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California Notary Bond

June 28, 2022

In California, Notary publics are required to have California Notary Public Bonds. Learn more about what these License Bonds guarantee, what they cost and how to obtain one.

 

What Does a California Notary Bond Guarantee?

 

A California Notary Bond guarantees that the Notary will truly and faithfully perform all duties required by the laws and statutes of the State of California.

 

This chart shows what a California Notary Bond guarantees, what the required amount of a California Notary Bond is and what term is required for the bond.

 

Term of a California Notary Bond

 

The term of a California Notary Bond must be for a term of four years, which is the same as the Notary appointment.

 

What is the Amount of a California Notary Bond?

 

$15,000. The $15,000 is the maximum the surety bond company is required to pay regardless of the number of claims or extent of damages.

 

Filing Requirements for a California Notary Bond

 

The California Notary Bond must be filed with the county clerk's office in the county where their principal place of business is located within 30 calendar days from the commencement date of the commission.

 

Other Filing Requirements 

 

Change of Address 

 

Per California Code 8213, If a notary public transfers the principal place of business from one county to another, the notary public may file a new oath of office and notary bond, or a duplicate of the original bond with the county clerk to which the principal place of business was transferred.

 

Change of Name

 

Per California Code 8213, If a notary public submits an application for a name change to the Secretary of State, the notary public shall, within 30 days from the date an amended commission is issued, file a new oath of office and an amendment to the notary bond with the county clerk in which the principal place of business is located.

 

Cost of a California Notary Bond

 

The cost of a California Notary Bond depends on the bond company. Most notaries will pay $40 for a four year bond without E&O insurance coverage. A four year bond with E&O Insurance coverage will run $98 for most notaries.

 

What is Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance coverage with a California Notary Bond?

 

Insurance coverage can be purchased to protect the Notary from negligent acts, errors and omissions and alleged acts relating to their duties as a Notary. This coverage can provide valuable monies available to defend a Notary against such a suit.

 

How to Obtain a California Notary Bond

 

California Notary Bonds can be purchased instantly without a credit check. Simply fill out the application. California does require a "wet" signature on Notary Bonds, so an original Notary Bond will have to be mailed 

 

Instant Purchase Button for a California Notary Bond with E&O Insurance

 

Parties to a California Notary Bond

 

The Notary is the Principal on the bond and is the party promising to abide by the California laws and codes of a Notary. The State of California is the Obligee on the Notary Bond and is the party receiving the promise on behalf of the State and residents of California. The Surety is the third party bond company who is guaranteeing the Notary's compliance. If the Notary does not fulfill their duties and a claim is made against the bond, the surety company may be required to pay a bond claim

 

Indemnity is Required

 

California Notary Bonds are not insurance. They require indemnity. That means that if the surety bond company pays a valid claim against the bond, they will seek to be reimbursed from the Notary. Notaries can read more about indemnity here.

 

Qualifications to be a California Notary

 

The following qualifications are required to become a California Notary under Code 8201

 

  • be 18 years of age or older (there is no maximum age set by statute)

 

  • be a legal California resident

 

  • complete a course of study approved by the Secretary of State

 

(b) (1) Commencing July 1, 2005, each applicant for notary public shall provide satisfactory proof that he or she has completed the course of study required pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) prior to approval of his or her appointment as a notary public by the Secretary of State.

 

  • satisfactorily complete and pass a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State

 

  • clear a background check

 

This shows the 5 qualification requirements to be a notary in California. The background is a California city and coast.

 

Steps to Become a California Notary

 

This outlines the 7 steps to beoming a California Notary Public. The bottom is part of the California flag and the top is the matching red color of that flag.

 

Complete the Approved Education 

 

All California Notaries must complete the 6 hours of education at least once, regardless of how many previous terms they have held as a notary public. After completing the 6 hour course, a California Notary must complete a 3 hour refresher course for each additional term they are reappointed as a notary.

 

Register for the Exam

 

All California Notary Publics must pass a written exam. Applicants can register for the exam by: 

 

  • Visiting CPS HR Consulting at notary.cpshr.us; or 
  • Calling CPS HR Consulting at (916) 263-3520.

 

Take the Exam

All applicants should bring the following to the exam:

 

  • A current photo identification 
  • A completed Notary Public Application
  • A 2" x 2" color passport photo
  • The Proof of Completion certificate of your six-hour or three-hour approved education course;
  • The registration confirmation letter
  • The $40.00 exam and application processing fee or $20.00 fee for applicants who are retaking the exam. Payment needs to be in the form of Check or Money Order

 

Submit Fingerprints Through Live Scan

 

Under California Code 8201.1, all Notaries must submit to a fingerprint background check. The Secretary of State will then send the fingerprints to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to determine if the applicant has committed a crime that would disqualify them from becoming a California Notary Public.

Await Commission Packet

 

The Commission Packet will be mailed after the applicant has been approved and passed a background check. 

 

Purchase Notary Public Material

 

These items include the California Notary Bond, a Notary Public Journal and a Notary Public Seal. 

 

File Notary Public Oath and Notary Bond

 

Within 30 days of receiving the commission, the California Notary must file an oath and the California Notary Bond with the county clerk in the county of the Notary’s primary place of business. This period cannot be extended. 

 

Obtaining a California Notary Bond is simple and inexpensive. Most notaries can be improved in minutes with our online portal. Getting a California Notary Bond is also a required step in the application process. Contact the surety bond experts at Axcess anytime for answers to all your questions about notary bonds.

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