Public Official Bonds

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Public Official Bonds Explained

Many types of government officials are required to obtain public official bonds before they can be sworn for the respective positions. As such individuals serve the rest of citizens with their work, these bonds protect the interests of the general public.

Public official bonds are a type of license bonds. They guarantee that public officials will abide by applicable laws. The bonds also ensure the proper handling of public funds.

The bond works as a three-party contract. The principal is the public official who needs to get bonded. The obligee is the authority that requires it on a county, city, or state level. The surety is the third entity, which provides the bond.

Questions about Public Official Bonds

Who needs to obtain this bond?

Public official surety bonds are needed for different types of professionals hired by city, county and state bodies to conduct activities with public importance. The bonds are most applicable to government officials who are in charge of managing public finances.

The most common types of positions which entail posting such a bond include:

  • Government clerks (city, county and state level)

  • Judicial system officials - clerks and judges

  • Mayors, sheriffs, and their deputies

  • Tax collectors

  • Treasurers

  • Constables

The purpose of the bonds is to ensure that officials will adhere to applicable laws and regulations and will not misuse public funds. When a public official bond is required for a certain position, the person has to obtain it prior to being sworn into office. The bonds have a ‘tail,' which signifies a buffer period after the individual has concluded public service. This ensures that even beyond the time of holding office, the official still is responsible and can be held accountable for unlawful or harmful activities previously committed.

Public bodies purchase the bonds at the time of hiring an official. However, if the person commits fraud, misuse or other illegal actions, it is their own responsibility to cover all costs on proven claims. This is how government authorities and the general public are protected via the bonds.

How much does the bonding cost?

The surety bond cost is based on a couple of factors. First of all, the bond amount for public official bonds depends on the city, county and state authorities and the level of importance of the official's position.

On the basis of this amount, the actual bond premium is determined. It represents a percentage that is in line with the perceived bonding risk. The surety may also consider the personal credit score and other financial details of the official when assessing the premium. The typical rates for this type of bonds are between 1% and 4% of the bond amount.

Can I get bonded with bad credit?

It is difficult to obtain a public official bond if you have financial problems. You would usually need a FICO score above 650. Thus, public officials with bad credit cannot get bonded in most cases.

How do I get my bond?

You can launch the bonding process by filling out our online application form (it takes 5min). Once we review your application, we can issue an exact quote. Afterwards, the bond can be purchased online.

Need more information about the way bonding works? You can refer to our detailed How to Get Bonded page for an extensive overview.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to consult with our bonding experts. You can reach us at (877) 514-5146.

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About Us

Lance Surety Bonds
Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. is a Pennsylvania-based surety bond agency that offers bonding at competitive rates in all 50 states. Established in 2010, our company has grown to become one of the top online bond producers in the country. Working exclusively with A-rated and T-listed bonding companies gives us the confidence to offer a 100% money-back guarantee. read more

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What Our Clients Have To Say?

  • Kimberlee Ables
    Quick response times and turn around for issuing bonds. Great customer service and very knowledgeable. We have used Lance Surety multiple times and have never been disappointed. Highly recommend them and Collette!
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    We decided for Lance Surety Bond's quote for 2 reasons; Price and Customer Service. Our Representative Ryan was just SUPERB!! [...] I highly recommend Lance Surety Bond for all your Bonding needs! I'll definitely come back for all of mine. :-) Thanks Ryan!

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