Notary bonds are legally binding agreements between three parties: notary publics, the local government agency responsible for regulating notary activity in the notary’s jurisdiction, and a surety company.
The government agency is the obligee and establishes the obligations that the licensed notary (the Principal) must follow. The surety (also called bonding company) issues the bond guaranteeing the performance of the notary.
Notary bonds are required in most states for eligibility for a notary commission to operate as a licensed public notary. The state agency that requires notaries to post a surety bond is usually the local secretary of state.
When the surety company issues the bond, they provide the state agency a guarantee that the customers of a licensed notary will receive payment for financial losses resulting from a violation of the statutes and regulations set forth by the notary license.
If the notary public fails to meet the obligations set out by the government agency, the surety will pay out damages up to the bond amount. The notary is liable for the losses and is legally required to reimburse the surety company for any damages paid under the bond.
Notaries have the option to carry errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance) in addition to their bond to protect themselves against notary errors that occur in the normal course of notarization.
Notary surety bond costs vary depending on the total bond amount and the premium rate. The state agency sets the required bond amount and the surety company determines your premium rate, which is the percentage of the total bond amount you pay as the premium.
Premiums for notary bonds tend to range between $40 and $50. Notary bonds do not require a credit check in most states––meaning that bad credit will not result in higher bond premiums.
Below are the lowest premiums EZ Surety has issued for notary bonds in popular states.