How to Become a Notary in Indiana
The Indiana Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming an Indiana notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Indiana notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Indiana appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Indiana is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become an Indiana notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become an Indiana notary
- The process to become an Indiana notary
- Basic Indiana notarial duties
What are the qualifications to become an Indiana notary?
To become an Indiana notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least eighteen years of age.
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
- Be a resident of or primarily employed in Indiana.
- Not be disqualified to receive a commission under IC 33-42-13.
- Satisfy all educational requirements.
- Have passed the examination described in IC 33-42-12-2.
What is the process to become an Indiana notary?
To become an Indiana notary public and receive an Indiana notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Obtain an Indiana State Police Limited Criminal History Record.
- Obtain a notary bond in the amount of $25,000. (An electronic copy of the bond must be submitted to the Indiana Secretary of State no later than thirty days after the effective date of the bond.)
- Take a notary education course.
- Pass an examination administered by the Secretary of State.
- Complete an electronic application and provide all necessary information required by the Secretary of State.
- Pay a nonrefundable application fee of $75.
- Submit an electronic signature sample to the Secretary of State.
- Execute an Oath of Office and comply with any associated requirements imposed by the Secretary of State.
Note: The criminal history record must not be more than thirty days old from the date of application. There is a $16.23 fee to obtain this record. The record must be uploaded as a component of the online application within 14 days. To obtain an Indiana State Police limited criminal history record, visit https://www.in.gov/ai/appfiles/isp-lch. New applicants are required to create a profile account and login to apply and submit an application electronically. To apply for a notary public commission and obtain detailed instructions, go to https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Indiana?
Yes. A non-resident may apply to become an Indiana notary public if the non-resident meets the following requirements (IC 33-42-12-1[b]). A non-resident must:
- Be primarily employed in Indiana.
- Satisfy the same qualifications as Indiana residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Electronically submit a notary application and follow the same application processes and procedures as Indiana residents, including taking the mandatory education course and passing the examination administered by the Secretary of State.
- Include in the application the employer’s mailing address, county of employment, and a written statement documenting employment on company letterhead (75 IAC 7-2-1[c]).
- Continuously maintain his or her Indiana employment.
- Relinquish his or her Indiana notary public commission if the non-resident notary ceases to be primarily employed in Indiana.
A non-resident notary public must notify the Indiana Secretary of State not later than thirty days after any change to the information associated with the non-resident notary. A non-resident notary must notify the Secretary of State not later than fourteen days after he or she is no longer primarily employed in the state of Indiana. To notify the Secretary of State to report a change, click here: https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary#verticalTab1.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Indiana?
An Indiana notary applicant’s expenses may include the cost for the following:
- A $75 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment as a notary public.
- A $16.23 fee to obtain an Indiana State Police Limited Criminal History Record.
- Tuition for the initial notary education course.
- A $50 free for a continuing education course to be taken every two years.
- The cost of a $25,000 notary surety bond.
- The cost of an official stamp.
- The price of a notary journal if the notary wishes to adhere to the recommendations of the Secretary of State to record every notarial act performed in a journal.
- The fee for an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability.
How do I renew my Indiana notary commission?
Indiana notaries public seeking to renew their notary public commissions may apply for reappointment as notaries public no earlier than ninety days before the expiration of their notary commissions. A notary applying for reappointment as a notary public must follow the same process and procedures as required for a new application for appointment including:
- Meet the eligibility requirements.
- Obtain an Indiana State police limited criminal history record.
- Take a notary education course.
- Pass an exam administered by the Indiana Secretary of State.
- Obtain a notary bond in the amount of $25,000.
- Complete an application that is only accepted by electronic submission available through the Secretary of State’s website.
- Pay a nonrefundable application fee of $75.
A notary public may apply to renew his or her notary commission directly through the INBiz account or by visiting the Secretary of State website at https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary#verticalTab1.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become an Indiana notary public or to renew my Indiana notary public commission?
