South Dakota Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
January 12, 2023
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a South Dakota Notary Public bond.
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $50 for a six-year term
- Bond Amount: $5,000
- Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in South 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 South Dakota: The South Dakota Secretary of State
South Dakota Codified Law 18-1-1 requires all notaries operating in the state to obtain a commission from the Secretary of State before providing notarial services. The South 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 $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for a commission.
What is the Purpose of the South Dakota Notary Public Bond?
South 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 South Dakota Codified Law 18-1-2. 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 a South Dakota Notary Public Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a South 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.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the South Dakota Notary Public Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the South 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 South Dakota Notary Public Bond Cost?
The South Dakota Notary Public bond costs just $50 for a six-year term.
Who is Required to Purchase the South Dakota Notary Bond?
South Dakota requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase South Dakota Codified Law 18-1-1.1, 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
Electronic notarizations and/or remote notarizations are not allowed in South Dakota.
How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in South Dakota?
Notaries public in South 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 or the South Dakota Notary Public Handbook for details on the process.
Commission Term: All South 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
- Live or work in South Dakota
Step 2 – Purchase a Notary Seal
Notaries public must purchase a notary seal prior to submitting an application for a commission. The seal should include the notary’s name exactly as it will appear on their commission certificate. A legible imprint of the applicant’s notary seal must be included on their commission application, oath of office, and bond form.
Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries public are required to purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.
Step 4 – Submit an Application
Notaries public must submit an application to the Secretary of State’s office at the following address:
Secretary of State
500 E. Capitol Ave, Suite 204
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Notaries must complete the application in its entirety and include a $30 filing fee by check payable to the Secretary of State. Applications typically take 2-4 weeks to process. Upon approval of the application, notaries will receive their commission certificate by mail and may begin providing notarial services.
How Do South Dakota 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 up to 60 days before their existing ones expire to avoid a lapse in commissions. All South Dakota Notary Public Commissions are valid for six years from the date of issuance.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Notaries Public in South Dakota?
South 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 $5,000 surety bond.
How Do South Dakota 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:
Secretary of State
500 E. Capitol Ave, Suite 204
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
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
- Date the bond is signed
What Can South Dakota Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in South 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 South Dakota?
BondExchange offers free notary E&O insurance with the surety bond purchase for notaries in South Dakota. Unlike a surety bond, E&O insurance protects the notary rather than the public.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for South Dakota Notary Customers?
Pennsylvania 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.