Many people have heard of a “notary” or have needed a document “notarized”, but what does that really mean or entail? Well, let’s start with what a Notary Bond is. It is a legally binding contract guaranteeing the Notary (the person authorized) will complete tasks ethically while abiding by the law. If a notary does not adhere to the law, a claim can be made against the bond by the issuing state or those harmed as a result of the notary’s actions. If the claim is valid, the bond amount is used to indemnify the harmed parties. This protects the state and consumers from a financial loss. Some official documents require a notary, which ensures that all signatures are legitimate. This requires identification from all parties signing a document. The notary also acts as a witness to the signing of the document, and the notary records details in a log about the identification documents used by each individual. If a document requires a notary, it is important not to sign the document before getting in front of the notary. If this situation presents itself, the notary cannot notarize the document since it has already been signed, as they need to witness the signature. Notaries can usually be found at financial institutions, office retailers, and shipping stores.
In the state of Michigan, these notary bonds are issued for either 6 or 7 years of coverage; the coverage term they are issued for depends on the birthdate of the applicant and the renewal date of the bond. No credit check is required, so everyone qualifies to be a Notary. In the state of Michigan, the surety bond amount is set at $10,000. Errors and Omissions insurance can also be purchased with a notary bond. Including this insurance with the notary bond ensures the notary is not held personally liable for mistakes while notarizing documents. The cost of a notary bond varies by state. In the state of Michigan a Notary bond is $30, and when the Errors and Omissions Insurance with a $10,000 limit is included with it, the cost is $55.
If you are interested in becoming a notary or your employer would like you to be a notary, follow the steps below to purchase a notary bond conveniently through our website.
- Go to vastsolution.com
- Next, select Bonds on the header of the homepage
- Then click the “Click Here to Get Started” link in the lower portion of the page. This will take you to our partner company, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company
- You will then select the state you’re looking to become a notary in (Michigan or Wisconsin are our current offerings)
- Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Notary Bond section. You will see “Notary Bond with Optional Error & Omissions Policy”, select “Buy a Bond”
- The effective date will auto populate. Next input your birth month and day, which serves as the expiration date of the Notary Bond, 6 or 7 years out
- To purchase the optional but recommended Errors & Omissions coverage, which provides coverage against claims for inadequate work or negligent action, select the desired amount of coverage. $10,000 is the most common, which is $55. Click “Continue”.
- A premium estimate will then generate and a few statements will appear on the next page. If you agree with the statements, select “Next”.
- Next, you will select the “Select/Add Person” icon.
- The next screen will prompt you to fill in your personal information. Fill in the required boxes and select “Save”.
- The next screen will show the information you just input on the prior screen. For this bond, simply select “Next”.
- On the next screen, answer the questions as they pertain to you and select “Continue”.
- The next screen will allow you to enter employer/company as the billing address. If your employer is paying for the bond, you would select yes, if you are paying for it personally, select no, and your personal address will be used as the billing address.
- If you select yes, you will then input your company’s information and mailing address. You will then e-sign, submit, and enter payment information
- If you select no, it will bring you to a screen where you can e-sign, submit, and enter payment information.
Once completed you will need to print the bond documents. These are the documents that are taken to your County Clerk’s office, where you swear an oath of office and file your surety bond. There is a $10 additional fee associated with this process.
If you are interested in becoming a Notary in your area or your line of work requires it, remember that VAST offers a seamless process in getting this completed for you. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our Commercial Lines team members.