Oklahoma Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $50 for a four-year term
- Bond Amount: $1,000
- Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in Oklahoma
- Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
- Who Regulates Notaries Public in Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Secretary of State
Oklahoma Statute 49-1 requires all notaries operating in the state to obtain a commission from the Secretary of State before providing notarial services. The Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Notary Public Bond?
Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Statute 49-2. 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 Oklahoma Notary Public Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Oklahoma 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? Gain access 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.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Oklahoma Notary Public Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Notary Public Bond Cost?
The Oklahoma Notary Public bond costs just $50 for a four-year term.
Who is Required to Purchase the Oklahoma Notary Bond?
Oklahoma requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase Oklahoma Statute 49-112, 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 use communication technology to perform a notarial act when the principal is not in the same physical location as the notary public.
How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in Oklahoma?
Notaries public in Oklahoma 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 state’s Notary Public Guide for details on the process..
Commission Term: All Oklahoma Notary Public Commissions are valid for four 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 Oklahoma
- Be able to read and write in English
- Have never been convicted of a felony
Step 2 – Submit an Application
Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th Street, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Notaries must complete the application in its entirety and submit a $25 application fee with it. Once the application is approved, notaries will receive their commission via mail. Notaries must purchase a notary seal and surety bond within 60 days of receiving their notary commission, and may not provide any notarial services until then.
Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries public are required to purchase and maintain a $1,000 surety bond. Notaries will also need to complete their oath of office and loyalty oath at this time, and each oath must be notarized by an existing commissioned notary.
Step 4 – File with the Secretary of State
Within 60 days of receiving their notary commission, notaries must file the following items with the Secretary of State’s office:
Notaries may file these documents with the Secretary of State online here or by mail at the above address. Once all documents have been successfully filed, the notary public may start providing notarial services.
Remote Online Notaries Public
Step 5 – Submit an Application
Only an active notary public with a current commission is able to register as a remote online notary. Commissioned notaries can register to become remote online notaries by filing the Remote Online Notarization application online here.
Notaries must complete the application in its entirety and submit a $25 application fee with it. Upon approval, the Secretary of State will provide written authorization to the notary public allowing them to perform remote online notarizations.
How Do Oklahoma Notaries Public Renew Their Commissions?
To renew their commission, notaries must submit a completed application and a $20 fee online here. Notaries are encouraged to apply for their new commissions up to six weeks before their existing ones expire to avoid a lapse in commissions. A renewal commission will be mailed to the notary public once the application is approved.
All Oklahoma Notary Public Commissions are valid for four years from the date of issuance and must be renewed before the expiration date. 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 Oklahoma?
Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Notaries File Their Bonds?
Notaries public should file their completed and notarized bond forms, including the power of attorney, with the Secretary of State online here or by mail at the following address:
Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th Street, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
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 address
- Date the bond is signed
- Notary acknowledgments
What Can Oklahoma Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma?
Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Notary Customers?
Oklahoma 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.