I don't believe my state provides a copy of my notary bond. What do I do?

Felicia -

We've heard from notary signing agents that their state does not provide or issue a copy of their surety bond to them. In general, we've found that states that require notaries to be bonded will allow notaries some sort of documentation to provide proof that they were bonded. 

There are a few documents that are often submitted as a notary bond, but are not the same thing as a bond:

  • Notary commission certificate
  • E&O policy
  • Power of attorney

The document that we are looking for will typically say "Notary Public Bond," "Notary Public's Bond," or "Bond of Notary Public" at the top of the page. In some cases, the bond will be a section on your notary public application, instead of its own separate document or page. 

A bond should typically contain the following pieces of information:

  • The name of the bonding agency or company
  • The bond number
  • The bond amount
  • The name of the applicant or principal who is being bonded

 

Here are the most common states where there might be some confusion as to whether you can obtain a copy of your bond and some guidance on where your bond might be located.

 

Most States

If you're not sure where to start when it comes to locating a copy of your notary bond, there are three main parties to contact and inquire with:

  1. The underwriters of the bond (i.e. the bonding agency, the insurance company, etc.).
  2. The state department, county clerk's office, or whichever entity issued you your commission.
  3. The company that you applied to become a notary public with (if applicable).

Your bond may not always be a separate document, but may just be a section on the notary public application form.

 

Florida

In Florida, to be commissioned as a notary, you must become bonded first. To be bonded, a notary public bond must be filled out and signed by you and the bonding agency or company. While this document is then passed from the bonding agency to the state department, who then approves and files it away, the state department can provide you with a copy of your bond for a small fee. 

To obtain a copy of your bond, we suggest contacting the state department to get instructions on how to get a copy of your bond. It will usually involve sending a check, made payable to the Florida Department of State, along with a letter with the full name on your commission, your commission number, and the expiration of your commission to help them locate your bond. You may also need to include a stamped self-addressed envelope so they can send your bond to you. 

We understand that not everyone may be interested in spending money for a copy of their bond, so it might be a good idea to check with the underwriters of the bond or the company that you applied to become a notary with first. They might be able to provide you with a copy of your bond at no cost. 

You can also see an example of what a notary bond might look like here: http://notaries.dos.state.fl.us/pdf/applpkg.pdf

 

Illinois

For Illinois notaries, the bond will typically be part of your application to become a notary public in the state. When becoming a notary public, an application must be completed, and this application contains a section for your notary public bond.

To verify your bond, please upload a copy of your notary public application with all sections completely filled out and signed. If you're not sure where to look for your bond, we recommend starting with one of the three parties listed above.

You can see that the bond is part of the Illinois notary public application here: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/indexpub.html#notary

 

Indiana

For Indiana notaries, the state will not have a copy of your bond, as the state's online application for a notary bond will only ask for the name of the bonding company and the bond number. However, the bonding agency, insurance company, or whichever company that issued you your bond should be able to provide you with a copy, so we recommend contacting them for assistance.

If you were bonded through the NNA, please contact either them or Merchants Bonding Company to obtain a letter of proof for your bond. 

Please note that a letter of proof must contain the following information in order to be successfully verified:

  • The name of the notary who is bonded
  • The expiration date of the bond
  • The insurance or bonding company that issued the bond
  • The bond number
  • The bond amount
  • The state the bond is issued for

 

Texas

For Texas notaries, the bond will typically be part of your application to become a notary public in the state. When becoming a notary public, an application must be completed, and this application contains a section for your notary public bond.

If you don't have a separate document for your bond, you can upload a copy of your notary public application with all sections completely filled out and signed. If you're not sure where to look for your bond, we recommend contacting the Secretary of State to ask if you can obtain a copy of your bond or notary public application. You'll probably be asked to email notary@sos.texas.gov with some identifying information so that they can send you a copy of your bond/application. 

You can also reference the Texas notary public application here: https://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/statforms.shtml#NPUF

 

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