Arizona Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

October 19, 2022

Arizona Notary Public Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain an Arizona Notary Public bond

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: $50 for a four-year term
  • Bond Amount: $5,000
  • Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in Arizona
  • Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
  • Who Regulates Notaries Public in Arizona: The Arizona Secretary of State

Background

Arizona Statute 41-269 requires all notaries operating in the state to become commissioned by the Secretary of State before performing notarial acts. The Arizona legislature enacted this requirement to ensure that notaries engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the commission requirement, notaries must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for a commission.

What is the Purpose of the Arizona Notary Public Bond?

Arizona requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a notary commission. The bond protects the public from financial harm if the notary fails to comply with the regulations outlined in Arizona Statute 41-269. Specifically, the bond protects the public if the notary signs any documents for persons committing fraud or does not actually witness the signatures on documents being notarized. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the notary violates the terms of their commission.

Arizona Notary Public Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Arizona Notary Public Surety Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining an Arizona Notary Public bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Notary” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.

At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

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Is a Credit Check Required for the Arizona Notary Public Bond?

No, a credit check is not required for the Arizona Notary Public bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all notaries in the state regardless of their credit history.

How Much Does the Arizona Notary Public Bond Cost?

The Arizona Notary Public bond costs just $50 for a four-year term.

Who is Required to Purchase the Arizona Notary Bond?

Arizona requires notaries public to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase Arizona Statute 41-251, a notary public is a public officer authorized to perform the following actions:

  • Taking acknowledgments
  • Administering oaths and affirmations
  • Verifying oaths and affirmations
  • Witnessing or attesting to signatures
  • Certifying or attesting a copy
  • Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument

How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in Arizona?

Notaries public in Arizona must navigate several steps to obtain a commission. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Secretary of State’s website and the state’s Notary Public Reference Manual for details on the process.

Commission Term: All Arizona Notary Public Commissions are valid for four years from the date of issuance.

Step 1 – Meet the Qualifications

To be eligible to apply for a notary public commission, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Be an Arizona resident
    • Be a citizen of the United States
    • Be able to speak, write and read English
    • Not be disqualified under Arizona Statute 41-271
    • Possess a copy of the Notary Public Reference Manual
    • Pass the examination required under Arizona Statute 41-270**

**Notaries must contact the Secretary of State to determine if they are required to take the exam.

Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond

Notaries public must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.

Step 3 – Complete the Application

Notaries public must complete the application online, print it, and then mail or deliver it to the following address:

Office of the Secretary of State
Attn: Notary Dept
1700 W Washington St, Fl 7
Phoenix AZ 85007-2808

Notaries must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:

    • Original, printed, and signed application
    • Original, notarized surety bond
    • $43 application fee by check or money order

Applications typically take around 4-6 weeks to process. Additionally, the Secretary of State reserves the right to request additional documentation or fees. After obtaining their commission, notaries are eligible to apply to become a remote online notary as well and can do so online here.

How do Arizona Notaries Renew Their Commissions?

Notaries must apply for a new commission before their existing one expires, as there is no specific renewal process. Notaries are able to start the renewal process up to 60 days before the end of their current commission. All Arizona Notary Public Commissions are valid for four years from the date of issuance.

What are the Insurance Requirements for Arizona Notaries?

Arizona does not require notaries to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a commission. Notaries public must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.

How Do Arizona Notaries File Their Bonds?

Notaries public should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the Secretary of State at the following address:

Secretary of State
Attn: Notary Dept.
1700 W. Washington Street, Fl. 7
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808

The bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the notary. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:

  • Legal name and county of residence of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Surety company’s name and state of incorporation
  • Bond amount
  • Dates the commission goes into effect and expires
  • Date the bond is signed

What Can Arizona Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?

To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in Arizona must follow all commission regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:

  • Do not leave any notary supplies (seal and journal) in a place where they can be easily stolen
  • Do not perform notary services for entities/individuals who are engaged in acts of fraud
  • Ensure that the signers of documents are who they say they are and are not misrepresenting themselves
  • Witness the signatures of all documents being notarized
  • Record all transactions in a notary journal

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Notaries in Arizona?

Arizona does not require notaries to obtain any form of liability insurance. However, many notaries will consider obtaining errors and omission (E&O) insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue liability insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Arizona Notary Customers?

Arizona conveniently provides a public database of commissioned notaries operating in the state. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.

2022-10-19T14:37:26-04:00