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How to Become a Notary in Idaho


To become a notary in Idaho, you must:


  1. Meet the eligibility requirements listed in the next section.
  2. Read the Idaho notary laws to become familiar with their provisions.
  3. Obtain a notary bond in the amount of $10,000.
  4. Create and log in to your SOSbiz account on the Idaho Secretary of State’s website to access the notary public application.
  5. Complete the Notary Public Application form online, print it out, and have it notarized within thirty days.
  6. Mail the bond and notarized notary application form to the Idaho Secretary of State with the $30 filing fee within thirty days of printing the notary application.

Visit the Idaho Secretary of State’s website for more information on how to become a notary in Idaho.

Note:

  • Purchase an official inked notary stamp when you receive your notary commission certificate from the secretary of state.
  • Idaho government employees are exempt from having to pay the $30 filing fee if the notary commission will be used over the course of their employment. State employees must contact the Department of Admin for state employee instructions and then submit the required documents to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office.
  • Idaho notary applicants have the option to apply offline by completing a paper application and mailing it to the secretary of state. However, there is an additional $20 manual processing fee. Click here to download the notary application.

Who can become a notary public in Idaho?


To become a notary public in Idaho, a notary applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:    

  1. Be at least eighteen years old of age.
  2. Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
  3. Be a resident of or have a place of employment or place of practice in Idaho.
  4. Be able to read and write.
  5. Not be disqualified from receiving a commission pursuant to Idaho Code §51-123.

This Idaho notary guide will help you understand:


  1. Who can become a notary in Idaho.
  2. How to become a notary in Idaho.
  3. How to become an electronic notary in Idaho.
  4. How to become a remote online notary in Idaho.
  5. The basic duties of a notary in Idaho.

How do I renew my notary commission in Idaho?


You can renew your notary commission in Idaho as early as ninety days before your current notary commission expires. Notaries applying for reappointment must follow the same process and procedures as required for a new notary applicant. These include:

  1. Obtaining a $10,000 surety bond.
  2. Completing an online notary public application form, printing it, and having it notarized.
  3. Mailing the bond and notarized application to the Idaho Secretary of State with the $30 filing fee.

The Idaho Secretary of State does not send renewal reminders to notaries public.

Who appoints notaries in Idaho?


The Idaho Secretary of State appoints notaries public, receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains an electronic database of active notaries and electronic notaries.

Mailing address:
Idaho Secretary of State
Notary Public Division
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080

Physical address:
Idaho Secretary of State
Notary Public Division
450 N. 4th Street
Boise, ID 83702

Phone: (208) 334-2301
Website: https://sos.idaho.gov/notaries-apostilles-authentications/

Can a non-resident of Idaho apply for a commission as a notary public?


Yes. A non-resident applicant may apply to become an Idaho notary public if they:  

  1. Have a place of employment or practice in Idaho.
  2. Satisfy the same qualifications as Idaho residents, setting aside the state residency requirements.
  3. Follow the same appointment process and procedures as Idaho residents, including obtaining a $10,000 bond and paying a $30 filing fee.

How long is a notary public's commission term in Idaho?


The term of office for an Idaho notary public is six years.

Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Idaho?


No. The Idaho notary statute does not require applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public or renewing their notary public commissions to take a course of study or examination. However, pursuant to Section 51-122 of the Idaho Code beginning July 1, 2019, the Idaho Secretary of State is required to regularly offer a notary course of study to applicants who do not hold commissions as notaries public in Idaho. To satisfy this legal requirement, the Idaho Secretary of State’s website offers an online Idaho Notary Training Course for all new and renewing Idaho notaries public at no charge.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in Idaho?


The cost to become a notary in Idaho includes:

  1. A $30 filing fee for processing your notary application that you started online or a $50 fee if you would like to complete the application offline.
  2. The cost to notarize your notary application.
  3. The cost of a four-year, $10,000 surety bond.

Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:

  1. A notary stamp. Click here to view our notary stamp prices.
  2. A notary journal, which is recommended by the Idaho Secretary of State. Click here to view our notary journal prices.
  3. An errors and omissions insurance policy to protect yourself in the event you are sued for unintentional mistakes or a false claim is filed against you as a notary. (An E&O policy is optional.)

Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Idaho?