Yes. Effective July 1, 2020, all new applicants and renewing notaries seeking appointment and reappointment as Indiana notaries public are required to: (1) complete a continuing education course and (2) pass an examination administered by the Secretary of State (IC 33-42-12-2). The education course and exam are available after paying the application fee. After finishing the education course, new applicants and renewing notaries must pass a thirty-question examination consisting of multiple choice and true or false questions. These individuals must get 24 questions correct or 80% to pass. Moreover, all notaries must fulfill a continuing education course not to exceed two hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their notary public commissions (IC 33-42-12-2). The fee to complete the continuing education course is $50.00. An Indiana notary public will be required to complete three continuing education courses, for a total of $150.00, over the course of the notary’s eight-year commission term. As this legal requirement becomes due, the Secretary of State will be sending out reminders to Indiana notaries public to their addresses on record. Continuing education courses may only be completed within ninety days of the due date. Failure to complete the continuing education course requirements will result in administrative action against the notary public, which may include the revocation of the notary’s commission. The continuing education course is offered through INBiz. Continuing education courses taken or completed outside of INBiz are not accepted at this time. Indiana notaries may find their continuing education due date at https://mylicense.in.gov/EVerification/Search.aspx. To complete the continuing education requirements, go to https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary#verticalTab4.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Indiana?
Yes. The Indiana Legislature enacted the “Uniform Electronic Transaction Act” (IC 26-2-8), which authorizes a notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic records in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization. Section 26-2-8-110 of the Indiana Code states, “If a law requires that a signature be notarized, the requirement is satisfied with respect to an electronic signature if an electronic record includes, in addition to the electronic signature to be notarized, the electronic signature of a notary public together with all other information required to be included in a notarization by other applicable law.” The Indiana Secretary of State has not adopted/published rules for the performance of electronic notarizations.
What is the process to become an Indiana electronic notary public?
The state of Indiana has not enacted any electronic notarization provisions in the state notary stature and the Indiana Secretary of State has not adopted or published regulations or established standards and procedures for Indiana notaries public to perform electronic notarizations. To perform electronic notarial acts, Indiana notaries are not required to receive additional authorization from the Secretary of State other than being an active notary public before performing electronic notarizations. There is no additional fee, surety bond, education course, or registration required at this time to perform electronic notarizations.
Despites the difference between remote notarizations and electronic notarizations, there are some things that they have in common, which include:
- The documents or records are electronic and electronic signatures are used to sign them.
- A technology system is used for signing electronic records just as with a remote notarization.
- The notary must be physically located in Indiana when performing an electronic notarization.
- The notary must use an electronic notary seal.
- The notary must use a digital certificate to render the electronically notarized record tamper-evident after completing, electronically signing, and affixing an electronic notary seal to the electronic notarial certificate for the notarial act.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Indiana?
Yes. The Indiana Legislature enacted Senate Bill 372 (2018) comprising of the remote online notarization provisions with an effective date of July 1, 2019. However, the Indiana Legislature enacted House Bill 1487 (2019) by extending the effective date to the date when the Indiana Secretary of State adopts regulations to implement the remote online notarization provisions or July 1, 2020, whichever is earlier (IC 33-42-16-17). The Secretary of State adopted the regulations on March 31, 2020. Indiana notaries are authorized to perform remote online notarizations using two-way video and audio communication technology that meets the standards adopted by the Secretary of State for credential analysis and identity proofing.
What is the process to become an Indiana remote online notary public?
Before performing remote online notarial acts, a notary public must apply with the Indiana Secretary of State to be authorized to perform remote online notarial acts. There are several qualifications a notary public must meet:
- Hold a current Indiana notary public commission with at least ninety days remaining on the notary’s current notary commission term.
- Meet the continuing education requirements for a notary commission.
- Complete the remote notarization course and achieve a passing score on the remote notary examination.
- Complete the remote notary application.
- Electronically submit the remote notary application at https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary#verticalTab5.
- Pay a nonrefundable application fee of $100.
- Use a remote technology vendor whose system has been approved by the Secretary of State.
- Be able to competently operate the software provided by the notary’s remote technology vendor.
