New Mexico Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

January 10, 2023

New Mexico Notary Public Bond

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

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: $50 for a four-year term
  • Bond Amount: $10,000
  • Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in New Mexico
  • Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
  • Who Regulates Notaries Public in New Mexico: The New Mexico Secretary of State

Background

New Mexico Statute 14-14A-20 requires all notaries operating in the state to obtain a commission from the Secretary of State before providing notarial services. The New Mexico 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 New Mexico Notary Public Bond?

New Mexico 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 New Mexico Statute 14-14A-20. 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.

New Mexico Notary Public Bond Form
New Mexico Notary Public Bond Form

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

BondExchange makes obtaining a New Mexico 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 New Mexico Notary Public Bond?

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

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

Who is Required to Purchase the New Mexico Notary Bond?

New Mexico requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase New Mexico Statute 14-14A-2, a notary public is a public official authorized to provide the following services:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take verifications on oath or affirmation
  • Witness or attest to a signature
  • Certify or attest a copy
  • Note a protest of a negotiable instrument

Notaries who wish to perform remote online notarizations do not need to purchase an additional surety bond. A remote online notary is a notarial officer approved by the Secretary of State to provide notarial services using communication technology to perform a notarization of an electronic record.

How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in New Mexico?

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

Commission Term: All New Mexico 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 New Mexico
    • Be able to read and write in English
    • Have never been convicted of a felony
    • Have never had a notary commission revoked in another state
    • Not be disqualified under New Mexico Statute 14-14A-22

Step 2 – Complete a Training Course

Notaries public are required to complete an online training course and exam on notary laws and procedures prior to obtaining a notary public commission. The training is provided by the National Notary Association, and notaries must submit a $30 fee for the course. Notaries must pass the exam with an 80% score or higher, and after successfully completing the course, notaries will receive a certificate of completion which they will need to submit with their application.

Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond

Notaries public are required to purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond.

Step 4 – Complete the Application

Notaries public must submit a completed application to the Secretary of State’s office at the following address:

New Mexico Secretary of State
325 Don Gaspar Avenue
Suite 300
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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

    • Surety bond
    • $30 fee by check or money order
    • Notarized and signed oath of office
    • Certificate of completion from the training and exam

Once the application is approved, notaries will receive their certificate of commission and may begin purchasing their notarial supplies. Within 45 days of the notary application being approved, the notary must provide proof of their notary stamp by sending in the Stamp Registration Form via email. After registering their official seal and obtaining a journal, notaries may begin providing notarial services.

Remote Online Notaries Public

Step 5 – Complete an Online Training Course and Exam

Only an active notary public with a current commission is able to register as a remote online notary. Notaries public can register to become remote online notaries by first completing a training course and exam on remote online notary laws and procedures. There is a $30 fee to register for the training. After successfully completing the course, notaries will receive a certificate of completion which they will need to submit with their application.

Step 6 – Submit an Application

After completing the online training, notaries public must submit a completed application to the Secretary of State’s office at the following address:

New Mexico Secretary of State
325 Don Gaspar Avenue
Suite 300
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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

    • $75 filing fee
    • Certificate of completion from the training

Notaries should also indicate the remote online notarization system that they intend to use on the application, and a list of approved providers can be found here. Within 45 days of the remote online notary application being approved, the notary must purchase and provide proof of their official stamp by submitting the Stamp Registration Form.

How Do New Mexico Notaries Public Renew Their Commissions?

Notaries will receive a renewal notice by email one month prior to their commission expiration date and can begin the renewal process online here. Notaries who renew their commissions within one year of expiration are not required to retake the training course and exam.

All New Mexico Notary Public Commissions are valid for four years from the date of issuance. Remote online notary registrations run concurrently with existing notary public commissions and notaries must register with the Secretary of State again before continuing their remote notarial services.

What are the Insurance Requirements for Notaries Public in New Mexico?

New Mexico 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 New Mexico Notaries File Their Bonds?

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

New Mexico Secretary of State
325 Don Gaspar Avenue
Suite 300
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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 of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Surety company’s name
  • Bond amount
  • Notary acknowledgments

What Can New Mexico Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?

To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in New Mexico 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 New Mexico?

New Mexico does not require notaries public 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 New Mexico Notary Customers?

New Mexico 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 as 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.