How to Become an Indiana Notary
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 notary 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 (18) 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 Section 2 of this chapter (IC 33-42-12-1[b]).
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.
- Take a notary education course before applying for a commission.
- Obtain an assurance (surety bond) in the amount of $25,000.
- Complete an application that is only accepted by electronic submission available through this website. (The application process requires passing an examination.)
- Submit an electronic signature sample to the Secretary of State.
- Pay a nonrefundable processing fee of $18.87.
- Execute an oath of office.
- Submit an electronic copy of the assurance not later than thirty days after the effective date.
Note: The Secretary of State offers a free education course; however, the applicant can select an education course from a vendor. All applicants must have an Indiana driver’s license, Indiana non-driver identification card, or other acceptable form of identification to prove Indiana residence or possess proof of employment in the State of Indiana (Indiana Notary Public Guide).
Can a non-resident become a notary in Indiana?
Yes. A nonresident may apply to become an Indiana notary public if the nonresident meets all the following requirements (IC 33-42-12-1[b]):
- Be a nonresident who is primarily employed in Indiana.
- Satisfy the same qualifications as Indiana residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Conform to the same application for appointment procedures as Indiana residents, including completing a course of education and passing a test.
- Continuously maintain his or her employment in Indiana.
- Relinquish his or her notary commission if he or she ceases to be primarily employed in Indiana.
Note: Nonresident employees seeking a notary public commission will be required to verify that they: (a) meet the minimum age; (b) are employed in Indiana; (c) have a clear criminal history; and (d) meet the bond requirements.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Indiana?
A notary applicant’s expenses may include the cost for the following: (1) an $18.87 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment; (2) a $25,000 surety bond; (3) a notary stamp; (4) a notary journal as recommended by the Indiana 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 Indiana notary commission?
Indiana notaries seeking to renew their traditional 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: (1) completing a course of education; (2) passing an examination; (3) obtaining a $25,000 surety bond; and (4) submitting an online application for reappointment as a notary public with the Secretary of State (IC 33-42-12-2). The renewal online application must be received by the Secretary of State no later than the expiration date of the notary's current commission. Applications are only accepted by electronic submission at this website or at the following web page: https://mylicense.in.gov/eGov.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become an Indiana notary public or to renew my Indiana notary public commission?
Yes. A new applicant seeking a commission as an Indiana notary public, including a notary public reapplying for a subsequent commission, is required to: (1) complete an education course and (2) pass an examination administered by the Secretary of State (IC 33-42-12-2an). As part of the application process, the Secretary of State offers a free education course at: https://prezi.com/wwgmjkyyitq8/what-is-a-notary/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy; however, the applicants may select an education course from a vendor. After concluding the education course, the applicant must pass a thirty-question examination consisting of multiple choice and true/false questions. The applicant must get 24 questions correct or 80% to pass. Moreover, all notaries are required to complete a continuing education course every two years to maintain their notary public commissions (IC 33-42-12-2[b]). This continuing notary educational course will be offered on the Secretary of State’s website and will take less than two hours to complete. The Secretary of State will be sending out reminders to Indiana notaries public as this legal requirement becomes due. Failure to complete the education requirement will result in administrative action against the notary public, which may include the revocation of the notary’s commission.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Indiana?
Yes. The Indiana Legislature enacted the “Uniform Electronic Transaction Act” (IC 26-2-8), which authorizes a traditional notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic documents in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization. First and foremost, the Indiana notary statute requires that the document signer physically appear before the notary public at the time of the electronic notarization. This means the signer(s) and the notary are physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials to each other without reliance on an electronic device such as a telephone, computer, video camera, or facsimile machine at the time of the performance of the electronic 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 before the notary public. The notary’s electronic seal must reproduce the required elements of the notary’s official seal.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Indiana?
Yes. The Indiana Legislature enacted Senate Bill 372 comprising of the remote online notarization provisions with an effective date of July 1, 2019. However, the enacted House Bill 1487 extended 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). 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, which includes credential analysis and identity proofing. Before a notary public performs his or her initial remote notarial act, the notary must apply to the Secretary of State for a remote notary public commission.
What is the process to become an Indiana online notary public?
Before performing a remote notarization, an applicant must: (1) first be commissioned as an Indiana notary public; (2) submit an online application to perform remote notarial acts on the Secretary of State web page; (3) pass a remote notarial act examination administered by the Secretary of State; (4) be able to competently (a) operate audiovisual communication technology and (b) use identity proofing and credential analysis technology; (5) pay a registration fee; (6) select an audiovisual communication technology approved by the Secretary of State’s rules; and (7) provide the Secretary of State’s office with the communication technology that the remote notary will use to perform remote notarizations. The Secretary of State’s office is working on writing administrative rules for remote notaries who will be performing remote online notarial acts. A remote notary public commission is effective as of the date of qualification, runs concurrently with the traditional notary public commission, and will expire on the same date as the corresponding traditional notary commission.
