan signing only if an attorney is present to supervise and provide oversight.
The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that an attorney must be present at and conduct a real estate closing.
Vermont law requires an attorney to be present at or involved with a real estate closing.
The West Virginia State Bar issued an advisory stating that an attorney must conduct real estate closings.
New York law dictates that certain companies may choose to use only licensed attorney or real estate closings. In some parts of the state, an attorney may be required to conduct a real estate closing.
New York Real Property Law 280-B requires the lender and the mortgager of a reverse mortgage to be represented “by an attorney or attorneys at the time of the closing […] and each such party shall have at least one attorney present
to conduct the closing.”
In states with licensing restrictions, a notary must obtain an additional license before they can perform loan signings.
Indiana law requires “any person who conducts a real estate closing” to have a Title Insurance License. Indiana residents must meet the following requirements to obtain a Title Insurance License:
1. Complete a 10 hour title insurance license course. Approved courses can be found at sircon.com.
2. Obtain a certificate of completion from the course.
Maryland law requires signing agents to have a Title Insurance Producer License. In order to obtain a license, applicants must meet the following requirements:
1. Complete 20 hours of pre-licensing course hours or work experience.
2. Obtain a pre-licensing course certificate.
3. Take the exam within 6 months of receiving the course certificate.
More information may be found here.
Minnesota law requires that notaries first obtain a Closing Agent License before performing loan signings. The requirements to get a Closing Agent License are as follows:
1. Be a notary commissioned in Minnesota.
2. Take a 10 hour state-approved Closing Agent Training Course.
3. Submit an application at pulseportal.com.
Virginia law states that anyone who conducts a real estate closing must have a title insurance license if they handle or receive money for closing costs.
In states with fee restrictions, state law may limit the fees that signing agents can charge for loan signings.
Nevada law limits the amount that notaries may charge for notarial acts and travel fees.
Some states have restrictions on the types of loans for which signing agents can perform loan signings.
Texas law protects Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loans from a forced sale if they are closed in the office of an attorney, lender, or title company.
Additionally, Texas law states that “a lien securing a wrap mortgage is void unless the wrap mortgage loan and the conveyance of the residential real estate securing the loan are closed by an attorney or a title company.”