How to Become an Idaho Notary
The Idaho Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming an Idaho notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Idaho notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Idaho appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Idaho is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements outlined below, you can apply to become an Idaho notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become an Idaho notary
- The process to become an Idaho notary
- Basic Idaho notary duties
What are the qualifications to become an Idaho notary?
To become an Idaho notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old of age
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
- Be a resident of or have a place of employment or place of practice in Idaho
- Be able to read and write
- Not be disqualified to receive a commission pursuant to Idaho Code §51-123
What is the process to become an Idaho notary?
To become an Idaho notary public and receive an Idaho notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Obtain a notary bond in the amount of $10,000.
- Create a user account and login on the Idaho SOSbiz to have access to a notary public application.
- Complete the Notary Public Application Form online, print it out, and have it notarized.
- Submit the bond and notarized notary application form to the Secretary of State with the $30.00 filing fee, which may be mailed or hand delivered.
- After receiving the Notary Certificate, purchase an official stamping device (notary seal).
- State employees whose filing fee is paid for by their department must arrange for an inter unit journal (IUJ) to be issued before submitting the documents to the Secretary of State’s office. For commissioning information, click here: https://sos.idaho.gov/notary/.
Note: Idaho State employees are exempt from having to pay the $30 application filing fee.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Idaho?
Yes. A nonresident may apply to become an Idaho notary public if the nonresident meets the following requirements:
- Have a place of employment or place of practice in Idaho.
- Satisfy the same qualifications as Idaho residents, setting aside the state residency requirements.
- Follow the same application for appointment as notary public process and procedures as Idaho residents, including obtaining a $10,000 bond and paying a $30 filing fee.
- Continuously maintain a place of employment or place of practice in Idaho.
- Relinquish the notary public commission if the nonresident ceases to be employed or have a place of practice in Idaho.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Idaho?
An Idaho notary applicant’s expenses may include the cost for the following: (1) a $30 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment; (2) a $10,000 surety bond; (3) a notary stamp; (4) a notary journal as recommended by the Idaho Secretary of State; and (5) an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to obtain one for his or her own personal protection against liability.
How do I renew my Idaho notary commission?
Idaho notaries public seeking to renew their traditional notary public commissions may apply for reappointment as notaries public no earlier than ninety days prior to the expiration of their notary commission terms. Notaries applying for reappointment as notaries public must follow the same process and procedures as required for a new application for appointment as a notary public. This includes: (1) completing an online notary public application form, printing it, and having it notarized; (2) obtaining a $10,000 surety bond; (3) submitting the bond and notarized application to the Secretary of State; and (4) submitting the $30 filing fee. The Idaho Secretary of State will not send out renewal reminders to notaries public. Notaries do not need to obtain a new rubber stamp seal if they already have one. For commissioning information, check the Secretary of State website at https://sos.idaho.gov/notary/instructions.html or click here.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become an Idaho notary public or to renew my Idaho notary public commission?
No. Neither new applicants seeking appointments as notaries public nor renewing notaries in Idaho are required to take and pass any notary courses or exams to be appointed and commissioned as Idaho notaries public. However, beginning July 1, 2019, the Idaho Secretary of State is required to offer regularly a course of study to applicants who do not hold commissions as notaries public in Idaho pursuant to Section 51-122 of the Idaho Code. To satisfy this legal requirement, the Secretary of State’s website offers an online “Idaho Notary Training Course” for all new and returning Idaho notaries public at no charge. This online notary training course includes six chapters, specific video study guides, and six optional quizzes on Idaho Notary requirements, processes, and procedures relating to notarial acts. To begin this online notary training course at no charge, go to the Secretary of State’s website at: https://sos.idaho.gov/notary-training/.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Idaho?
Yes. The Idaho Legislature enacted the “Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts,” which authorizes a traditional notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization (IC §51-120). Before a notary public performs the initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, a notary seeking to be an electronic notary public must: (1) notify the Secretary of State that the notary will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records; (2) be commissioned as a traditional notary public in Idaho; (3) register for authorization to perform electronic notarizations; (4) submit an Authorization for Electronic Notarization form to the Secretary of State for each technology the notary intends to use; (5) select one or more tamper-evident technologies that the notary intends to use to perform electronic notarizations; (6) submit a sample of the notary’s software’s Notarial Certificate, electronic notary stamp, and electronic signature; and (7) tender a payment of $20. Upon approval, the Secretary of State will issue an authorization certificate that specifies the technology that the notary selected to perform electronic notarizations.
Moreover, the Idaho notary statute requires the document signer to personally appear before the notary public and be physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and present the 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 notarization. All the same rules, standards, practices, and regulations that apply to a traditional paper notarization also apply to an electronically signed document including, but not limited to, the personal appearance of the document signer before the notary public. The notary’s electronic seal must reproduce the required elements of the notary’s official seal. A person may not require a notary public to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record with a technology that the notary public has not selected. To download the Authorization for Electronic Notarization form, or visit the Secretary of State’s website at: https://sos.idaho.gov/notary/instructions.html.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Idaho?
Yes. The Idaho 2019 Legislature enacted Senate Bill 1111 that amends the “Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts” by adding Section 51-114A to the Idaho Statutes relating to remote online notarizations with an effective date of January 1, 2020. Section 51-114A allows a notary public and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound using communication technology for the performance of a notarial act.
What is the process to become an Idaho online notary public?
