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How to become an Indiana Notary

Abbreviation: IN   |   19th State   |   Statehood: December 11, 1816 |
How to become a notary in Indiana:
To become a notary in Indiana, a notary applicant must meet all of the following requirements:
  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Be a legal resident of Indiana
  3. Not have been convicted of a crime receiving a sentence exceeding six months imprisonment
 
Qualifications for becoming a notary in Indiana:
In order to become an Indiana notary and receive an Indiana notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  2. Obtain a $5,000 bond in form of either a freehold or a surety bond prior to filing an application for appointment.
  3. File a notary application electronically using the Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal with an $11.22 application fee and proof of a $5,000 bond.
  4. Take the mandatory training using the Training Module for Notaries and the oath of office through the Online Notary Portal as part of the application process.

     

    An application may be completed online with the Secretary of State at http://www.in.gov/sos/business/2378.htm or click here and select "Apply" for both new and returning notaries.

     

    Apply Online to Become an Indiana Notary

 
Can a non-resident become a notary in Indiana?
No. A notary applicant who is not a resident of Indiana does not qualify for an Indiana notary public commission.
 
Is an Indiana notary bond required to become a notary in Indiana?
Yes. New notary applicants and renewing notaries must secure an approved $5,000 corporate Indiana surety bond or a freehold bond before receiving an Indiana notary commission. A freehold is when a person other than the applicant or renewing notary puts forth the $5,000 in the form of real, unencumbered property they own. To purchase an Indiana surety bond, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call (800) 721-2663, or click here.
 
Do I need an Indiana notary errors and omissions insurance?
Optional. Errors and omission insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that resulted in financial damages to the public or a document signer. The American Association of Notaries encourages Indiana notaries to purchase an errors and omissions insurance policy for their protection against liability. For additional information, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com, call (800) 721-2663, or click here.
 
How much does it cost to become a notary in Indiana?
To become a notary in Indiana, an applicant must include an $11.22 application processing fee when submitting his or her application for appointment or reappointment. In addition, a notary will incur the cost of the required notary stamp, bond, and recommended journal.
 
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Indiana?
The term of office of an Indiana notary public is eight years commencing with the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void: (1) by resignation, (2) by death, (3) by revocation, or (4) when the notary public ceases to reside in Indiana.
 
Where can I perform notarial acts?
Indiana notaries have statewide authority to perform notarial acts anywhere in the state of Indiana and nowhere outside of the state. The Secretary of State’s website stipulates that “a notary public has statewide jurisdiction but may not be compelled to act outside the limits of the county in which he/she resides.”
 
Who appoints Indiana notaries public?
The Secretary of State appoints Indiana notaries public.

 

Contact information for the Indiana Secretary of State follows:

 

Secretary of State
Notary Department, Room 201, State House,
200 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-6542 or (317) 232-6532
https://www.in.gov/sos/business/2483.htm

 
How to renew your Indiana notary commission:
An Indiana notary must apply for reappointment and follow the same procedures required for a new appointment. The Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal will accept filing of an application for reappointment up to sixty days prior to the notary’s commission expiration date. To begin the application for reappointment, click here and select "Apply" for both new and returning notaries.
 
Are there any exams or notary course requirements to become a notary or renew your Indiana notary commission?
No testing or exam is required. The Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal includes a training module for notaries, which is part of the application process or can be used by current notaries as a way to refresh their knowledge of notary responsibilities.
 
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp?
Indiana law requires all Indiana notaries public to use either an embosser or a rubber stamp to authenticate all notarial acts(IC 33-42-2-4). The Indiana Notary Public Guide provides the recommended information that should be on an Indiana notary stamp.

