Kentucky Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

November 28, 2022

Kentucky Notary Public Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Kentucky Notary Public bond.

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: $50 for a four-year term
  • Bond Amount: $1,000
  • Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in Kentucky
  • Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
  • Who Regulates Notaries Public in Kentucky: The Kentucky Secretary of State

Background

Kentucky Revised Statute 423.390 requires all notaries operating in the state to obtain a commission from the Secretary of State before performing notarial acts. The Kentucky 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 $1,000 surety bond to be eligible for a commission.

What is the Purpose of the Kentucky Notary Public Bond?

Kentucky 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 Kentucky Revised Statute 423.390. 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.

Kentucky Notary Public Bond Form
Kentucky Notary Public Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Kentucky Notary Public Surety Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a Kentucky 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 Kentucky Notary Public Bond?

No, a credit check is not required for the Kentucky 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 Kentucky Notary Public Bond Cost?

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

Who is Required to Purchase the Kentucky Notary Bond?

Kentucky requires notaries public to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase Kentucky Revised Statute 423.300, a notary public is a public official authorized to provide the following services:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer and take verifications of statements on oaths and affirmations
  • Certify copies of documents
  • Certify depositions of witnesses
  • Make or note a protest of a negotiable instrument
  • Witness or attest signatures

Notaries who wish to become an online notary public will not need to purchase an additional surety bond. An online notary public 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 Kentucky?

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

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

Notaries Public

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 Kentucky
      Be able to read and write English
      Not be disqualified under Kentucky Statute 423.395

Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond

Notaries public are required to purchase and maintain a $1,000 surety bond.

Step 3 – Complete the Application

All Kentucky notary public commission applications must be submitted online or mailed to the Secretary of State’s office at the following address:

Notary Commissions
P.O. Box 821
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602

Notaries must complete the application in its entirety and pay a $10 fee.

Step 4 – Contact the County Clerk

After their application is approved, notaries public will receive an email with instructions on how to receive a commission certificate. Notaries will need to contact the clerk of the county where the notary resides and schedule a time to take their oath of office and post their surety bond. After taking the oath and posting their bond, notaries will receive their commission certificate and may begin performing notarial acts.

Electronic Notaries

Step 5 – Select a Tamper-Evident Technology

Only an active notary public with a current commission is able to register as a remote online notary. To become a remote online notary public, notaries must complete an online instruction course, pass a quiz, and obtain a PDF copy of the certificate of completion.

Step 6 – Complete the Application

Notaries must email a completed registration form to the Secretary of State. The application must be completed in its entirety and include the following items:

    • Copy of the notary’s digital certificate
    • Proof of a $1,000 surety bond
    • $10 registration fee

After the registration is approved, the notary will be authorized to perform remote and electronic notarizations.

How Do Kentucky Notaries Public 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 their new commissions before their existing ones expire to avoid a lapse in commissions. All Kentucky Notary Public Commissions are valid for four years from the date of issuance.

What are the Insurance Requirements for Notaries Public in Kentucky?

Kentucky 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 $1,000 surety bond.

How Do Kentucky Notaries File Their Bonds?

Notaries public should file their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, with the clerk of the county where the notary resides and must do so when taking their oath of office.

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
  • Bond amount
  • Date the bond is signed
  • The effective date of the commission
  • The expiration date of the commission

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

To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in Kentucky must adhere to 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 Kentucky?

BondExchange offers free notary E&O insurance with the surety bond purchase for notaries in Kentucky. Unlike a surety bond, E&O insurance protects the notary rather than the public.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Kentucky Notary Customers?

Kentucky 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.

What Other States Require Notary Bonds?

29 states and the District of Columbia require notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a commission. Insurance agents should utilize our Main Notary Bond Page for a detailed analysis of the Notary Bond requirements nationwide.