Louisiana Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
November 28, 2022
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Louisiana Notary Public bond.
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $50 for a five-year term
- Bond Amount: $10,000
- Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in Louisiana
- Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
- Who Regulates Notaries Public in Louisiana: The Louisiana Secretary of State
Louisiana Revised Statute 35:1 requires all notaries operating in the state to be appointed, also known as commissioned, by the Governor before performing notarial acts. The Louisiana 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 or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to be eligible for a commission.
What is the Purpose of the Louisiana Notary Public Bond?
Louisiana requires notaries to purchase a surety bond or E&O insurance 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 Louisiana Revised Statute 35:71. 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 a Louisiana Notary Public Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Louisiana 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 Louisiana Notary Public Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Louisiana 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 Louisiana Notary Public Bond Cost?
The Louisiana Notary Public bond costs just $50 for a five-year term.
Who is Required to Purchase the Louisiana Notary Bond?
Louisiana requires notaries public to purchase a surety bond or E&O insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. A notary public is defined as a public official authorized to provide the following services:
- Notarize documents
- Administer oaths and attestations
- Serve as an impartial witness to the signing of documents
Notaries who wish to become a remote online notary (RON) will not need to purchase an additional surety bond. A remote online notary 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 Louisiana?
Notaries public in Louisiana 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 Louisiana Notary Public Commissions are valid for life and do not expire.
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 resident citizen or alien of Louisiana
- Be a registered voter in the applicant’s parish of residence
- Be able to read, write, and speak English
- Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
- Have not been convicted of a felony and not been pardoned
Step 2 – Complete an Application to Qualify
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
Notaries must complete the application in its entirety and submit the following items:
- $35 application fee
- Notary Public Exam Registration
- $100 examination fee
Step 3 – Take the Exam Pre-Assessment
Once the application to qualify is approved, notaries will receive instructions on how to register online for the Notary Exam Pre-Assessment conducted by the LSU Center for Assessment and Evaluation. The pre-assessment is an evaluation and there is no required passing score.
Step 4 – Take the State Exam
After receiving a score on the Notary Exam Pre-Assessment, notaries may register online for the state notary exam. While notaries are not required to complete any course of study, they are encouraged to purchase a study guide or use a notary education provider to prepare for the exam. Notaries must pass the state exam within 30 days of completing the previous steps.
Step 5 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries public must purchase and maintain either a $10,000 surety bond or an E&O insurance policy.
Step 6 – File Notary Documents
After passing the state exam, notaries must file the following documents with the Secretary of State:
Notaries may file these documents online, by mail, or in person at the Secretary of State’s office at the following address:
8585 Archives Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
After filing these documents and paying the $35 commission fee, notaries will receive their commission and be authorized to perform notarial acts.
Remote Online Notaries
Step 7 – Complete an Online Course and Quiz
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 8 – Select a Technology Provider
Notaries must select a remote notary technology provider that they will use to perform remote online notarizations. Louisiana provides a list of approved technology providers that the notary can choose from, and notaries may choose to work with more than one provider.
Step 9 – Complete the Registration
Notaries must register to obtain their remote online authorization and can do so through their online notary account. Notaries are required to upload the certificate of completion from the instruction course and quiz and pay a one-time $100 filing fee. After the registration is approved, the notary’s record will be updated to show that the notary is authorized to perform remote online notarizations.
How Do Louisiana Notaries Public Renew Their Commissions?
All Louisiana Notary Public Commissions are valid for life and do not expire. However, notaries must renew their surety bond or insurance policy every five years in order to maintain their commission.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Notaries Public in Louisiana?
Louisiana Revised Statute 35:71 requires notaries to obtain either a $10,000 surety bond or an E&O insurance policy.
How Do Louisiana Notaries File Their Bonds?
Notaries public should mail their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney and $20 filing fee, to the Secretary of State’s office at the following address:
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
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 parish of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Date the bond goes into effect and expires
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Louisiana Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in Louisiana 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 Louisiana?
Louisiana requires notaries to either obtain a $10,000 surety bond or in E&O insurance policy. 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 Louisiana Notary Customers?
Louisiana 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.