Before a notary public performs his or her initial remote online notarization, the notary public must notify the Secretary of State that the notary will be performing notarial acts facilitated by communication technology and identify the technology. If the Secretary of State has established standards for approval of communication technology and identity proofing, the notary’s communication technology and identity proofing must conform to the adopted standards. The Secretary of State has not promulgated regulations through rulemaking to implement and conform to the statutory provisions of Senate Bill 1111.
When performing remote online notarizations using an approved communication technology, a notary public must:
- Be physically located within the boundaries of Idaho. The remotely located individual may be geographically located in any state or country but must be visually in the presence of the notary public through the use of an interactive two-way audio and video communication.
- Establish the identity of the remotely located individual using at least two different types of identity proofing.
- Reasonably confirm that a record before the notary public is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed a signature.
- Complete a notarial certificate for the remote online notarization using communication technology for a remotely located individual.
- Add the language in the notarial certificate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology for a remotely located individual.
- Use a short-form certificate for a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual that is sufficient if it complies with rules adopted by the Secretary of State or is in the form provided in IC §51-116 and contains a statement substantially as follows: “This notarial act involves the use of communication technology.”
- Make an audio-visual recording of the notarial act for a remotely located individual and retain the recording for a period of at least ten years after the recording is made.
- Take reasonable steps to ensure that the two-way video and audio communication used in the remote online notarization is secure from unauthorized interception.
- Attach the remote notary’s electronic signature and seal to the electronic certificate of an electronic document in a manner that is capable of independent verification and renders any subsequent change or modification to the electronic document evident.
Moreover, a notary public may perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual outside the United States if the record: (1) is to be filed with or relates to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or (b) involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involves a transaction substantially connected with the United States; and (c) the act of making the statement or signing the record is not prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Idaho?
The term of office for an Idaho notary public is six years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when a notary public is no longer a resident of Idaho; (5) when a nonresident notary no longer has a place of employment or place of practice in Idaho; (6) when a notary is no longer a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States; or (7) when a notary public becomes disqualified pursuant to Idaho Code §51-123.
Is an Idaho notary bond required 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: (1) a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in Idaho or (2) the state Bureau of Risk Management 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 term of the notary public’s commission and must be in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State. The surety or issuing entity must notify the Secretary of State of a payment made under a notary’s assurance no later than thirty days after issuing the payment to a claimant under the assurance. The surety or issuing entity must give thirty days’ notice to the Secretary of State before canceling the assurance.
Do I need an Idaho notary errors and omission insurance?
An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Idaho. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Idaho notaries 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 a client for which a notary public is sued for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage an Idaho notary selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Idaho?
An Idaho notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Idaho. Likewise, an Idaho notary may not perform notarial acts outside of Idaho.
Who appoints Idaho notaries public?
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.
Contact information for the Secretary of State:
Idaho Secretary of State
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080
Idaho Secretary of State
450 N. 4th Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 332-2849 or (208) 334-2300
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Idaho?
Yes. The Idaho notary statute requires all Idaho notaries public to use an inked stamp to authenticate all their notarial acts (IC §51-117). Section 51-117 of the Idaho Code provides the legal specifications regarding the layout and the information required on all official stamps.
Dimensions: The official stamp may be a circular form not more than 1.75 inches
in diameter, or a rectangular form not more than 2.25 inches by 1 inch in length. The official stamp must have a serrated or milled-edge border.
Required Elements: The official stamp must include the following elements:
- The notary public’s name
- The words “Notary Public”
- The words “State of Idaho”
- The notary’s state-issued commission number
If desired by the notary, the stamp may also include the words “my commission expires:” followed by the notary’s current commission expiration date.
Note: There can be no other information or graphics on the notary seal. Lastly, the official stamp must be clear and legible and capable of photographic reproduction. More information about a notary stamp can be found here.
Is a notary journal required in Idaho?
No. The Idaho notary statute does not require Idaho notaries public to record their notarial acts in a journal. However, the Secretary of State recommends Idaho notaries record their notarial acts in a journal for their protection from liability. The American Association of Notaries also encourages Idaho notaries to maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages designed to deter fraud. This will enable the notary to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed. Alternatively, the notary might choose to maintain a permanent, tamper-evident electronic journal as a protective measure against liability. For Idaho notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call (800) 721.2663, or click here.
How much can an Idaho notary charge for performing notarial acts?
Idaho notary fees are set by state notary statute (IC §51-133). The maximum allowable fees that an Idaho notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- 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 the notarial act is to be performed (IC §51-133). “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” (IC §51-133).
What notarial acts can an Idaho notary public perform?
An Idaho notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (IC §51-102):
- Taking an acknowledgment
- Administering an oath or affirmation
- Taking a verification on oath or affirmation
- Witnessing or attesting a signature
- Certifying or attesting a copy
- Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument
How do I update my address for my Idaho notary commission?
A notary public whose residence changes during his or her term of office must submit to the Secretary of State: (1) a written notice of such address change; (2) a completed “Notary Change Form”; and (3) a $5 filing fee for a physical address change. There is no charge for a mailing address change only. To download the form, click here: Notary Change Form or visit the Secretary of State’s website: https://sos.idaho.gov/NOTARY/forms/Notary_Change_Form.pdf.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Idaho?
A notary public whose name changes during his or her term of office is required to provide a written notice to the Secretary of State by completing the Notary Change Form to submit the new information and submit a $5 filing fee. The notary public will receive an amended Certificate of Commission, which is required to purchase a new notary stamp with the new name. To download the form, click here: Notary Change Form or visit the Secretary of State’s website: https://sos.idaho.gov/NOTARY/forms/Notary_Change_Form.pdf.
Revised: December 2019
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.
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.