A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not required to become an Idaho notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Idaho notary obtain a notary errors and omissions insurance policy. This insurance protects you if a client sues you as a notary. A notary errors and omissions policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages up to the policy limit.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Idaho?


Yes. An assurance in the form of a surety bond or its functional equivalent in the amount of $10,000 is required for all new applicants seeking appointments as notaries public and for renewing notaries public. The assurance must be issued by one of the following:

  1. A surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in Idaho.
  2. The risk management office in the department of administration for the state of Idaho if the applicant is regularly employed by the state and the notary public commission is required in the scope of that employment.

The assurance must cover acts performed during the notary public’s commission term and must be in the form prescribed by the Idaho Secretary of State.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in Idaho?


The Idaho notary statute requires all Idaho notaries public to use an inked stamp to authenticate all their notarial acts. Section 51-117 and 51-118 of the Idaho Code provides the legal specifications regarding the layout and the information required on all official stamps.  

The official notary stamp may be a circular form not more than one and three-fourths inches in diameter or a rectangular form not more than two and one-fourth inches by one inch.

The official notary stamp must include the following information inside a serrated or milled-edge border:

  • The notary public’s name
  • The words “Notary Public”
  • The words “State of Idaho”
  • The notary’s state-issued commission number

Note:

  • The notary public’s name on the notary stamp must match the notary’s name as printed on the notary commission certificate.
  • A notary stamp may also include the words “my commission expires:” followed by the notary’s current commission expiration date.
  • No additional information or graphics (except what is allowed by law) may be included in the notary stamp impression.
  • An official notary stamp must make clear and legible impressions and is capable of being photographically reproduced. More information about a notary stamp can be found here.

The American Association of Notaries offers quality notary stamps and seals at savings of up to 40% or more compared to the cost of the same products elsewhere. Click here to order your Idaho notary stampcomplete notary package, and other notary supplies.

What are the steps to replace a lost or stolen Idaho notary seal?


If your notary stamp is lost or stolen, you must:

  1. Complete a Lost or Stolen Notary Stamping Device form.
  2. Obtain a replacement notary stamp.  The secretary of state recommends purchasing a notary stamp that contains a distinct difference from the original lost notary stamp. (For example: add or remove your notary commission expiration date or switch from a rectangular notary stamp to a round notary stamp).

How much can an Idaho notary public charge for performing notarial acts?


Idaho notary fees are set by Idaho Code §51-133. The maximum allowable fees that an Idaho notary public may charge for notarial acts are as follows:

  • Taking an acknowledgment: $5
  • Administering an oath or affirmation: $5
  • Taking a verification on oath or affirmation: $5
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature: $5
  • Certifying or attesting a copy: $5
  • Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument: $5

Note:

  • In addition to the notarial fee, a notary public may be compensated for actual and reasonable expenses of travel to a place where a notarial act is to be performed [I.C. §51-133(2)].
  • “An employer shall not require a notary public in his employment to surrender a fee, if charged, or any part thereof to the employer. An employer may, however, preclude such notary public from charging a fee for a notarial act performed in the scope of the notary public’s employment” [I.C. §51-133(3)].

Is a notary journal required in Idaho?


 Notary journal requirements for each type of notarization in Idaho:

  • Traditional Notarizations and Electronic Notarizations – Idaho notaries performing traditional notarizations and electronic notarizations are not required to maintain a notary journal; however, the Idaho Secretary of State strongly recommends notaries record all notarial acts performed. The notary journal can be either a permanent, bound paper journal designated to deter fraud or a permanent, tamper-evident electronic journal.
  • Remote Online Notarizations – A notary public performing remote online notarizations is not required to maintain a notary journal; however, the Idaho Secretary of State strongly recommends notaries maintain one or more journals in which the notary public chronicles all notarial acts performed with respect to remotely located individuals. A journal may be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format using an industry-standard data file format. If the journal is maintained on a tangible medium, it must be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages.

A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery or fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.

The American Association of Notaries offers notary journals in tangible and electronic formats.

Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.

Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.

What information must Idaho notaries record in their notary journals?


