What is a California Notary Public Bond?
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California Notary Bond
A notary bond is a bond that is required by the state of California to engage in the business of witnessing signatures on documents. Notaries exist primarily as a deterrent to potential acts of fraud. The notary bond, besides being required, allows you to operate anywhere within the state of California. California notaries fall under the jurisdiction of the California Secretary of State.
So what is a notary bond, exactly?
A notary bond is a surety policy which protects others, — the public — from acts of fraud, criminal misconduct, or malfeasance in their duties as a notary. This surety bond exists solely for the protection of the public; it does not protect the notary at all.
The bond’s existence allows for persons who suffer harm due to the wrongful acts of a notary to file a claim on the bond to recover damages up to bond’s $15,000 amount. Were a claim to be paid on the surety bond, it is the responsibility of the licensed notary to reimburse the surety for all costs involved.
Preparing for the Notary Exam
Applicants for the notary bond may want to consider having a “leg up”, even before taking the notary course — if they choose to do so in the class. The 2018 California notary public handbook can be found here.
A California Notary Bond is an “Instant Issue” Bond: Pay the Fee and the Bond is Yours!
AmeriPro Surety Bonds, a surety bond agency serving California and all 50 states, offers the notary public bond as an Instant Issue Bond. This means that this bond is issued to you on completion of the application and payment of the small premium of $50. This also means that there is no credit check! In other words, once you complete the application and pay your premium, the California notary bond is yours!
Term of a California Notary Bond Commission
California notary bonds are issued for a period of 4 yrs and the bond amount is $15,000. The premium is a onetime payment for the duration of the commission.
Errors and Omissions Insurance: It Protects the Notary
At AmeriPro Surety Bonds, we also strongly encourage ALL California notary bond applicants to purchase a bond with errors and omissions insurance (E&O); or, if they already have a notary bond, to add the E&O policy for their own protection.
There are some very good reasons for this and we’re sure that you’ll agree!
A California notary bond by itself protects the public against erroneous, negligent or fraudulent acts in the performance of their duties as a notary public.
So, while the notary bond is absolutely essential to operate as a notary (the state of California will not license you without it), the notary bond protects the public; it does NOT protect the notary.
For a small, practically negligible additional fee, AmeriPro Surety Bonds also offer E&O insurance. This insurance, purchased in conjunction with the notary bond, or after the fact, is insurance specifically for the protection of the notary, subject to some restrictions.
There are various amounts to choose from for E&O insurance, all for a very low cost.
Errors and Omissions Insurance for California Loan Signing Agents
For those whose notarial duties consist exclusively or almost entirely of notarizing mortgage loan documents, please call us regarding the type of E&O policy best suited for you.
Contact AmeriPro Surety Bonds or fill out our form to purchase your notary bond and E&O policy today.