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Indiana Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the most commonly asked questions by our Indiana customers. If your question is not listed, feel free to contact us for an answer.


What is a notary?

A notary public is a public official appointed by the state to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing various official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. In Indiana, notaries are appointed by the Governor and commissioned by the Secretary of State.

What is the purpose of a notary public?

A notary public is a person of integrity who is appointed to act as an impartial witness to the signing of an important transaction and to perform a notarial act, which validates the transaction. A notary’s primary purpose is to prevent fraud and forgery by requiring the personal presence of the signer and satisfactorily identifying the signer.

What is a notary bond?

The notary bond is a type of surety bond issued by an approved surety company to protect the public against any wrongdoing on the part of the notary. The surety company guarantees to the public that you, as a notary public, will perform your duties in accordance with the law, and if you do not, the company will pay any damages caused by the incorrect notarization up to the amount of the bond.

What amount of bond is required in Indiana?

The law requires the notary bond to be in the amount of $25,000.

Do I have any liability as a notary, and can how I limit it?

Yes, as a notary, you are liable for performing your duties accurately. Mistakes can lead to significant consequences, such as someone losing their property or a multimillion-dollar transaction being voided. If this happens, a court might hold you responsible for the loss and issue a judgment against you. Most bond companies require reimbursement if they pay a claim on your behalf, and you would be liable for any amount not covered by your bond.

To limit your liability:

  • Know and follow Indiana's notary laws.
  • Take responsibility for your own notary education.
  • Stay informed about changes in the law.
  • Never make exceptions for anyone.
  • Use reasonable care and common sense in performing your duties.
  • Carry errors and omissions insurance.
  • Keep a record book.

I'm already a notary, how can I obtain an E&O policy?

Even though you didn't get E&O insurance when you became a notary or renew your commission, you can still get coverage now. We offer prorated E&O policies, which means you can pay for the remaining time you have left on your commission. Just head over to the 'Insurance' tab to browse options and find the policy that best suits your needs.

Here's an example: Let's say you renewed your commission today without E&O insurance. A year later, you decide you would be more comfortable with insurance and want a $25,000 policy. In this case, you would be purchasing a policy for the remaining three years of your commission. Thus, the policy would be prorated.

Note: A renewing notary is not eligible for a prorated policy at the time of their renewal, simply because they are purchasing a full E&O policy to cover them for their entire four-year term.

Am I required to keep a record of my notarial acts (notary journal)?

Indiana notaries are not legally required to keep a record book with details of each notarial act performed, but the Secretary of State's Office strongly advises it. A record book (journal) can help you recall past notarial acts if you need to testify in court, and can serve as evidence that you followed proper procedures.

Why should I keep a record book?

Record books are an inexpensive way to keep a record of every notarization you perform. There are several advantages, including:

- A record book can serve as a reminder of the steps of notarization.
- A record book may protect you against a claim of negligence or impropriety.
- A record book may help prove you notarized a document when there is a question about your signature or when the notarial certificate is destroyed or marred in some way.
- A record book can refresh your memory about a notarization you do not recall.
- A record book is reliable as evidence in court if you have to testify about a notarization.
- A record book not only protects you, but may also protect your customer and your employer.

What are the requirements to become a notary in Indiana?

In order to qualify to become a notary, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Either a resident of the state of Indiana or primarily employed in Indiana

What disqualifies you from becoming a notary in Indiana?

There are a few things that can prevent you from becoming a notary in Indiana. They are:

  • Have a conviction or civil ruling involving deceit, dishonesty or fraud
  • Have a conviction where the sentence imposed exceeded six (6) months

Can a non-resident become a notary in Indiana?

Yes, if they are primarily employed in Indiana.

How do I obtain a notary bond in Indiana?

Visit our website and select either 'Become a Notary' or 'Renew Your Notary.' Select one of our notary packages, enter your information, and customize your package. Upon checkout, you will receive the notary bond and instructions for completing the process. 

How long does a notary commission last in Indiana?

8 years.

How do I pay for my order?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards. We also accept check and money orders by mail.

When can I expect to receive my purchase?

Generally, you can expect your purchase to arrive within 5 to 7 business days after we receive notification of your appointment. However, please allow up to 12 business days for any carrier delays.