When performing remote online notarial acts using an approved communication technology, a remote notary public must:
- Be physically located within the boundaries of Indiana, even though the principal may be geographically located in any state or country and be visually in the presence of the remote notary through the use of an interactive two-way audio and video communication.
- Establish the principal’s identity using an approved real-time, two-way, visual and auditory communication technology that includes identity proofing and credential analysis.
- Inform the participating parties that the remote notarial act will be captured by an audiovisual recording.
- Include in the audiovisual recording a recitation of how the identity of the principal was authenticated.
- Include in the audiovisual recording recitation a confirmation by the principal that the principal’s electronic signature is freely and voluntarily issued.
- Complete an electronic notarial certificate for each remote online notarial act.
- Include the language in the electronic notarial certificate that the notarization was a remote notarial act performed using audiovisual communication technology.
- Record the remote notarization in a secure electronic journal.
- Make a recording and backup of the audio-visual conference that is the basis for satisfactory evidence of identity used for the remote notarization.
- Take reasonable steps to ensure that the two-way video and audio communication used in the remote notarization is secure from unauthorized interception.
- Take reasonable steps to ensure that any registered device used to create an electronic signature is current and has not been revoked or terminated by the device’s issuing or registering authority.
- 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.
- The maximum fee the online notary may charge for the remote notarial act is $25 (IC 33-42-17-9an).
A remote notary may perform a remote notarial act using audiovisual communication technology for a principal that is present outside the United States if: (1) the requested remote notarial act is not prohibited in the jurisdiction where the principal is present at the time of the remote notarial act; and (2) the remote notarial act concerns a matter that (a) is before a court, a governmental entity, or another entity; (b) concerns a property located in the United States or its territories; or (c) relates to a transaction substantially connected to a territory or jurisdiction of the United States. Regardless of the physical location of the principal at the time of the notarial act, the validity of a remote notarial act performed by an Indiana remote notary public must be determined under Indiana laws (IC 33-42-17-3[i]).
Indiana notary law requires a remote notary who performs remote notarial acts to access the information contained in the electronic journal using a password or other secure means of authentication. A remote notary’s must be able to print or produce a tangible record of any entry logged in the notary’s electronic journal (IC 33-42-17-8[d]). A remote notary may charge a reasonable fee to recover expenses related to the copying of electronic journal entries or audiovisual recordings of remote notarial acts (IC 33-42-17-9[b]). Moreover, the liability, sanctions, and remedies for the improper performance of remote notarizations are the same under the law for the improper performance of a notarial act performed by a traditional notary public.
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: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when a notary public is no longer a citizen or resident of Indiana; (5) when a nonresident notary is no longer primarily employed in Indiana; (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 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 its functional equivalent in the amount of $25,000 is required for renewing notaries and all new applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public. The assurance must be issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in Indiana and cover a notary public’s acts or omissions during the course of his or her eight-year commission term (IC 33-42-12-1). 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 (30) 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]). 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?
An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Indiana. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Indiana 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 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 may not perform notarial acts outside of Indiana.
Who appoints Indiana notaries public?
“The Governor may appoint notaries public if the public interest would be promoted by the appointment” (IC 33-42-9-1an). However, the Indiana Secretary of States 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 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’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 contain at the minimum the following information:
- 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 words “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.
Is a notary journal required in Indiana?
No. The Indiana notary statute does not require Indiana notaries public to record the notarial acts they perform in a journal. The Secretary of State’s office strongly recommends that all notarial acts be recorded in a notary journal in order to protect the notary public from liability. While a journal is not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries also encourages Indiana notaries to 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 maintaining a journal of notarial acts to be a beneficial tool for their own notarial standards and practices in the performance of their notarial duties. 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). The maximum allowable fees that an Indiana notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed 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 remote online notarization--$25
Note: A notary public must display, in advance, a list of the fees that a notary public will charge. Notarial acts that are performed as part of the notary’s employment or do not require record keeping are subject to private agreement and are not governed by this section (IC 33-42-14-1[d]). 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 33-42-1[e]).
What notarial acts can an Indiana notary public perform?
An Indiana notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (IC 33-42-9-1[b] & 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
- Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument
- Any additional act authorized by common law or the custom of merchants
How do I update my address with the Indiana Secretary of State?
An Indiana notary public must notify the Secretary of State not later than thirty (30) days after any change to the following information associated with the notary (IC 33-42-12-3an): (1) name; (2) residential address; (3) personal electronic mail address; (4) personal telephone number; and (5) employer’s address, name, telephone number. A notary public must report the change to the Secretary of State through their online service by selecting “License Update” from the following link: https://mylicense.in.gov/eGov.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Indiana?
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: (1) A rider or other record issued by the notary’s surety reflecting the change of name; (2) an example of the notary’s new, official signature; and (3) a filing fee of $8.67 to change the name and issue a notary commission with the new name (IC 33-42-12-[b]). Notaries who wish to update their information, or who wish to terminate their commissions, can do so through the online service by selecting “License Update” from the following link: https://mylicense.in.gov/eGov.
Revised: November 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 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, 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.