The way people work is constantly changing, particularly during times of inflation. For many, having a side hustle certainly has become the norm—whether it be because they want more flexible ways to work or extra income to afford their lifestyle.
One trendy side hustle for many is becoming an online notary, and it’s become even easier to provide these services from the comfort of home.
Becoming a Notary
With the 2016 launch of Notarize, the first notary public platform to allow any person or business to get their documents legally notarized online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, notary transactions are now possible digitally.
Notarize can help anyone interested in becoming a notary to get certified, allowing them to work full or part-time at their own convenience and begin earning extra cash. It also connects them with individuals and businesses needing to get documents notarized.
Currently, 38 states plus the District of Columbia have passed legislation enabling Remote Online Notarization. Anyone in those states can review the laws and capabilities in their state and learn how to become commissioned as an Online Notary through their Secretary of State website. Notarize currently serves 29 of these states.
According to Ashley Speiss, VP of Notary Strategy at Notarize, although a notary cannot get commissioned through the platform, there is direction on how to get started in each of those states that are supported.
The platform does not charge any start-up costs associated with joining. Still, anyone looking to sign up as a notary should check the costs and steps to become commissioned on the Secretary of State website—which can include application fees and training.
Speiss notes that online notarization platforms require a digital certificate, ranging from $77 to $182, depending on the length purchased. She notes that Notarize supports Identrust Digital Certificates, and any notary setting an account on the platform will be required to upload their digital certificate in the onboarding process.
As far as equipment, notaries should have a computer with a webcam and a reliable Internet connection. Notaries should also be accurate, follow legal requirements, and consider optional insurance.
The National Notary Association shares tips about becoming a remote online notary (RON), including Frequently Asked Questions about the process.
Those steps are as follows:
- Become a traditional notary according to the state’s requirements
- Applying to and registering to perform virtual notarizations.
- Paying any state application fees
- Complete any RON-specific training or testing required by the state
- Getting any remote online notary tools or technology needed
- Choosing a state-approved RON vendor.
- Getting the right kind of surety bond to cover the RONs.
- Buying an optional insurance policy
- Submitting any documents required.
It can take up to 6 weeks to become an online Notary. Up to 4 of those weeks will be spent on the first step of becoming a traditional Notary. The rest of the process can be done quickly.
Through the Notarize platform, online notaries are paid a range, depending on the service completed. This $5 per business/retail transaction and $25 per completed title and lender transaction through their On-Demand Notary Network is brought to the notary through the consumers and businesses.
In addition, Speiss says notaries can set the fees they would like to charge and are responsible for knowing their state laws regarding notary fees and what they can charge.
“Depending on how much a Notary uses the Notarize platform and its offerings, they can flex their earning potential,” says Speiss. “We see Notaries utilize Notarize as a supplemental source of income to Notaries making thousands of dollars a month and running successful businesses online.”
Before undertaking any side hustle, there are factors to consider if it’s the right match. Speiss notes it’s important to research the requirements of their home state and their desired platform before purchasing any tools, training, or equipment. “This will help ensure you are set up for the utmost success,” she says.
In addition, existing commissioned notaries who have decided to expand their skills and businesses online need to renew their paper commission (if it’s set to expire), as the Online Notary commission will pair with the paper expiration date. This will ensure you get the most time out of your efforts to be commissioned as an Online Notary.
“As a single mom of two young children, working 40+ hours a week as a Bodily Injury Adjuster, I needed to find a side hustle that would allow me the flexibility of working from home and working a schedule outside of my current 9 to 5 career,” says Crystal Sale, BS, CCLA, a notary public who began her journey through the platform.
“By becoming a commissioned electronic notary, I am able to work from home and make my own schedule.”
For side hustles in general, Erik Baskin, Founder, and Financial Planner at Baskin Financial Planning and Wealthtender community member, shares some advice.
“A side hustle can be a great way to pursue a passion, add additional income, and maybe even jump careers, but it can also be very stressful,” he says. “You have to have great time management skills and time blocking skills to be able to compartmentalize your day job, side hustle, and home life.”
Gone are the days when an individual or business rushed out and found an office with a notary public open to get their documents made official and legal. It’s easier than ever to get a document notarized online.
Additionally, it’s become one of the trendiest new side hustles for existing notaries and those who become digital notaries for the first time. Providing a service needed for businesses and individuals while earning extra cash can be a win-win for both sides. Get that hustle on and become a notary.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Kelley Dukat is a freelance writer, photographer, and event planner currently based in the United States. She has spent the last year as a nomad traveling and house-sitting. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and previously served as a trade magazine editor. Her favorites include dog-friendly travel, road trips, and nomad life. She is currently working on a memoir and a series of personal essays.