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CHANGE IN LAW AFFECTS INDIANA NOTARIES

Notaries are the largest group of public officials in the State of Indiana and a new law will impact how Indiana notaries are commissioned and how they perform their duties.  The new law went into effect July 1, 2018, and brings Indiana into closer alignment with other states’ notarial laws.

A notary public is an officer of the State of Indiana that performs official functions such as certification of documents, administration of oaths and taking affidavits and depositions.  The new law has six primary changes.

  1. Security will be improved both for notaries and those that rely on them.  The bond requirement for a notary is increased from $5,000 to $25,000 and the Indiana Secretary of State will now require proof of bonding.
     
  2. Previously, notaries were limited to charging $2.00 for their services, which often was not enough to even cover the cost of gas to their destination. Now, notaries may charge for their mileage at the federal mileage rate, plus $10.00 for their services.
     
  3. Notaries are no longer required to be an Indiana resident, so long as they are primarily employed in the state.  This will be particularly helpful to businesses in border counties who wish to have their employees become notaries, but have employees that live out of state.
     
  4. New educational requirements for notaries will consist of an expanded qualification test and a requirement for an educational course every two years during their eight year commission.
     
  5. Notaries are now required to upload a sample of their signature to keep on file with the Indiana Secretary of State in order to authenticate the notary’s signature, if necessary.
     
  6. Notary seals now must meet six specific requirements including the notary’s name, commission number and expiration date.

All current notaries will be grandfathered in for the remainder of their current commission.  However, when they seek renewal, they will need to comply with the new requirements.