California Notary Handbook
NOTARY PUBLIC BONDS
In order to provide some protection to the public, California law requires every notary public
to file an official bond in the amount of $15,000. It is important to note that the notary public
bond is not an insurance policy for the notary public. It is designed only to provide a limited
fund for paying claims against the notary public. The notary public remains personally liable
to the full extent of the damage sustained and may be required to reimburse the bonding
company for sums paid by the company because of misconduct or negligence of the notary
public. (Government Code sections 8212 to 8214)
California Notary Law
Every person appointed a notary public shall execute an official bond in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). The bond shall be in the form of a bond executed by an admitted surety insurer and not a deposit in lieu of bond.
- No later than 30 days after the beginning of the term prescribed in the commission, every person appointed a notary public shall file an official bond, and take, subscribe, and file an oath of office in the office of the county clerk of the county within which the person maintains a principal place of business as shown in the application submitted to the Secretary of State, and the commission shall not take effect unless this is done within the 30-day period. A person appointed to be a notary public shall take and subscribe the oath of office either in the office of that county clerk or before another notary public in that county. If the oath of office is taken and subscribed before a notary public, the oath and bond may be filed with the county clerk by certified mail. Upon filing the oath and bond, the county clerk shall immediately transmit to the Secretary of State a certificate setting forth the fact of the filing and containing a copy of the official oath, personally signed by the notary public in the form set forth in the commission and shall immediately deliver the bond to the county recorder for recording. The county clerk shall retain the oath of office for one year following the expiration of the term of the commission for which the oath was taken, after which the oath may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of. The copy of the oath, personally signed by the notary public, on file with the Secretary of State may at any time be read in evidence with like effect as the original oath, without further proof.