 

Suggested Elements: The Indiana notary stamp must at minimum contain the following elements:

  • The words "Notary Public"
  • The words "State of Indiana"
  • The word "Seal"
  • The notary’s name, exactly as it appears on his/her commission (optional)
  • The county of the notary’s residence (optional)
  • The notary’s commission number (optional)
  • The expiration date of the notary’s commission (optional)
  •  

    Important: If an Indiana notary stamp contains all the above information, in most cases, a notary will only need to sign, date and seal a document to complete a notarial act. If an Indiana notary uses a notary stamp that does not include his or her commission name, county of residence, and commission expiration date, then, the notary is required to print or type all of the above information beneath his or her signature on every notarial certificate he or she executes in the performance of every notarial act (IC 33-42-2-9).

     
    Is a notary journal required in Indiana?
    No. Indiana law does not require an Indiana notary public to record his or her notarial acts in a journal. However, the Indiana Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries recommend that Indiana notaries record their notarial acts in a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages designed to deter fraud as a protective measure against liability. For Indiana notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com, call (800) 721-2663, or click here.
     
    How much can an Indiana notary charge for performing notarial acts?
    Indiana notary fees are set by statute (IC 33-42-8-1). The maximum allowable fees that an Indiana notary public can charge for notarial acts are listed below:
  • Acknowledgments - $2.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $2.00
  • Jurats - $2.00
  •  

    According to the Indiana Notary Public Guide regarding incidental fees, “Notaries may bill separately for incidental costs and services such as travel. Notaries should inform clients in advance of any service fees which may be charged above the $2.00 per notarization fee.”

     
    What notarial acts can an Indiana notary public perform?
    An Indiana notary public is authorized to perform five notarial acts:
  • Taking acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take and certify affidavits and depositions
  • Certify copies (Indiana NPG)
  • Witness or attest signatures (Indiana NPG)
  • Can I perform electronic notarizations in Indiana?
    Indiana has not adopted notary statutes or regulations establishing the rules and procedures for electronic notarization. However, Indiana enacted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, Indiana Code, Title 26, Article 2, Chapter 8, Section 26-2-8-110, authorizing a notary’s electronic signature. In addition, Indiana enacted the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act that permits notaries public to use electronic signatures on electronic real property documents starting January 1, 2018.Most importantly,Indiana notaries may perform notarizations on documents electronically as long as all requirements for a traditional paper-based notarial act are met. Indiana law mandates that the document signer must personally appear before the notary public. The signer must be physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials to the notary without reliance on an electronic device such as a telephone, computer, video camera, or facsimile machine at the time of the performance of the notarial act. Indiana notaries public are prohibited from performing online webcam notarizations.
     
    How do I change my address?
    If an Indiana notary public changes his or her county of residence during the term of the notary’s commission, the notary is required to notify the Secretary of State,in writing, of the change through their Online Notary Portal and pay a fee of $6.12. The Secretary of State will process a revised commission to reflect the notary’s new county of residence. However, if the notary merely changes addresses within the same county, the notary is required to notify the Secretary of State, but no fee is required. To report an address change through the Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal, visit https://myweb.in.gov/SOS/notaryapp/ or click here.
     
    How do I change my name on my notary commission?
    If an Indiana notary lawfully changes his or her name during the term of the notary’s commission, the notary is required to notify the Secretary of State in writing of such change through their Online Notary Portal and pay a fee of $6.12. The Secretary of State will process a revised commission to reflect the name change. To report a name change through the Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal, visit https://myweb.in.gov/SOS/notaryapp/ or click here.

    Death/Resignation/Removal:
    An Indiana notary public or his or her representative is required to send a written and signed letter to the Secretary of State if the notary: (1) no longer maintains residence in Indiana during the term of the notary’s commission; (2) no longer wishes to hold the office of notary public; (3) is deceased; or (4) is duty-bound to resign by court order or the Secretary of State’s revocation process. The notary or his or her representative must immediately destroy the notary stamp.
     
