Idaho Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
November 21, 2022
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain an Idaho Notary Public bond.
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $50 for a six-year term
- Bond Amount: $10,000
- Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in Idaho
- Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
- Who Regulates Notaries Public in Idaho: The Idaho Secretary of State
Idaho Code 51-121 requires all notaries operating in the state to obtain a commission from the Secretary of State before performing notarial acts. The Idaho 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 $10,000 surety bond to be eligible for a commission.
What is the Purpose of the Idaho Notary Public Bond?
Idaho requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. The bond protects the public from financial harm if the notary fails to comply with the regulations outlined in Idaho Code 51-121. 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.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Idaho Notary Public Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Idaho 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 Idaho Notary Public Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Idaho 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 Idaho Notary Public Bond Cost?
The Idaho Notary Public bond costs just $50 for a six-year term.
Who is Required to Purchase the Idaho Notary Bond?
Idaho requires notaries public to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase Idaho Code 51-102, a notary public is a public official authorized to perform the following duties:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer and take verifications of oaths and affirmations
- Serve as an impartial witness to the signing of documents
- Note protests of negotiable instruments
Notaries who wish to become electronic notaries (eNotary) will not need to purchase an additional surety bond. An eNotary is a commissioned notary public that performs notarial acts on electronic or digital records using specialized software.
How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in Idaho?
Notaries public in Idaho 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 Idaho Notary Handbook for details on the process.
Commission Term: All Idaho Notary Public Commissions are valid for six 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 a citizen of the United States
- Live or work in Idaho
- Be able to read and write English
- Not be disqualified under Idaho Code 51-123
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries public are required to purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond.
Step 3 – Complete the Application
Notaries must create an Idaho SOSbiz account and complete their commission application online here. After completing the application online, notaries must print it out, sign it, have it notarized, and mail it to the following address:
PO Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0080
Notaries must submit a $30 filing fee and their original bond form with their application. Once the application is approved, the Secretary of State will issue a Certificate of Commission to the notary.
Step 4 – Purchase a Stamping Device
After receiving their Certificate of Commission, notaries may purchase their stamping device and journal. Notaries are able to perform notarial acts once the stamping device is purchased.
Step 5 – Select a Tamper-Evident Technology
Commissioned notaries public can choose to register as eNotaries if they so choose. To do so, notaries must select tamper-evident technology to be used in all electronic notarizations. Idaho does not recommend specific technologies, however, all technologies used by eNotaries must comply with IDAPA 34.07.01.
Step 6 – Complete the Application
After selecting their tamper-evident technology, notaries must file an Authorization for Electronic Notarization paper form with the Secretary of State or file an “Addition of Electronic or Remote Online Notary” amendment on their Idaho SOSbiz account. Notaries that choose to file a paper form will be charged a $20 processing fee. Once the request is approved, the Secretary of State will send the notary an authorization certificate allowing them to provide electronic notary services.
Do Idaho Notaries Need to Renew Their Commissions?
Notaries must apply for a new commission before their existing one expires, as there is no specific renewal process. Notaries are encouraged to apply for a new commission up to 90 days before the expiration date to avoid a lapse in commissions. Additionally, notaries need only submit one application for both their traditional and electronic commissions. All Idaho Notary Public Commissions are valid for six years from the date of issuance.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Idaho Notaries?
Idaho 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 $10,000 surety bond.
How Do Idaho Notaries File Their Bonds?
Notaries public should mail their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the Secretary of State’s office at the following address:
PO Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0080
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, address, and county of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and state of incorporation
- Bond amount
- Date the notary’s commission expires
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Idaho Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in Idaho must follow all state regulations, 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 Idaho?
BondExchange offers free notary E&O insurance with the surety bond purchase for notaries in Idaho. Unlike a surety bond, E&O insurance protects the notary as opposed to the public.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Idaho Notary Customers?
Idaho 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.