Amanda Farrell - 1 year ago
3 Must-Have Phone Apps for Mobile Notary Signing Agents
The modern notary is online and on the go. Even in states where remote online notarization is growing in popularity, many loan signings still require some paper or traveling. Regardless of which state you offer your notary services, there are some must-have software applications to keep your business on track.
If you’re just starting out or planning to grow your business, there are three types of must-have smartphone apps for mobile notary signing agents:
- Mileage Tracking Apps
- Document Scanning Apps
- Shipping Apps
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and ProperSign doesn’t make any endorsements. These recommendations are based on feedback from notary professionals. You may find some apps work better for you than others. Many offer free trials, so don’t be afraid to experiment with multiple options before making a final decision.
🚗 Tracking the Miles You Drive
These apps allow users to ditch notebooks and spreadsheets by automatically tracking the mileage they drive for business-related activities. In many states, notaries are allowed to charge a fee for travel in addition to notary services. Fees are usually calculated per mile. Although in Nevada, it’s per hour. Other states allow notaries to charge a fee at their discretion. Check your state’s fee schedule here.
Additionally, notaries should be tracking mileage and transportation expenses like tolls and gas to claim as tax deductions.
Popular Mileage Apps for Notaries
Price: $59.99/year or $5.99 billed monthly
The first 40 drives are free
Why notaries love it: Frequent Trip Recognition allows you to save recurring routes in the app so it’s automatically categorized as personal or business trips. The app runs in the background to automatically record all the miles you drive. It also compiles weekly and monthly reports of your mileage and allows users to customize reports.
Why notaries love it: It’s free! It allows users to categorize their trips by jobs and add photos of receipts and other expenses. The features of this app are more limited than the paid ones, but it’s great for self-employed notaries who are just starting out.
Price: $120/year for Business Plan
Free for 30 automatic trips per month per user
Why notaries love it: The Instant Deduction Finder connects to your bank account or credit card and scans your transactions within 30 seconds for potential tax deductions based on your occupation. The expenses populate in the app so you can claim the right ones as deductions and create an IRS-ready report.
Other popular mileage tracker apps include SherpaShare, TripLog, and Hurdlr. On top of the miles you drive, remember that food, lodging, and any other expenses you incur on the road while conducting business are eligible for deductions. Talk to a tax professional in your area to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the tax breaks available to notary business owners.
Related Reading: Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC: Which is Best for Notaries?
📄 Scanning Documents
When completing assignments as a Notary Signing Agent, it’s critical to read and follow the contracting company’s instructions. Sometimes the title companies, lender, and other real estate professionals involved in the transaction require the notary to scan and fax or email back the entire loan package or critical closing documents for immediate review in addition to mailing back the physical documents.
In order to accommodate these requests, you’ll need a scanner. But regular scanners are expensive and when was the last time you sent a fax? A great alternative for notaries is to use a mobile scanning app paired with online services that convert emails into faxes.
A mobile scanning app also comes in handy for capturing other important documents like tax forms, receipts, or the occasional business card of a potential customer.
Before purchasing a scanner app, some features to consider include:
- Ability to merge multiple documents into one file
- Integrations with your file management system or cloud storage
- Flexibility to scan different types of documents (business cards, receipts, as well as the loan signing documents)
- Power to re-format the size and the file type of the documents
- OCR technology (Optical Character Recognition) to increase accuracy and clarity of documents
Popular Scanning Apps for Notaries
1. Adobe Scan
Subscribe to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for more options
Why notaries love it: The free version is simple and straightforward, making it easy to use. Every scanned document is stored on Adobe Document Cloud, so it can be accessed by any phone, tablet, or computer. However, the free version doesn’t allow you to combine documents into one PDF file easily unless you subscribe to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Without the subscription upgrade, it works best for one-off documents.
2. Tiny Scanner
$5 for the Pro version
Why notaries love it: Tiny scanner’s Pro version is inexpensive and gives users the power to scan multiple documents into one PDF and the ability to customize page sizes for PDF export. Another helpful feature found in the Pro version is the easy-to-search and well-organized folder system, which is perfect for busy professionals handling multiple signings a day.
3. Genius Scan
$7.99 for a Plus version
Why notaries love it: Upgrading to the paid version gives users more control over where documents can be exported. It’s compatible with Dropbox Business, Evernote, Google Drive, and more. There’s an option to encrypt your PDF file, providing an extra layer of security and protection for documents containing personal information. Finally, the Plus version also allows users to import PDF and other images files.
Other free and low-cost scanner apps that notaries rave about include CamScnner and Turbo Scan. If you’re a Microsoft Office and Android user, consider trying out Microsoft Office Lens for capturing and uploading documents to OneNote or Word Mobile.
Related Reading: 7 Tips for Your First Loan Signing
📦 Shipping Apps
Mobile notary signing agents must mail back completed documents according to the contracting company’s instructions. Downloading the mobile app of each major shipping company provides several benefits for notaries on the go.
FedEx, UPS, & USPS
Each app provides similar features like:
- Create mobile shipping labels
- Track shipments
- Schedule package pickup
- Find the closest store or dropbox
- Calculate prices or get rate quotes
Why notaries love these apps: On a busy day with several signings, these apps will help you plan your day better and ensure that clients receive their documents back in a timely manner. In a real estate closing, time is critical as any delay can result in additional costs to finalize the transaction or settle funds. Title companies, lenders, and other professionals who contract with mobile notaries appreciate punctuality and communication.
Taking your notary business online
There are a lot of reasons why notaries offer remote online notarization today. Convenience for both the customer and the professional ranks at the top of the list. If you’re in a state that allows notaries to utilize remote online notarization, now is a great time to explore how adding this method to your business might reduce the costs associated with mobile notary services. While RON isn’t going to replace all traditional notarizations just yet, the demand is growing.
Learn more about the basics of remote online notarization in this webinar!
This content is provided for informational purposes only. PropLogix, LLC (PLX) is not a law firm; this content is not intended as legal advice and may not be relied upon as such. PLX makes no representations as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this content. PLX may reference or incorporate information from third-party sources, upon which a citation or a website URL shall be provided for such source. PLX does not endorse any third party or its products or services. Any comments referencing or responding to this content may be removed in the sole discretion of PLX.
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