A bond or surety is a three party agreement. The first party is the insurance company or "SURETY" that issues a guarantee of a specific performance. This guarantee of performance is issued on behalf of the second party, an insured, the notary or "PRINCIPAL." The guarantee protects the third party of the "Obligee." For a notary the "obligee is usually a government entity such as State.
It is easy to confuse a bond with errors and omission (E & O) insurance. E & O insurance protects the notary for negligent acts performed during the notarial process. The surety protects the state for claims made against the notary for failing to comply with the law.
For a discussion of E & O insurance, click here.
Not all states require a notary to have a surety. The states that do require it are listed below. The good news is that it is inexpensive because the insurance company rarely pays on the surety. But it can happen.
Here is a listing of the states that require a surety and the amount of the bond required. The cost range from $20.00 to $50.00 for multi-year insurance, so it is very reasonable. Be sure to check your local requirements.
District Of Columbia -
4yr. $1,000 - Jefferson County Only
North Dakota -
New Mexico -
South Dakota -
To purchase a bond, here is a site you can use.