- Provide a description of the technologies that the notary intends to use to perform remote online notarizations on his or her application.
- Provide the name and website URL of the vendor that will supply the technologies that the notary intends to use to perform remote online notarizations on the application.
- Contact the Secretary of State within thirty days after the notary changes vendors or contracts with another vendor. (Failure to notify the Secretary of State may result in the suspension or revocation of your notary commission and remote notarization authorization.)
Upon approval by the Secretary of State, a remote notarization authorization is valid from the date of authorization through the expiration of the notary’s current notary public commission. When the notary commission term expires, a notary must renew the notary commission before applying for a consecutive remote notary authorization. The qualifications and application for a consecutive authorization are the same as the qualifications and application for an initial remote notary authorization. For an up-to-date list of approved Remote Notary Technology Vendors, visit the Secretary of State website at https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary#verticalTab5. For information on using a vendor, please visit their website.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Indiana?
The term of office for an Indiana notary public is eight years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation, death, or revocation.
- When a notary public is no longer a citizen or resident of Indiana during the notary’s commission term.
- When a notary is no longer a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
- When a non-resident notary is no longer primarily employed in Indiana.
- When a notary public becomes disqualified pursuant to IC 33-42-13.
Is an Indiana notary bond required to become a notary in Indiana?
Yes. An assurance in the form of a surety bond or the functional equivalent of a surety bond in the amount of $25,000 is required for all new applicants seeking appointments as notaries public and renewing notaries public (IC 33-42-0.5-4). The assurance must be issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in Indiana and guarantee the legal liability of a notary public during the course of the notary’s commission (IC 33-42-0.5-33). Before purchasing a surety bond, an applicant should verify that the provider is registered with the Indiana Department of Insurance and authorized to provide bonds in Indiana. Applicants and/or renewing notaries must submit, or have submitted by the surety on the applicant’s behalf, an electronic copy of the assurance to the Secretary of State no later than thirty days after the effective date of the assurance. A surety must notify the Secretary of State of a payment made under a notary’s assurance not later than thirty days after issuing the payment to a claimant (IC 33-42-12-1[e]). A notary must have an effective bond for the duration of the commission. 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 omission insurance?
No. An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Indiana. It is not mandatory to have E&O insurance when applying for appointment or reappointment as a notary public. However, the Indiana Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries strongly recommend that Indiana notaries public obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other type of loss to the public or from a client who sues a notary public for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage an Indiana notary selects. For information regarding an E&O insurance policy, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Indiana?
An Indiana notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Indiana (IC 33-42-12-1[i]). Likewise, an Indiana notary public may not perform notarial acts outside of Indiana.
Who appoints Indiana notaries public?
The Governor appoints notaries public (IC 33-42-9-1). However, the Indiana Secretary of State receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains an electronic database of active notaries and remote notaries. To contact the Indiana Secretary of State, use the following information:
Indiana Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 W. Washington Street, Room E-018
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Indiana?
Yes. The Indiana notary statute requires all notaries public to affix, display, or emboss the notary public’s official seal to authenticate all notarial acts (IC 33-42-9-12[b]).
Required Elements: The official seal of an Indiana notary public must include the following (IC 33-42-10-2):
- The words "Notary Public".
- The words "State of Indiana".
- The word "Seal".
- The name of the notary public exactly as it appears on the notary public’s commission certificate.
- The words “commission number” followed by the commission number of the notary public.
- The word “my commission expires” followed by the expiration date of the notary public’s commission.
Note: The notary’s stamp or embosser seal must be clear and legible and capable of being photographically reproduced together with the record to which it is affixed, attached, or associated. For Indiana notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
Do I need an electronic notary stamp to notarize electronically in Indiana?
Yes. The Indiana notary statute states that an official seal is also an electronic image that is attached to or associated with an electronic record (IC 33-42-0.5-21). Section 33-42-0.5-13 provides the legal specifications regarding the information required on an electronic seal of a notary public.
Required Elements: The electronic seal means information that:
- Is specific to an individual notary public.
