How to purchase a notary bond in California
The state of California requires notary publics to post a surety bond to be eligible to operate in the state. The bonds protect the public from any financial losses resulting from the notary’s negligence or misconduct. They are issued for 4-year terms and remain in effect unless canceled by the surety company.
You can apply online for the bond directly through a surety company or agency. After your application is approved, you will receive a surety bond quote with the bond premium (the amount you must pay to get the bond). If you accept the quote, you pay the premium and the surety company issues you the bond.
Unlike other types of surety bonds, California notary bonds do not require a credit check as part of the underwriting process. As a result, the bonds are often issued instantly upon completing the application.
How much is a notary bond in California?
All California notary publics must post a $15,000 surety bond. The surety company issuing the bond determines the percentage of the total bond amount you need to pay as a premium. The premium for a California notary public bond is $38.
How to become a notary in California?
To be appointed as a California notary public, you must meet the following requirements set forth by the California Secretary of State:
- Complete the training course provided by an approved vendor
- Complete the notary public application form
- Pass the state-administered knowledge exam
- Submit the Request For Live Scan Service form along with your fingerprints at an approved location
- Complete the commission packet
- Purchase notary supplies
- Post the $15,000 surety bond
- File the Notary Public Oath
- Obtain errors and omissions insurance (optional)
The notary exam costs $40. Once you pass the exam it can take between two weeks to six months to receive your commission. After the notary commission has been issued, you have 30 days to file the surety bond with their county clerk’s office.
For more details on becoming a notary public in California, you can visit the Secretary of State’s website.