For Traditional Notarizations, Electronic Notarizations, and Remote Online Notarizations – The Idaho Secretary of State recommends notaries chronicle the following information in their notary journals:

  1. The date and time of the notarization.
  2. The type of notarial act.
  3. A description of the document (usually the document date and type).
  4. The type of identification used.
  5. The signature, printed name, and address of the person for whom the notarial act was performed (except for certified deposition transcripts or certified copies).
  6. The fee (if any) charged for the notarization.

The information that Idaho notaries keep in a journal should not violate the privacy rights of the signers. Specific information unique to the identity of the signer, such as license numbers, social security numbers, or birth dates should never be entered into the notary journal.

What steps should I take if my Idaho notary journal is lost or stolen?


Since notary journals in Idaho are optional, Idaho notary laws do not address this question. We recommend you contact the secretary of state and an appropriate law enforcement agency.

How long should I retain my Idaho notary journal?


The State of Idaho Notary Public Handbook states that it is the notary’s personal responsibility to maintain possession of all journals created during the entire time the notary holds an active commission. The best practice is to keep your notary journal indefinitely.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Idaho?


Idaho notaries are authorized to perform notarial acts while physically located anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Idaho.

What notarial acts can an Idaho notary public perform?


An Idaho notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts [IC §51-102(5)]:

  • Take an acknowledgment
  • Administer an oath or affirmation
  • Take a verification on oath or affirmation
  • Witness or attest a signature
  • Certify or attest a copy
  • Note a protest of a negotiable instrument

What type of notarizations are allowed in Idaho?


Idaho law allows the following three types of notarizations:

Traditional notarizations This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. Traditional notarization involves an individual signing a tangible document with an inked pen and a notary public signing and affixing an inked notary stamp impression to the tangible notarial certificate.

Electronic notarizations (eNotarizations) – This type of notarization requires the signer and the electronic notary (eNotary) to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. However, the notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary stamp, and an electronic notarial certificate.

Remote online notarizations (also known as RON and remote notarizations) The signer appears remotely before a remote online notary via communication technology. The notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary stamp, and an electronic notarial certificate.

What are the steps to become an electronic notary in Idaho?


To become an electronic notary in Idaho, you must:

  1. Be a commissioned Idaho notary public.
  2. Select a tamper-evident technology to use for electronic notarizations.
  3. Obtain an electronic signature and electronic notary stamp.
  4. File an “Addition of Electronic or Remote Online Notary” amendment to your account on sosbiz.idaho.gov or complete an Authorization for Electronic/Remote Online Notarization form.
  5. Have the form notarized.
  6. Submit the form and a sample of your electronic notary signature and electronic notary stamp with a $20 fee to the secretary of state. (NOTE: Filing paper forms will incur an additional $20 manual processing fee.)

Upon approval, the secretary of state will issue an authorization certificate.

For more information on becoming an electronic notary in Idaho, visit the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.

What are the steps to become a remote online notary in Idaho?


To become a remote online notary in Idaho, you must:

  1. Hold an Idaho notary public commission.
  2. Obtain communication technology to perform remote online notarizations, an electronic notary stamp, and an electronic signature.
  3. File an “Addition of Electronic or Remote Online Notary” amendment to your account on sosbiz.idaho.gov or complete an Authorization for Electronic/Remote Online Notarization form.
  4. Have the form notarized.
  5. Submit the form and a sample of your electronic notary signature and electronic notary stamp with a $20 fee to the secretary of state. (NOTE: Filing paper forms will incur an additional $20 manual processing fee.)

For more information on becoming a remote online notary in Idaho, visit the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.

How do I update my address on my Idaho notary commission?


If your physical residence address or mailing address changes during your term of office, you must notify the Idaho Secretary of State within thirty days of the change.

Two options to update your information:

  1. Online: File a Change of Mailing Address and/or Change of Name/Physical Address amendment to your account on sosbiz.idaho.gov.
  2. By Mail: Submit the following to the secretary of state:

How do I change my name on my notary commission in Idaho?


If your name changes during your term of office, you must notify the Idaho Secretary of State within thirty days of the change.

Two options to update your name:

  1. Online: File a Change of Name/Physical Address amendment to your account on sosbiz.idaho.gov.
  2. Mail: Submit the following to the secretary of state:

Once you receive your amended Certificate of Commission, obtain a new notary stamp showing your updated information.

Revised:


January 2024

Legal disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, 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.

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