On March 25, 2019, Kentucky passed Senate Bill 114, requiring notaries public to submit a $1,000 surety bond prior to obtaining a commission from the Secretary of State. The bond covers acts performed during the notary public’s commission. For example, should a notary overcharge fees for their services or notarize a document without the signers present, those affected could make a claim on the notary’s bond to pay for damages. This requirement will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
What is changing for notaries public?
Previously, notaries public were required to have a bond in an amount determined by the county in which they were applying. A notary must now submit proof of a $1,000 surety bond to the Secretary of State within 30 days of receiving a notary public commission. The bond covers acts performed during the notary public’s commission and guarantees they will act ethically and in adherence with the guidelines set out in the Kentucky Notary Public Handbook.
What is a notary public?
A notary public is an individual appointed by the state government, usually the Secretary of State, to serve as an impartial witness to oversee the signing of important documents. Notaries serve to deter fraud by screening the signers to make sure they are using their true identity, they are not being coerced into signing, and they understand what they are agreeing to upon by signing. Notaries public are often needed to witness the signing of documents like prenuptial agreements or powers of attorney.
How to become a notary public in Kentucky
Individuals must meet a number of requirements to qualify for appointment as a notary public including:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Live in Kentucky
- Ability to read and write in English
- Have no previous felony convictions
Those applying for a special commission must be a resident of the county in which they apply or, if they are not a resident of Kentucky, they must be employed in the county in which the application is made. If these conditions are met, one must then buy the required notary seal and other supplies and send a completed commission application and a $10 application fee to the Kentucky Notary Commissions.
Upon receiving a commission certificate from the state, a notary must send a copy of the certificate to the National Notary Society and purchase a surety bond. Within 30 days of receiving the certificate, a notary must visit their county clerk’s office to take their oath of office, post their bond and record their appointment date.
How much does a Kentucky notary bond cost?
A $1,000 notary bond in Kentucky can be purchased online instantly for $40 and remains in effect for 4 years. While it is not required by the state, Suretybonds.com also offers errors & omissions insurance which protects you from being held personally liable for mistakes made while notarizing documents. A $10,000 errors & omissions policy can be purchased with your bond for $40 more.
Need a surety bond to become a Kentucky notary public?
The experts at SuretyBonds.com have years of experience helping Kentucky notaries public get bonded, meaning they know what it takes to get the bond you need quickly and easily. Visit SuretyBonds.com or call 1 (800) 308-4358 today for a free, no obligation quote on your surety bond!