A notary public is a person invested by the state with special authority. They witness signatures, administer oaths and, in some states, perform marriages. Because notaries provide an important legal service, it's possible that any mistakes made by a notary could have serious repercussions. This is why all notaries are required to have a notary bond that ensures their customers will be reimbursed up to the full amount of the bond.
Complete Notary Training
Most states require first time notaries to undergo basic training about their powers and responsibilities. This course will include discussion of the notary bond, including the amount and how to get it. Notary training is often done online, but may involve attending an actual in-person course.
Submit an Application
In most states, you can submit your notary application without the bond as long as you promise to obtain the bond within a certain time period. Sending in a notary application will likely trigger a flow of mail solicitations from bond underwriters and sureties, any of which are probably sufficient in your state. Otherwise, almost any insurance or surety company will be familiar with the bond requirements in your state and can sell you a notary bond.
Buy the Bond
The cost of a notary bond is a small fraction of the bond's face value. As a notary, you will only be responsible for the full value of the bond if a claim is made against you and the underwriter is forced to pay out. Otherwise, the cost is limited to the nonrefundable fee, which varies from $25 to about $100.
Submit Proof of Bond
The state agency that received your notary application will require you submit proof of your bond. This will be a form you receive from the underwriter when you purchase the bond that you can copy and forward to the state.