    Prohibited Indiana notarial acts:
    These acts of notarial misconduct provide a basis for administrative disciplinary action:
  • Using any other name or initial to notarize other than that by which the notary has been commissioned
  • Acknowledging any instrument in which the notary’s name appears as a party to the transaction
  • Taking an acknowledgment or administering an oath to any person whom the notary knows has been adjudged mentally incompetent by the court
  • Taking the acknowledgment or administering the oath to any person whom the notary knows to be under a guardianship under IC 29-3 at the time the notary takes the acknowledgment or administers the oath
  • Taking the acknowledgment of any person who is blind without first reading the instrument to the blind person
  • Taking the acknowledgment of any person who does not speak or understand the English language, unless the nature and effect of the instrument to be notarized is translated into a language that the person does speak or understand
  • Preparing, drafting, selecting, or giving advice concerning legal documents
  • Using the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” when advertising notary services
  • Accepting payment in exchange for providing legal advice or any other assistance that requires legal analysis, legal judgment, or interpretation of the law
  • Committing “notario publico” deception
  • Advertising or claiming to be an expert on immigration matters without being an attorney or designated entity as defined under 8 CFR 245a.1(l)
  • Failing to provide the “notary disclosure” in the notary’s written advertisement
  • Notarizing a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence during the performance of the notarial act
  • Post-dating or ante-dating notarized documents
  • Affixing his or her name or signature to a blank notarial certificate
  • Acknowledging the execution of an affidavit unless the person acknowledges the truth of the statements in the affidavit
  • Acknowledging the execution of an instrument unless the person who executed the instrument signs the instrument before the notary or affirms to the notary that the signature on the instrument is the person’s own
  • Charging more than the fee prescribed by law for notarial services
  • Notarizing his or her own signature
  • Affixing his or her notary signature and seal to a document that did not contain a notarial certificate
  • Affixing his or her notary signature and seal to a notarial certificate that did not include the required information
  • Neglecting to complete the acknowledgment at the time the notary’s seal and signature are attached to the document
  • Executing a false notarial certificate
  • Making a false notarial certificate or writing containing statements known to the notary to be false
  • Certifying copies of official records or recordable documents
  •  
    Official notarial misconduct:
    Indiana notaries public, who commit official misconduct, may be subject to criminal liability, civil liability, administrative disciplinary action, and other official sanctions:
  • A notary public who omits the date of the expiration of the notary’s commission as required by law on any notarial certificate commits a Class C infraction.
  • IC 35-43-5-3.7. Notario publico deception. A non-attorney notary public who provides notary services that require legal analysis, legal judgment, or interpretation of the law commits notario publico deception, a Class A misdemeanor.
  • IC 33-42-4-2. Fraudulent acts Sec. 2. A notary public, who with intent to defraud: (1) affixes the person’s signature to a blank form of affidavit or certificate of acknowledgment; and (2) delivers that form to another person with intent that it be used as an affidavit or acknowledgment commits a Class D felony.
  • IC 33-42-4-3. Fraudulent use of forms. A notary public who knowingly uses a fraudulent form that was delivered to him or her in violation of Section 2 of this chapter commits a Class D felony.
  • IC 35-45-14-2.Unlawful solicitation. A person commits unlawful solicitation, a Class A misdemeanor, if he or she is not an attorney and knowingly or intentionally solicits, advises, requests, or induces another person to bring an action in a court and, in making a solicitation under subdivision (3), directly or indirectly receives any compensation, fee, or commission from the attorney for the solicitation.
  • If the Secretary of State revokes the commission of a notary public, the notary may not reapply for a new commission for five years after the revocation.
  • If a notary public is convicted of notario publico deception, the notary may never reapply for a new notary public commission.
  • If a notary public is convicted of notario publico deception, the judge of a court with jurisdiction in the county in which the notary resides shall permanently revoke the notary’s appointment.
  • Indiana notary laws and regulations:
    Indiana Code, Title 33, Article 42 (Notaries Public)
    http://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2017/ic/titles/033#33-42
     
    Indiana Notarial Certificates:
    Click here to view Indiana’s notarial certificates.

    Revised: December 2017

    Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.

    Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety. American Association of Notaries, is owned by Kal Tabbara, licensed insurance agent.