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Notary Surety Bonds: FAQs

What is a Notary bond?

A Notary bond is a financial guarantee Notaries purchase from a surety company. The bond ensures that, as a Notary, you will fulfill all obligations to protect the public from financial harm resulting from any wrongdoing on your part when performing notarial duties. Many states require Notaries to obtain a bond before they perform notarial acts.

Which states require a Notary bond?

Bonds are currently required in each of the following states:

 

 

Why do I need a Notary Bond?

A Notary bond protects the public from financial harm in the event you, the Notary, make a mistake or omission, or perform a wrongful act in notarizing a document that causes any person financial harm. By issuing a bond, the surety company guarantees that you will perform your duties as a Notary Public in accordance with the law. If you do not, the company will pay the financially injured person any damages up to the amount of the bond. Bond limits are set by each state individually.

A Notary bond does not protect Notaries.

Where can I get a Notary Bond?

You may purchase a bond from any insurance or bonding company that sells surety bonds. In most states, you must obtain a bond from a surety or insurance company licensed to do business in your state. The NNA facilitates this process for our customers to help the process of becoming or renewing as a Notary easier and less complicated, whether you complete the entire process through us, or only use us to purchase your Notary Bond. You can learn more about your state’s Notary Bond on your state bond page.

How do I get a Notary Bond?

You can purchase a bond by contacting any insurance or surety company that sells Notary bonds for your state and they will guide you through the process, or you can purchase a bond as part of a Notary supply package.

How do I file my Notary bond? 

The process varies by state, but in general you must file your bond either with your state’s commissioning official, or the county clerk in the county in which your principal place of business is located or in which you reside. Depending upon the state, the bond is filed with the application for a commission or after the commission is issued and within a defined time window, such as 30 or 45 days, from the date you were appointed or commissioned as a Notary. 

How much bond coverage does a Notary need?

Notary Bonds do not have coverage amounts the way an insurance policy does. Bond amounts are set by statute through an act of the legislature.

What is the Amount of a Notary Bond?

Some state required bond amounts are as low as $500, but they can be as high as $25,000. You can find your state’s bond requirement on your state’s Notary Bond page (select your state from the map above).

How Much Does a Notary Bond Cost?

The cost of a Notary bond varies based on your states bond requirement. Find out the cost of an NNA issued Notary bond on your state bond page.

How long is my Notary bond in effect?

A notary bond is effective for the entire length of your Notary commission. If you are not sure what the length of a Notary commission is in your state, visit your state bond page

What is a rider to a Notary bond?

A rider to a Notary bond is a form used to amend or correct an existing bond. The most common amendments typically include changes to the principal’s name, county of commissioning, or bond dates. Not all states require a rider in order to make such changes. Your bonding company will tell you if a change to your bond requires a rider. [There is nowhere to link for this question]

What happens if someone makes a claim against my Notary Bond?

The surety's claim department will investigate the claim as quickly as possible. The surety company will contact you to obtain information about your involvement in the transaction. The surety company will ask for a copy of the Notary journal record for the notarization and other facts to help them determine the basis for the claim. It is important to note that a pending claim does not necessarily mean there will be a financial loss incurred since the claim may not be legitimate or the surety may deny the claim. If, through its investigation, the surety company determines that the claim has merit, the surety company will negotiate a settlement or pay the full amount of the bond. The surety may require you to repay any amount the surety pays to satisfy the claim, including defense costs. For this reason, it is highly recommended that a Notary Public carry Errors and Omissions Insurance for their entire term of office. Errors and omissions insurance will cover payments on your bond due to your honest mistakes and omissions, but will not cover any fraudulent acts you commit.

What will happen to my Notary commission if a claim is paid from my bond?

In some states, the surety company must inform the commissioning official when the surety pays a claim from a Notary’s bond. Law in these states may require the commissioning official to suspend your commission until you can post another bond. Please see your state’s bond provisions to see if this applies to you.