- Is attached to or associated with a notarized electronic record and contains:
- The words "Notary Public";
- The words "State of Indiana";
- The word "Seal";
- The name of the notary public as it appears on the notary’s commission certificate;
- The words “commission number” followed by the commission number of the notary public
- The word “my commission expires” followed by the expiration date of the notary public’s commission.
Note: A notary is responsible for the security of the stamping device used for his or her electronic notarial acts and must not allow any other person to use his or her stamping device (IC 33-42-10-3). The state notary statute dictates that an official electronic notarial certificate bearing a notarial officer’s electronic seal constitutes presumptive evidence of the facts stated in cases where, by law, the notarial officer is authorized to certify facts. Section 33-42-9-12[I] states that changes or corrections may never be made to the impression of an official seal.
Is a notary journal required in Indiana?
No. The Indiana notary statute does not require Indiana notaries public to record all their notarial acts in a journal. While a notary journal is not required by state notary statute, the Indiana Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries highly recommend that Indiana notaries record their official notarial acts in a journal in the event they need to recall the specifics of a particular notarization or they are legally challenged. The American Association of Notaries also recommends that Indiana notaries maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against allegations of fraudulent notarial acts and official misconduct. Indiana notaries may find that maintaining a notary journal can be an essential notarial tool for exercising reasonable care in the performance of their official acts. This record of notarial acts can protect a notary public in case of a lawsuit. For Indiana notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries 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 state notary statute (IC 33-42-14-1). A notary public may charge a maximum fee as shown below:
- Taking an acknowledgment-- $10
- Administering an affirmation or oath-- $10
- Attesting to or witnessing a signature-- $10
- Taking a verification on an oath or affirmation-- $10
- Attesting to or certifying a copy-- $10
- Performing a remote online notarization--$25
Note: If a fee is charged for a notarial act, the notary public must display, in advance, a list of the fees that the notary public will charge. Notarial acts that are performed as part of the notary’s employment or that do not require record keeping are subject to private agreement and are not governed by Section 33-42-14-1. A notary public may charge a reasonable fee for traveling to perform a notarial act. The travel fee requested may not exceed the federal travel fee established by the United States General Services Administration (IC 33-42-14-1[e]). Notaries should inform clients in advance of any service fees that may be charged above the $10.00 per notarization fee.
What notarial acts can an Indiana notary public perform?
An Indiana notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts with respect to either a tangible or an electronic record (IC 33-42-9-2-& 33-42-0.5-18):
- Taking an acknowledgment.
- Administering an oath or affirmation.
- Taking a verification on an oath or affirmation.
- Attesting or witnessing a signature.
- Attesting or certifying a copy of (a) a tangible document or record or (b) an electronic document or record.
- Noting a protest of a negotiable record.
- Any other act authorized by common law or the custom of merchants.
How do I update my address for my Indiana notary commission?
An Indiana notary public must notify the Secretary of State not later than thirty days after any change to the following information associated with the notary public (IC 33-42-12-3an):
- Mailing address.
- Personal electronic mail address.
- Personal telephone number.
- Employer’s address, name, and telephone number.
A notary public must report the change to the Secretary of State through the online service by selecting “License Update” from the following link: https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary#verticalTab1.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Indiana?
An Indiana notary public must notify the Secretary of State not later than thirty days after any change to the information associated with the notary (IC 33-42-12-3an). A notary public must file the following documents with the Indiana Secretary of State upon any change to the notary’s name on file with the Secretary of State’s office (IC 33-42-12-[b]):
- A rider or other record issued by the notary public’s surety reflecting the change of name.
- An example of the notary’s new, official signature.
- A filing fee of $8.67 to change the name and issue a notary commission with the new name.
For additional information for a notary name change, visit the Secretary of State website at https://inbiz.in.gov/certification/notary#verticalTab1.
Revised: September 2020
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 on 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 states if they have legal questions about how to perform notarial acts.
Indiana 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 (established 1900). Kal Tabbara is a licensed insurance agent in Indiana.