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Indiana Notary Public Law Changes

Proactive changes to Indiana’s notary statutes will take effect July 1, 2018. These changes affect many aspects of the notary public law, including commission qualifications, notarial seal requirements and notary fees.

All notaries commissioned under existing law will be grandfathered in for the duration of their current commission. Existing commissions will not be revoked and notaries will not be required to make adjustments until their existing commission expires. The commission length for notaries in Indiana remains eight years.

Commissioning Process

Applicants will experience the following changes, effective July 1, 2018.

  • Residency Requirement
    Current law states that the applicant must be a resident of Indiana to hold a notary public commission. To accommodate those who live in a neighboring state, but who work in Indiana, the new law will require an applicant to either be a resident of Indiana or be primarily employed in Indiana.
  • Notary Public Bond
    Indiana Notaries are currently required to have an official bond the amount of $5,000. The new law will require each notary to have an “assurance” (such as a surety bond) and increases the bond amount to $25,000.Each applicant will be required to submit a copy of his or her assurance as a qualification for obtaining a commission. Remember, the notary bond is designed to protect the public against financial loss resulting from a notary’s misconduct. For personal protection, a notary must purchase Errors and Omissions insurance.
  • Notary Education
    Currently, an applicant is required to take a short test prior to receiving a notary commission. To help ensure all notaries understand their role and the changes to the law, effective July 1, 2018 all applicants will be required to take an educational course and successfully pass an exam, both administered by the Secretary of State. Each commissioned notary will be required to take a continuing education course every 2 years in an effort to help them better understand their duties and reduce errors.
  • Official Signature
    Under the new law, each applicant will be required to provide an electronic sample of his or her signature that the Secretary of State will retain on file.

Official Notarial Seal

Along with the additional elements required for the notarial seal, the new law establishes procedures for securing and disposing of a notarial seal. The official seal must include the following elements:

  • 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

Notary Fees

Currently, notaries are allowed to charge $2 per notarization.  Effective July 1, notaries may charge up to $10 per notarial act, plus a reasonable travel fee that does not exceed the federal travel fees established by the United States General Services Administration. If a notary charges a fee for a notarial act, the notary shall display, in advance, a list of the fees that the notary will charge.

To review the bill in its entirety, please click here.