North Dakota Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
January 10, 2023
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a North Dakota 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 North Dakota
- Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
- Who Regulates Notaries Public in North Dakota: The North Dakota Secretary of State
North Dakota Century Code 44-06.1-20 requires all notaries operating in the state to obtain a commission from the Secretary of State before providing notarial services. The North Dakota 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 $7,500 surety bond to be eligible for a commission.
What is the Purpose of the North Dakota Notary Public Bond?
North Dakota 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 North Dakota Century Code 44-06.1-20. 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.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a North Dakota Notary Public Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a North Dakota 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 North Dakota Notary Public Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the North Dakota 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 North Dakota Notary Public Bond Cost?
The North Dakota Notary Public bond costs just $50 for a four-year term.
Who is Required to Purchase the North Dakota Notary Bond?
North Dakota requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase North Dakota Century Code 44-06.1-01, 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 for a remotely located individual.
How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in North Dakota?
Notaries public in North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota
- Be able to read and write in English
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries public are required to purchase and maintain a $7,500 surety bond. Notaries will also need to get the bond certificate notarized by an existing notary prior to submitting it to the Secretary of State.
Step 3 – Complete the Application
Notaries public must complete an application online here. First-time applicants will need to create an account with FirstStop, North Dakota’s online services platform. After filling out the application online, notaries must print it out, get it notarized by an existing notary, and then mail it to the Secretary of State’s Office at the following address:
Secretary of State
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept. 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500
Notaries must complete the application in its entirety and submit the following items:
- Notarized surety bond
- $36 application fee
Notaries can indicate if they would like to be a remote online notary when completing the application, and must select the option if they intend to do so.
Step 4 – Purchase and Verify Notary Stamp
Once the application is approved, the Secretary of State will issue a Certificate of Authorization to Purchase Notary Stamping Device form to the notary. Notaries may use this certificate to purchase a notary stamping device, and once obtained, notaries must return an impression of the stamp on the Verification of Notary Public Stamping Device form to the Secretary of State’s office.
Notaries must submit the verification of their notary stamp within three weeks of their application being approved, and both forms will be provided by the Secretary of State. After approving the stamping device, the Secretary of State will issue a commission certificate to the notary.
Remote Online Notaries Public
Step 5 – Select a Technology Provider
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 selecting a communication technology provider. Notaries may choose from the listed providers on the Secretary of State’s website, however, the selected provider must comply with state requirements.
Step 6 – Notify the Secretary of State
After selecting a communication technology provider, notaries public must notify the Secretary of State prior to performing their first remote online notarization. This notification may be provided by email, by fax to (701) 328-1690, or by mail at the following address:
North Dakota Secretary of State
600 E Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500
Once the Secretary of State’s office approves the notification, the notary public may begin performing remote online notarizations.
How Do North Dakota Notaries Public Renew Their Commissions?
Notaries will receive a renewal notice by mail at least 30 days prior to their commission expiration date and can begin the renewal process online here. All North Dakota Notary Public Commissions are valid for six 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 North Dakota?
North Dakota 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 $7,500 surety bond.
How Do North Dakota Notaries File Their Bonds?
Notaries public should file their completed and notarized bond forms, including the power of attorney, with the Secretary of State at the following address:
North Dakota Secretary of State
600 E Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500
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 social security number of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name, address, and social security number
- Notary acknowledgments
- Date the bond is signed
What Can North Dakota Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in North Dakota 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 North Dakota?
North Dakota 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 North Dakota Notary Customers?
North Dakota 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 obtain a Notary 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.