Washington Notaries are required to be commissioned by the state and to provide a Washington Notary Bond to protect the public. Learn more about what these Washington Notary Bonds guarantee, how to get one and what they cost.
What is a Washington Notary Public?
Washington defines a Notary Public as:
“an individual commissioned to perform a notarial act by the director.”
Further a Notarial Act is defined:
“an act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record, that a notarial officer may perform under the law of this state. The term includes taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, taking a verification on oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy, certifying the occurrence of an event or the performance of an act, and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument if the protest was prepared under the authority of an attorney licensed to practice law in this state or another state, or was prepared under the authority of a financial institution that is regulated by this state, another state, or the federal government.” per Washington code 42.25.010.
Qualifications of a Washington Notary Public
To be able to qualify as a Washington Notary Public, an individual must meet the following requirements:
Be at least eighteen years of age.
Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in this state.
Be able to read and write English.
Not be disqualified to receive a commission under RCW 42.45.210.
Should a person meet these criteria, they may submit an application to become a notary in Washington. The application must also include financial assurance in the form of a Washington Notary Bond.
What is the Amount of a Washington Notary Bond?
Washington required notaries to secure a Washington Notary Bond in the amount of $10,000. This amount represents the penal sum which is the most the surety bond company would have to pay regardless of the damage amount or amount of claims.
What Does a Washington Notary Bond Guarantee?
A Washington Notary Bond guarantees that a commissioned Notary in the state will operate within the codes and laws of the state under Chapter 42.45. If the Notary violates state law and causes damages, the surety bond company may be liable. These notary bonds are a type of license surety bond.
How to Obtain a Washington Notary Bond
Washington Notary Bonds can be purchased instantly online and without a credit check. Simply click the button below, fill out the information, pay and print.
How Does a Washington Notary Bond Work?
The Washington Notary Provides payment and indemnity to a Surety Bond Company. In exchange, the surety bond company provides a guarantee to the State of Washington that the Notary will abide by state’s laws. If the Washington Notary does not, a claim can be made against the notary bond and the surety bond company.
Notary Bonds are Not Insurance
Washington Notaries should understand that notary bonds are not insurance. If the surety bond company pays out a claim, they will seek reimbursement from the notary. In this way, notary bonds are more like a credit product. You can read about the differences between surety bonds and insurance here.
What Does a Washington Notary Bond Cost?
The cost of a Washington Notary Bond depends on the Surety Bond Company and in some cases, the personal credit of the Washington notary. Generally, these notary bonds are very inexpensive. A Washington Notary Bond can be purchased here with no credit check for $75. This includes coverage for the entire four-year term and includes $10,000 of Errors and Omission Insurance Coverage. Even better rates may be available for notaries willing to fill out an application and have a credit check. Once the notary’s commission expires, they will need to renew or replace the bond to remain commissioned and another notary bond fee will need to be paid at that time.
Errors and Omission Insurance
Errors and Omission (E&O) is insurance that protects the notary against mistakes made while performing the duties of a notary. This coverage is different from the protection of a Notary Bond. Often the E&O coverage provides defense to the Notary if a claim is made against them. This coverage is usually very affordable and often included with a Notary Bond.
Term of a Washington Notary Bond
A Washington Notary Bond shall be for a period of four years. The Notary Bond should expire at the same time the Washington Notary’s commission expires.
Cancelation of a Washington Notary Bond
A Surety Bond Company may cancel the Washington Notary Bond by giving at least 30 days’ notice to the state. If the Notary Bond is canceled, the Notary will need to provide a replacement to avoid having their commission canceled. Under no circumstances may a Washington Notary perform their official duties without a valid Notary Bond in place.
Washington Notary Bonds protect the public. These bonds are inexpensive and can be purchased instantly, without a credit check. Washington Notaries may need other surety bonds as well. Many can be found on the Washington Surety Bond Page. Notaries may also visit our FAQ page for many common questions on surety bonds.