Bond Requirements for Alabama
Bond Amount $25,000
Term of Bond 4 Years
Type of Surety Must be approved by probate judge
When to File Within 40 days after reception of commission letter
Where to File County probate court
Bond Filing Fees Varies by county
Name Change Contact bonding company to change your name on the bond if you apply for a new commission in a new name (See this Alabama Attorney General Opinion)
Address Change Obtain a new bond if you apply for a new commission in a new county of residence
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Alaska
Bond Amount $1,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Commecial bonding company, business organization or private individual
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Lieutenant Governor
Bond Filing Fees Included in $40 application fee
Name Change Contact bonding company to change the name on the bond; mail bond rider with new name to the Lieutenant Governor
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond Limited Government Notaries

 

Bond Requirements for Arizona
Bond Amount $5,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety A licensed surety
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees $18
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None
Special Provisions Bond must be obtained in duplicate; bond may not be issued more than 60 days before or 30 days after the commission date

 

Bond Requirements for Arkansas
Bond Amount $7,500
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Licensed surety insurer or general business corporation registered with AR Insurance Commissioner
When to File  
Where to File Original filed with the county recorder of deeds; copy filed with Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees $15 plus $5 each additional page
Name Change Contact bonding company; no bond letter or rider required
Address Change If relocating to a new county, refile the original or a copy of the bond in new county of residence
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for California
Bond Amount $15,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Admitted surety insurer
When to File Within 30 days of the commission commencement date
Where to File County clerk's office in the county of principal place of business
Bond Filing Fees Amount varies by county
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain bond rider; file bond rider with the county clerk of the county of principal place of business
Address Change If relocating to a new county, refiling bond in new county of residence is optional and not required
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for DC
Bond Amount $2,000
Term of Bond 5 years
Type of Surety Surety approved by the mayor or designated agent
When to File 60 days from the commission effective date
Where to File Secretary of District of Columbia
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Notify Office of Notary Commissions and bonding company
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond Government Notaries

 

Bond Requirements for Florida
Bond Amount $7,500
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Surety company authorized to transact business in Florida
When to File With application for a commission
Where to File Department of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain bond rider; file bond rider with the Department of State
Address Change Notify bonding company of address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Hawaii
Bond Amount $1,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Surety authorized to do business in Hawaii as approved by a judge of the circuit court
When to File After passing the exam and before notarizing documents
Where to File Clerk of the circuit court in the judicial circuit in which Notary resides
Bond Filing Fees $6
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain bond in new name
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond Government Notaries

 

Bond Requirements for Idaho
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 6 years
Type of Surety Surety company authorized to do business in Idaho or the Bureau of Risk Management, if Notary is employed by the state and the commission is required for employment
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Illinois
Bond Amount $5,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Surety qualifed to write surety bonds in Illinois
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Apply for a new commission and submit a new bond with application
Address Change Apply for a new commission and submit a new bond with application if changing an address to a new Illinois county
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Indiana
Bond Amount $5,000
Term of Bond 8 years
Type of Surety Freehold surety who holds land worth $5,000 or corporate surety approved by the Secretary of State
When to File Provide proof of bond when applying for a commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Kansas
Bond Amount $7,500
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Insurance company licensed in Kansas
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain bond rider; file bond rider with the Secretary of State
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Kentucky
Bond Amount Varies by county
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Varies by county
When to File Within 30 days of receiving Notice of Appointment and Oath of Office
Where to File County clerk in Notary's county of appointment
Bond Filing Fees Varies by county
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond Special Commission Notaries

 

Bond Requirements for Louisiana
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 5 years
Type of Surety Surety company or personal surety
When to File When applying for a Notary commission and every 5 years thereafter
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees $20
Name Change Contact bonding company; file original or certified copy of bond or a rider to the bond with the Secretary of State
Address Change Contact bonding company; if address change is to a new parish, file original or certified copy of bond or a rider to the bond with the Secretary of State
Exempt from Bond Attorneys
Special provisions — ————An errors and omissions policy may be substituted for the bond. — "Provisional" Notaries must post a $20,000 bond. 

 

Bond Requirements for Michigan
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Surety licensed to do business in Michigan
When to File Within 90 days of submitting Notary commission application to the Secretary of State
Where to File County clerk of the county in which Notary resides, or for non-residents, the county in which the Notary's principal place of business is located.
Bond Filing Fees $10
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond Attorneys

 

