Notary Bond Requirements and Information

Notaries help combat fraud. They act as impartial witnesses and verify signatures for legal documents. Because of this, anyone who wants to become a notary public should know about surety bonds.

Here are answers to bond-related FAQs, including information on obtaining a bond, how much coverage is needed and what happens during the claim process.

What Is a Notary Bond?

This kind of bond acts as a notary's promise to uphold the law and fulfill their duties ethically. Technically, it's a contract issued by an insurance company and purchased by a notary.

The contract is a three-party obligation between:

  • The principal (notary)
  • The obligee (state licensing authorities acting on behalf of notarization clients)
  • The surety (the insurance company that issues the bond)

Why Is One Needed?

These bonds protect the public from notary mistakes. As officials of integrity appointed by state governments, notaries are liable for mistakes that result in financial harm.

The surety agrees to uphold the contractual promises made by principals if they fail the obligee. Put simply, if a notary makes a mistake that financially damages a client, the bonding company guarantees to pay the client — up to the bond's coverage limit. We'll follow up on that later.

Where Can I Get a Bond?

Bonds must be issued by an insurance agency with a licensed agent on staff who is appointed to sell them. Many online providers sell bonds that are underwritten by an agency. is a notary bonding insurance agency, and most of our all-in-one state notary packages include a bond.

How Much Does One Cost?

Buyers pay premiums for different levels of coverage. Specific prices vary by state. Most states have minimum bond amounts for notaries, ranging from $500 to $50,000.

When a notary buys a bond, the premium payment is only a fraction of the total coverage.

In Michigan, notary applicants need a $10,000 bond. For $75, our complete notary package includes the bond along with a custom self-inking notary stamp and printable certificate.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

The required bond amount depends on state regulations. Not all states require notaries to acquire bonds, but most do.

These are the current states with bond requirements and their amounts.

State Notary Bond Requirement
Alabama $50,000
Alaska $2,500
Arizona $5,000
Arkansas $7,500
California $15,000
District of Columbia $2,000
Florida $7,500
Hawaii $1,000
Idaho $10,000
Illinois $5,000
Indiana $25,000
Kansas $12,000
Kentucky $1,000
Louisiana $10,000
Michigan $10,000
Mississippi $5,000
Missouri $10,000
Montana $25,000
Nebraska $15,000
Nevada $10,000
New Mexico $10,000
North Dakota $7,500
Oklahoma $1,000
Pennsylvania $10,000
South Dakota $5,000
Tennessee $10,000
Texas $10,000
Utah $5,000
Washington $10,000
Wisconsin $500
Wyoming $500

What Does It Mean to File a Bond? How Is It Done?

Filing a notary bond means proving to the state government agency that regulates notaries ― usually the Secretary of State — that you've acquired a bond.

The states that require bonds usually explain how to do this within their notary commission application instructions. Some states make applicants file their bond with their application. Others allow notaries to file within a certain amount of time after getting commissioned.

When you purchase a notary package from us that includes a bond, we fill out the application for you. Or, if that's not possible, we provide detailed instructions to help you submit an error-free application.

How Long Is My Bond Valid?

Bonds last as long as the notary's commission term, so notaries are always covered while performing their duties. Terms range from four to 10 years, with four being the most common.

Find your state's commission term length by selecting it from the top-right corner dropdown menu, then select the state's FAQ page.

What Happens If a Claim Is Filed Against My Bond?

Situations that can warrant a claim against a bond include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Notarizing a document when a signer is not physically present
  • Failing to properly identify the signer
  • Making a mistake or omission
  • Charging a fee that exceeds the state's limit

If any of the situations listed above financially harm clients, they can contact the state commissioning agency and find information on the notary's bond. The company that issued the bond will then investigate the claim.

These situations make a notary journal vital. A well-kept record of notarizations can prove (or disprove) a notary's mistake. That's why we include one with all our notary packages, even if not required by the state.

If the bonding agency determines the claim is legitimate and the claimant requires compensation, they will cover the payment up to your bond limit.

How Do I Prevent Claims Against My Bond?

We cover tips for avoiding mistakes elsewhere on our site, but these are things all notaries should do:

  • Understand and follow the notary laws of your state
  • Take responsibility for your own notary education
  • Stay informed about law changes
  • Never make exceptions to the notary law for anyone
  • Use reasonable care and common sense when performing notary duties
  • Keep good records
  • Consider getting errors and omissions insurance

Do I Need to Reimburse My Bonding Agency after a Claim?

A bond's general indemnity agreement can require the principal (notary) to reimburse the surety (bonding agency) when a claim requires payment.

If a bonding agency must pay a claimant, it can and likely will demand reimbursement from the notary.

Situations like this are where errors and omissions (E&O) insurance can help. Remember, surety bonds protect the public, not the notary. E&O insurance, however, protects notaries from paying for bond reimbursements or legal fees from their own pocket.

» Click here to learn more about E&O insurance and why we recommend it for all notaries.

Regardless of your state's requirements, a notary surety bond is a great way to establish trust with the public when performing notarial duties.

If you decide to become a notary, our notary commission application packages make the process easy for you. They include your state-required bond and lots more! Choose your state above to get started.