Before we talk about what a notary public bond is and what it is a surety for - we must first understand what a Notary Public is and what function they perform. When people think of Notaries they think of them as a witness for signatures. More often than not this is accurate, though there are some exceptions (some state Notaries have different authority than others and Notaries in different countries may work differently as well).
Generally speaking, Notaries validate the authenticity of signatures on documents. This is usually accomplished by having the relevant party or parties sign the document(s) in front of the Notary who then verifies their identify from an acceptable type of identification such as a Drivers License or Passport.
The Notary will then affix their seal upon the document indicating that to the best of their knowledge the identity of the signing party or parties is legally valid. Most courts require submitted documents to be notarized before they will be considered admissible as evidence.
In some states, notaries have a varied range of responsibilities beyond the simple witnessing of signatures. Some of these functions include validating document copies (comparing the original to the copy), witnessing the opening of legal seals/objects (like a safety deposit box) or even performing marriage ceremonies!
For most states, 18 is the legal age requirement to become a Notary Public. Certain groups of people such convicted felons are more often than not â€“ ineligible. Depending on the state, some training may be required. Most notaries' term of service may be limited in time and vary in length.
The most basic requirement for any Notary is the notary seal which is used in the certification process by the Notary. Ink pads and impression stamps are also common Notary supplies used in the course of office.
Now that we have an understanding of what a Notary Public is and what they do â€“ what is a notary public bond? Notary public bonds are traditionally used in business deals and allow the individual to not only witness and validate the truth of an event â€“ but provide financial protection of that truth.
If it should later come out that the notary was misinformed or God forbid lied and financial harm came to one (or both) of the parties because of it â€“ the bond would step in and provide restitution to the injured parties. This is a very specialized type of risk management bond specific to the notary industry.
So, if you're conducting a transaction where business or a large amount of money is on the line you should make sure that your Notary is equipped with a Notary Public Bond â€“ not just for your own safety but for the safety of all the parties involved.