Despite the valuable contributions that Notary Signing Agents bring to a loan document transaction, their activities are restricted or prohibited in some states. The most common restriction is that only an attorney licensed to practice in that state may officiate for the closing; hence you will occasionally encounter the terms, “attorney-only” states or signings. At this writing, the following prohibitions and restrictions apply to Notaries commissioned in the following states.
Arizona: Notary Signing Agents must observe fee, mileage and per diem guidelines applicable to any other notarization; they CANNOT charge in excess of statutory fee(s).
Connecticut: Prohibits attorneys licensed outside of Connecticut and non-attorney Notaries from conducting real estate closings involving most types of mortgage loans. "Real estate closing" does not include a home equity line of credit transaction or any other loan transaction that does not involve the issuance of a lender's or mortgagee's title insurance policy.
Delaware: Closings may be conducted only when a Delaware attorney is present or involved in the closing.
District of Columbia: Every settlement or closing conducted in the District must have in attendance at least one person who holds a current title insurance producer or title attorney license.
Georgia: Georgia Notaries may notarize documents related to a conveyance of real property ONLY under the direct supervision of an attorney.
Idaho: Neither the Notary nor a third-party charging Notary fees as part of the services they provide should exceed the statutory fees in charging for Notary services.
Indiana: Individuals presiding at the loan signing must hold an Indiana title insurance agent's license.
Maryland: Individuals presiding at the loan signing must hold a Maryland title insurance agent's license.
Massachusetts: A Massachusetts attorney must preside over closing transactions involving real property. (Lender employee Notaries may notarize documents connected to closing of the lender/employer's real estate loans.)
Minnesota: Individuals presiding at the loan signing must be a licensed closing agent.
Nebraska: Notaries may not act as signing agents/real estate closing agents unless licensed by the Department of Insurance, Supreme Court, Real Estate Commission, FDIC, Federal Office of Thrift Supervision, Federal Farm Credit Administration, or National Credit Union Administration.
Nevada: Allows a Notary to charge only the statutory, maximum fees allowed for performance of notarial acts and an additional travel fee as prescribed in law.
New Jersey: Does not restrict the ability of Notaries to officiate at signings, but does set maximum fees for certain real estate transactions.
North Carolina: Allows a Notary to charge only the statutory, maximum fees allowed for performance of notarial acts.
South Carolina: Only a South Carolina attorney may handle closings or transactions involving real property.
South Dakota: State authorities differ on whether a non-attorney Notary may conduct a loan signing.
Texas: HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) loans may be signed and closed only at the permanent physical address (inside or outside) of a lender, Texas attorney or title company.
Utah: Notaries may act as a loan document courier and may obtain and notarize signatures, but may not explain the content or purpose of a document being signed or handle escrow settlement.
Vermont: Only Vermont attorneys may handle closings or transactions involving real property.
Virginia: Any person, other than a party to the transaction, who conducts the settlement conference and receives or handles money, including possessing wire transfer authority, shall be deemed a "settlement agent" subject to applicable requirements.
West Virginia: A West Virginia attorney must preside over closing transactions involving real property.
*NOTE: The information above is subject to change as new state laws or regulatory rules apply.