Why do I need a surety bond for my Washington D.C. Notary Public commission?
This surety bond is required for anyone applying for a residential, business, or federal government notary public commission in Washington D.C. A surety bond is a three-way agreement between a Principal (the individual applying for a Notary Public commission), an Obligee (D.C. Office of the Secretary, Notary Commissions and Authentications), and a surety company (the company financially backing the bond). A surety bond does not operate like an insurance policy for the Principal; instead, it is a financially-backed guarantee from the Principal to the Obligee that they fully understand and agree to comply with all laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to their commission (Title 1, Chapter 12 – Code of the District of Columbia). The bond is in place to protect the public of Washington D.C. against any damages caused by misconduct or negligence by the bonded Notary Public.
This bond is backed for $2,000/2 years, and must run concurrently with the commission dates. This 2-year bond costs $100.
In the event that the bonded Notary violates the terms of their commission and a claim is filed against their bond, the surety company will settle initial payments through the bond. All payments made for a claim against the surety bond must be repaid in full by the Principal. In addition to repayment, your surety company may revoke your bond as a result of a claim, at which point your Notary Public commission will be invalid until you file a new bond. Understand that claims against your bond act as marks against you, and may cause problems with future bond applications.
Your bond will be issued within 1-3 days after you submit a completed application and payment.