Notary Bond FAQs
What is a notary bond?
A notary bond is a guarantee, purchased by a notary from a surety or bonding company. The notary bond guarantees that the bond company will pay on the notary’s behalf for damages incurred as a result of the notary making a mistake. The bond company will then demand reimbursement from the notary for the amount paid to the injured party. Most states require notaries to have a notary bond before they can perform any notarial acts.
How do notary bonds work?
Notary bonds protect the public from any mistake you might make while acting as a notary. If your actions result in causing harm to the public, a claim can be made on your bond. If a valid claim is made on the bond, the surety company will pay the claim and you will be required to reimburse the surety company. In California, for example, the bond limit is $15,000. You will have to pay for this out of pocket unless you have a notary E&O policy.
If there is a claim on your bond, a notary E&O policy will step in to defend you. The notary E&O policy will reimburse the surety company on your behalf.
Do I need a notary bond?
Whether or not you need a notary bond depends on your location and the specific requirements of your jurisdiction. A notary bond is a type of insurance that helps protect the public from financial losses due to errors or misconduct by a notary public. Notary bonds are typically required by state laws, and the requirements vary from state to state.
In some states, having a notary bond is a mandatory requirement in order to become a notary public. This bond serves as a form of financial protection for the individuals or entities who rely on notarized documents. If a notary makes a mistake or engages in fraudulent activities, the bond can be used to compensate those who suffer losses as a result.
In other states, notary bonds might not be required, but obtaining one can still be a good idea as it demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and accountability in your role as a notary public.
31 states require a notary bond:
What bond amount do I need?
The required amount for a notary bond varies depending on the jurisdiction you are in. Each state or region sets its own specific requirements for notary bonds. The bond amount is usually established to provide adequate coverage in case a notary public makes an error or engages in misconduct that leads to financial losses for those relying on the notarized documents.
The bond amount can range widely, from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. For example, a Wisconsin notary bond is $500, while a California notary bond is $15,000. It’s important to research the requirements in your specific jurisdiction to determine the exact bond amount you need to obtain.
To find out the specific notary bond amount required in your area, you can click your state in the table above.
How do I buy a notary bond?
Buying a notary bond is easy on Notary.net. Select your state from the Notary Supplies menu, click on the red Supplies button, then click “Notary Bonds and Insurance.”
Can my bond be emailed to me?
Most likely, the answer is yes. We can email your bond to you if you do NOT live in California, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, or Washington DC. These jurisdictions require “wet signed” bonds, which means that the bond must be an original, paper document signed with a “wet” ink pen.
Can my bond be sent ahead of my supplies?
Yes. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and inform us that you would like your bond sent ahead of your supplies package. Unless we receive notice from you, we will send your bond together with your supplies.
When will I receive my bond?
Bonds are sent out by the end of the business day. Your bond will either be sent you by mail or email, depending on your state laws and which shipping option you selected. As long as you order before 5 pm, we will send your bond the same day we receive your order.
How do I file my notary bond?
The process to file your bond differs from state to state. In general, you have to file your bond either with your Secretary of State or your county clerk. Depending on your state, the bond must be filed with your notary commission application, or after your commission has been issued, within 30 or 45 days from the date you were appointed or commissioned as a notary public.
How do I get a copy of my notary bond?
To get a copy of your bond, you will want to reach out to your bonding agency. If you purchased your bond with Notary.net, you can send us an email at email@example.com, and we can send you a copy of your bond.
What is a bond rider?
A bond rider, also known as an endorsement or an addendum, is a legal document that modifies the terms or coverage of an existing surety bond. Surety bonds are contracts between three parties: the principal (the individual or entity that needs the bond), the obligee (the party requiring the bond), and the surety (the company providing the bond).
A bond rider serves to add, remove, or modify specific conditions, terms, or coverage of the original bond agreement. Here are a few scenarios where bond riders might be used:
Increasing or Decreasing Bond Amount: If the required bond amount needs to change, a rider can be used to adjust the coverage accordingly.
Changing Bond Terms: The terms of a bond might need to be altered. For example, the duration of the bond coverage could be extended or shortened.
Adding Additional Obligees: In some cases, there might be multiple parties that require coverage under the same bond. A rider can be used to add these additional obligees to the bond agreement.
Modifying Coverage Conditions: Bond riders can be used to modify specific conditions or requirements of the bond coverage. This could include changes to the types of activities covered by the bond or adjustments to compliance standards.
Clarifying Language: Sometimes, a bond might have ambiguous language that needs clarification. A rider can be used to provide additional information or to clarify certain terms.
Adding Notarized Signatures: In the case of notary bonds or similar bonds, a rider might be used to add the notarized signatures of the principal and/or the surety.
It’s important to note that bond riders are legally binding documents and should be treated with the same level of care and attention as the original bond agreement. Any modifications made through a rider need to be agreed upon by all parties involved. If you’re dealing with a bond rider, make sure you thoroughly understand its contents and implications before signing or agreeing to it.
As with any legal or financial document, if you’re unsure about the content of a bond rider or how it might impact your obligations, it’s recommended to seek legal advice or consult with the relevant experts in the field.
What do I do if a claim is made on my bond?
Report the claim to your surety bond company immediately. If your notary bond is with Travelers, you can report a claim here.