Bond Requirements for Mississippi
Bond Amount $5,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Surety licensed by the Mississippi Department of Insurance
When to File Within 60 days of the date on the Notary application
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain a new bond in your new name; file new bond with the Secretary of State
Address Change Bond not affected by a change of address
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Missouri
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Company qualified to write bonds in Missouri
When to File Within 90 days of Notary commission being mailed to county clerk
Where to File County clerk of the county in which the Notary resides
Bond Filing Fees Varies by county
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Contact bonding company to inquire if a rider to the bond is required
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Montana
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Bonding company approved by the Secretary of State
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain rider to the bond in your new name; file rider with the Secretary of State
Address Change Contact bonding company to obtain rider to the bond; file rider with the Secretary of State
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Nebraska
Bond Amount $15,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Incorporated surety company licensed in Nebraska
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change If changing name on commission, contact bonding company to obtain a new bond in the new name; file bond with the Secretary of State
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Nevada
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety State-licensed surety company
When to File Before applying for a Notary commission
Where to File County clerk of the county of the Notary's residence or employment
Bond Filing Fees $20
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for New Mexico
Bond Amount $5,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Licensed surety company
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain a rider to the bond in your new name; file bond rider with the Secretary of State
Address Change Notify bonding company in writing within 10 days
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for North Dakota
Bond Amount $7,500
Term of Bond 6 years
Type of Surety Surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in North Dakota.
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain rider to bond in your new name; file bond rider with the Secretary of State
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Oklahoma
Bond Amount $1,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Bond signed by a licensed insurance agent; an attorney in fact on behalf of an insurance company; or one or more individual sureties who are property owners in the Notary's county, or if the Notary is a nonresident, the county of the Notary's employment.
When to File After receiving notice that you have been commissioned as a Notary
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees $10
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain a new bond in the new name; file new bond with Secretary of State
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Pennsylvania
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Duly authorized surety company or two individual sureties approved by the Secretary of the Commonwealth
When to File Within 45 days of notice of appointment
Where to File County recorder of deeds
Bond Filing Fees Varies by county
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None
Special Provisions Bond must be filed within 45 days after appointment

 

Bond Requirements for South Dakota
Bond Amount $5,000
Term of Bond 6 years
Type of Surety Insurance company or personal surety who may not be a company, business or organization.
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Tennessee
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Licensed surety or two or more personal sureties approved by the county.
When to File After being notified by the county clerk that your Notary commission has been received from the Secretary of State
Where to File County clerk in the county in which the Notary resides or maintains his or her principal place of business.
Bond Filing Fees Varies by county
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an addresss change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Texas
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Solvent surety company authorized to do business in Texas.
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain a rider for the bond in your new name; file bond rider with the Secretary of State
Address Change Bond not affected by address change
Exempt from Bond Employees and officers of state agencies if the State Office of Risk Management makes other arrangements to protect the public

 

Bond Requirements for Utah
Bond Amount $5,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Licensed surety company; by the Office of Risk Management if Notary is employed by a state office or agency.
When to File After passing the examination and upon submitting application for a Notary commission
Where to File Lieutenant Governor
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain a rider to the bond in your new name; file bond rider with the Lieutenant Governor
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for Washington
Bond Amount $10,000
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Company qualified to write surety bonds in Washington.
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Department of Licensing
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Contact bonding company to obtain rider to bond in your new name; file bond rider with the Department of Licensing
Address Change Bond not affected by address change
Exempt from Bond None

 

Bond Requirements for West Virginia
Bond Amount $1,000
Term of Bond 5 years
Type of Surety Surety or insurer licensed or authorized to do business in West Virginia.
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Bond not affected by name change
Address Change Bond not affected by address change
Exempt from Bond None
Special Provisions In lieu of a surety bond, a Notary applicant may submit a professional liability, errors and omissions or commercial general liability insurance policy that does not have exclusions that do not cover acts in violation of the law.

 

Bond Requirements for Wisconsin
Bond Amount $500
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Allowed Insurance/surety company licensed in Wisconsin and approved by the Department of Financial Institutions.
When to File When applying for a Notary commission
Where to File Secretary of State
Bond Filing Fees None
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change Bond not affected by an address change
Exempt from Bond Attorneys who hold permanent commissions

 

Bond Requirements for Wyoming
Bond Amount $500
Term of Bond 4 years
Type of Surety Surety company licensed in Wyoming or 2 sureties approved by the county clerk.
When to File Within 60 days of commission commencement date
Where to File County clerk
Bond Filing Fees $12 plus $3 for each additional page
Name Change Bond not affected by a name change
Address Change If relocating to a new county, reapply for a new commission and obtain a new bond
Exempt from Bond None

 

 

How do I file a claim against a Notary Bond?

If you need to file a claim against the bond of a Notary, the first thing you’ll need to do is find out with which government office the bond is filed. For bonds filed with a commissioning official, such as a secretary of state, you will contact the secretary of state for information about the surety company that issued the Notary’s bond. Depending upon the state, this information may be obtainable online. However, if the bond is filed with a county office, you’ll need to find out the name of the county in which the bond was filed and request a copy of the bond filed with the clerk of the county. The bond is a public record and a copy may be obtained by paying the required fee. The filed bond will name the surety company that issued the bond.