From Rideshare Driver to Notary Public: One Driver’s Plan B

Is there life after rideshare? For many drivers, the answer is an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ Senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur highlights one driver’s life after rideshare as a notary public, which he pursues in addition to driving for Uber and Lyft. His story, and how you can learn more and pursue your own Plan B, is below.

Drivers, want to share your success stories, how rideshare driving has helped you find your plan B or what you’d share to new drivers just getting started? Reach out to us here and we’ll be in touch!

I first met Nate when he contacted The Rideshare Guy and expressed his distress over a citation he had received at the San Francisco International Airport.

Nate had been working with a company called Carvertise and one of the yellow vests at SFO had written up a citation for advertising on airport property.  At the time, no one knew whether you could or could not advertise.

Quick links:

We have all seen taxis with advertisements and rideshare cars with Firefly advertisements streaming from the roof.  In the end, Lyft said they would look into it and there would be no fine levied. You can read the full story of fines levied by airports here but as you might be able to tell, Nate is a hustler!

Advertising which garnered a citation from the San Francisco airport.

Life After Rideshare: Planning His Plan B

Nate knew he wouldn’t do rideshare forever, and when he reached out to me, he told me he was already implementing his Plan B. His plan was to become a notary public, driving for rideshare while building his business and earning extra money in the meantime.

What Is A Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a person who witnesses and verifies signatures on legal documents.  For example, when someone wants to make a will, they will have a notary public witness the signing, verify the identity of the signer, and affix a stamp on certain documents to verify everything is legitimate.   In order to become a Notary Public, one must undergo six hours of training and then must pass a written, multiple-choice test.

Notary Public training materials.

Upon passing the test, one must submit the test certificate, a passport photo, proof of a background check, a completed application and a check to the Secretary of State.  Then one must wait anywhere from four to 10 weeks to receive what is called a commission.  The commission is what allows you to do notary work.  There are a few other details to get sorted out, but you get the gist of it.

What is a Notary Signing Agent?

A Notary Public earns $15 per document.  In the example above, the signing of the will would earn the Notary Public just $15.  So what is the big deal, you may be asking yourself?  Well, there is another level to this thing.  That level is becoming a Notary Signing Agent.

At this level, you work in the real estate field.  You work with title companies, loan agents, real estate agents, and individuals who are either buying, selling or refinancing real estate.  These transactions, rather than paying out $15 per instance, pay between $125 to $175 per instance.   Each instance will take approximately 30 minutes.  This does not include drive time.

Playing With Some Numbers

Now we will play with some numbers to get our heads around what is possible as a Notary Signing Agent.  Let’s say you can earn an average of $150 per signing.  Let’s further say you have built up your market to the point where you can do four signings a day, five days a week.  That would be 20 signings per week or $3,000 per week.  Take your weekends off.

This is exactly what got my attention when I spoke to Nate.  He told me he just had a day in which he did eight signings and earned over $1,000 in a day!  That sounded like something I should look into.

How Fast Can You Ramp Up?

For the first year, Nate built up his notary business while also driving for Uber and Lyft.   It takes some time to get the Notary Signing Agent business going.  First, you have to study, pass the test, and get your commission from the state.

California state Notary Public commission.

Next,  you will have to begin reaching out to title companies, loan agents and other real estate professionals.  These connections are very important to the success of your enterprise.  Nate has told me that he spends a decent amount of time buying coffee, donuts, and croissants for his valued clients.  If they ask him to do a little bit extra, he is always there to do it.

Nate has now been working as a Notary Signing Agent for 18 months, and he just had back to back $12,000 months (May and June) doing only notary work. He no longer drives for Uber or Lyft – that’s really putting Plan B into action!

Impact of The Gig Economy On The Notary Business

One huge advantage new agents have when they start out are services such as Snapdocs.  We are in the gig economy.  People want things fast.  They don’t want to leave the office.  Instead of leaving the office to complete a transaction, now a title agent can put out a ping for a notary signing agent.  Several signing agents will respond and the title officer will make a choice and then the chosen signing agent will show up to do the work.

The Snapdocs website.

These transactions don’t pay as much because, like Uber or Lyft, Snapdocs is going to take a significant cut for making the connection.  Most transactions will pay between $75 and $100.  However, according to Nate, this is a great way to get started and learn the ropes.  Once you know what you are doing, then it is prudent to market yourself and approach real estate professionals.

Key Takeaways

Rideshare driving is a temporary gig.  Autonomous vehicles are coming.  We don’t know when drivers will become obsolete, but the day is coming.  This is why we keep pointing drivers to begin working on a Plan B.

I estimate that being a Notary Signing Agent will pay approximately double my per-hour earnings here in Northern California, from $35 per hour driving for Uber and Lyft to over $70 per hour working as a Signing Agent.  While I will still be driving quite a bit, it will be safe driving.  There won’t be as much stop and go.

Also, Nate is quick to point out, you still have freedom and flexibility when you are a Signing Agent.  You can schedule yourself, for example, to work seven days a week, or focus on Monday to Thursday only.  It is up to you.

I have passed my test and I am awaiting my commission from the state.  Then I can begin the same transition Nate experienced.  I will always drive for Uber and Lyft because I enjoy it.  Augmenting my rideshare driving with Notary Signing Agent activity sounds like a prudent plan.

Drivers, what do you think about this Plan B? Do you have a Plan B for after rideshare? Let us know what it is in the comments below.

-Jay @ RSG