Notary Bulletin

NNA Poll Reveals That Notaries And Their Employers Lack Protection From Flawed Notarizations

LOS ANGELES, August 17, 2011 -- The National Notary Association reports that 46 percent of Notaries who responded to its summer poll said they do not carry Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance, leaving nearly half of the Notary community vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

Several stated they do not protect themselves with the optional, yet valuable coverage because they were unaware liability protection was important, their employers didn’t feel E&O insurance was necessary, or they felt they didn’t need to protect themselves against lawsuits.

“Given today’s atmosphere where people are ready to sue for anything and everything, I think Notaries should have protection,” said Lynette Bell, a Notary from of New York City who participated in the poll.

E&O insurance protects the Notary from financial losses from lawsuits up to the policy limit, as opposed to surety bonds (required for Notaries in some states) which protect the signer from financial damages caused by an improper notarization. Surety bonds require the Notary pay back the claim.

The poll also revealed that only 17 percent of respondents said their employers have an official policy to ensure that their notarizations are properly performed and legal.

“The results of the survey demonstrate how vulnerable many Notaries — and companies — are to costly lawsuits resulting from improperly performed notarial acts,” said NNA Chief Executive Officer Marc Reiser. “In this age of increased scrutiny and accountability, Notaries can find themselves accused of wrongdoing even when they did everything right, exposing both the Notary and their employer to legal claims.”

Official policies help organizations maximize efficiencies while mitigating its risks. More on this topic can be found in a recently published NNA white paper titled, “An Employer’s Guide To Managing Its Notary Workforce.”

About the National Notary Association

Established in 1957, the National Notary Association (NNA) is the leading professional authority on the American Notary and is dedicated to educating, serving, and advocating for the nation’s 4.8 million Notaries. The NNA imparts comprehensive notarial knowledge and understanding, promotes a positive public perception of the Notary office, and bolsters consumer protection by promoting best practices. The Association’s accredited professional programs, services, and model legislation help Notaries advance their careers and serve the American public with the highest level of professionalism and ethics. To learn more, visit us at

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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