What should I do if my order has not shown up on time?

Please contact Notary Public Underwriters.

May I cancel or change my order?

This will depend on how far along your order is in the process. Orders are processed as quickly as possible; therefore, once your order has been marked as "shipped" on your account page, it is too late to modify or cancel the order. If you think you have made a mistake with your order, please contact customer service. We will see if there is something we can do to help.

Can I get a refund? 

Please our Customer Care Team if you are not happy with your order. Once we know what the problem is, we will let you know how we can help.

 Do I need a notary seal in Indiana?

Yes. The law allows the use of either a rubber stamp or an embosser as your notary seal. At a minimum, the seal must contain the following information:

  • The words: "Notary Public"
  • The words: "State of Indiana"
  • The word "seal" (Effective July 1, 2024, the word "seal" is no longer required)
  • 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 Public Underwriters offers either seal in several styles, all of which comply with Indiana law.

Where can I find my Commission Number? 

This information can be found on your commission certificate. Alternately, visit the Secretary of State's Indiana Notary Search, select Notary Public under Professional, and enter your name and address information. Your information should populate. 

 What should I do if my notary seal is stolen?

Report the incident to the police, and then report the fact to the Secretary of State's Business Services Division.

Do I notify the state of a change to my name or address? 

Yes. Visit the Indiana Secretary of State's website to update your commission information. If you are bonded through Notary Public Underwriters, please let us know of any changes so we may keep in touch with you and don’t forget to order your new notary stamp if you need one!

What does it mean to “notarize a signature”? 

“Notarize a signature” is a generic phrase used when administering an oath or taking an acknowledgment, the two most common notarial acts.

What notarial acts am I authorized to perform? 

Under Indiana law, notaries are allowed to:

  • Take acknowledgments and proofs
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take verifications on oaths and affirmations
  • Attest to or witness signatures
  • Attest to or certify a copy of a document or record (tangible and electronic)
  • Noting a protest
  • Any other act authorized by common law or the customer of merchants

What is the venue? 

“State of Indiana, County of _____”

This notation is called the venue. It is the location of the notarization – not the county where you live or work. 

May I notarize my own signature? 

No. Notarizing your own signature violates Indiana Code 33-42-13-3.

May I perform a notarization when I am a party? 

No. If you are a party to the transaction or if you have a financial interest in the transaction, you may NOT be the notary for this transaction. You would not be impartial, and would violate Indiana Code 33-42-13-3.

Can I perform a notarization for a family member?

A notary may not notarize their spouse's signature. The law does not address any other family members. However, it is best practice not to notarize for any family members as you would compromise your role as an impartial witness and may jeopardize the validity of an important transaction.

May I assist a client with legal documents? 

No, not unless you are an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana. Furthermore, you may not explain the contents of a document or give any advice about the document. If you do, you may be found guilty of the unauthorized practice of law.

May I choose a notarial certificate to go on a document?

No, you do not have the legal rights to do so. If done, this could be considered unauthorized practice of law.

May I help a friend draft a legal document? 

No. Only attorneys may prepare legal documents..

Can I notarize a photograph? 

No. This is not an authorized duty of a notary. An alternative would be to notarize a statement about  the photograph.

What happens if a notarization has cost me money? 

You may file a claim against the notary's bond.

How do I file a claim against a notary's bond? 

A bond is required by the State to be available in order to compensate any individual harmed as a result of a breach of duty by the notary. Individuals harmed can file a claim against the notary's bond for financial damage.

Claims may occur due to signatures which are forged, incomplete, or otherwise defective in real estate transactions, motor vehicle transfers, and cases where the validity or date of a document may be an issue.

In order to file a claim against a notary bonded through our company, you will need to submit the following:

  • Copy of the improperly notarized document
  • Proof of error or fraud by notary
  • Letter stating the amount of financial damage or loss caused by the notarization

Please send the above information to:

Claims Department
Notary Public Underwriters
P.O. Box 7457
Tallahassee, FL 32314-7457

Or fax to:
Attn: Claims Department

For all questions regarding the status of your filed claim, please contact CNA Surety at 800.331.6053.

Who do I contact to check on the status of a claim?

For all questions regarding the status of your filed claim, please contact CNA Surety at 800.331.6053.



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