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National Notary Blog

Idaho Frequently Asked Questions

Idaho Frequently Asked Questions

Are notaries licensed like other professionals?

No. Notaries are public officers and are appointed and commissioned by the Secretary of State for terms of six years. Each applicant must be at least 18 years old.

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

Please contact Notary Public Underwriters of Idaho.

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 commission. However, please allow up to 12 business days for any carrier delays.

Do you offer discounts for bulk orders? 

Yes. If you are considering purchasing a large quantity of product at once, please contact us for preferred pricing.

How do I pay for my order? 

At the moment, Notary Public Underwriters of Idaho accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. We also accept check and money orders by mail.

Am I able to track my order? 

You may track the progress of your order on your My Account page. We will show the status of your order from the time it is processed to the time it has shipped. At this time we do not offer tracking numbers for standard shipping.

May I pay extra for express delivery? 

Yes. Please contact our Customer Service department at 800.826.2936.

May I cancel or change my order? 

This will depend on how far down the process your order has gone. We try to get orders processed as soon as we can, so if your order is listed as “shipped” on your account page it is too late to edit or cancel. 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 contact 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.

Will you share my contact information with others? 

Absolutely not. For more information, please read our Privacy Policy.

Do you keep my information? 

We do save some of your information, such as your name, email, address and order number. We do NOT store your payment details. For more information, please read our Privacy Policy.

How secure is my payment? 

Security is Notary Public Underwriters of Idaho's highest priority. We use the most up-to-date security for the application and payment pages. In addition, we do not store any of your credit card information.

 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 notary bond is required? 

The Idaho notary bond is a $10,000 bond and is valid throughout your 6-year notary commission in the State of Idaho. In addition to the notary bond, it is also required that an Idaho notary obtain a state-approved notary seal and pay a $30 state filing fee. The notary bond, state filing fee, and a notarial seal are available in our basic notary package.

What type of notary seal is required? 

Idaho notaries must use a rubber stamp as the official seal. All of our rubber notary stamps meet the requirements set forth by the state of Idaho. Please visit our Stamps section to view the different styles and exciting colors available.

May I use a metal embosser seal? 

No. The Idaho official seal is a rubber stamp. Please visit our Stamps page to see the different styles and exciting colors available.

May I use the Great Seal of Idaho on my notary stamp? 

No. Notaries are prohibited from using the state seal.

What should I do if my seal is lost or stolen? 

If your seal is lost, stolen or in the possession of another person, you must notify the Secretary of State immediately. Send or deliver a written letter to the Secretary of State regarding the lost or stolen seal, including the last time you used or had your notary seal in your possession.

Do I have any liability as a notary? 

Yes. The public counts on notaries to perform their duties properly. By making an error on a notarization, you could cause someone to lose their property or be responsible for a multi-million dollar transaction being voided. As a result, a court could find you liable for the loss and enter a judgment against you. Most bond companies demand repayment if they pay a claim against you. In addition, whatever your bond does not pay, you would be liable for.

How do I limit my liability as a notary? 

Know and follow Idaho's notary laws, take responsibility for your own notary education, keep informed about law changes, never make any exceptions for anyone, use reasonable care and common sense in performing your duties, carry Errors & Omissions Insurance and keep a record book.

Am I required to keep a record of my notarial acts? 

No. Idaho law does not require notaries to keep a record book. However, the Governor’s Office recommends notaries keep a record of all official notarial acts in a journal or record book. Although not required, you should record at least the following information: the date of the notarial act, the type of act performed, the type of document, the name, address and signature of each person whose signature was notarized, and any special notes or comments about the notarization. Our Idaho notary public record book complies with the suggestions of the Governor’s Office for record keeping. Be sure to include this item on your order form with your application, contact us to order by telephone at (800) 826-2936 or order online through our supplies section.

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 must I do if I change my address? 

You must notify the Secretary of State in writing of any change in your residence or your business address or telephone number within 60 days of the change. You must enclose a $5 filing fee with your request. If your residence has not changed, but wish to change your mailing address only, please submit in writing and omit the $5 fee. Do not forget to contact Notary Public Underwriters of Idaho, so we can stay in touch with you.

Do I notify the state of a name change? 

Yes. Idaho law requires you to obtain an amended commission within 60 days of the change of your legal name. If Notary Public Underwriters is your bond agency, please request a name change application form. You may call us at (800) 826-2936 or email your request. Please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care Team with any questions.

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?

The main duties of Idaho notaries are to administer oaths and take acknowledgments. Notaries may also make attested photocopies of certain documents, verify vehicle identification numbers on official forms transferring title, and certify the contents of safe deposit boxes for nonpayment of rental fees.

How do I administer an oath for a document? 

Assuming the document is ready for notarization and the signer has been satisfactorily identified and is willing to sign the document, you administer the oath by asking a simple question, “Do you solemnly swear the information contained in this document is the truth, so help you God?” For an oath, you must witness the person signing the document.

What should I do if a signer objects due to religion? 

A legal alternative to an oath is an affirmation. Ask the question: “Do you solemnly affirm under the penalties of perjury the information contained in this document is the truth?”

How do I take an acknowledgement? 

Assuming the document is ready for notarization and the signer has been satisfactorily identified and is willing to sign the document, you take the signer’s acknowledgement by asking a simple question: “Do you acknowledge and declare this is your signature, you understand this document, and you willingly signed the document for the purposes stated herein?”

What are the steps for performing a notarization? 

Follow these general steps for every notarization you perform:

1. Require the personal appearance of the document signer. Never make an exception!
2. Examine the document to ensure it is complete and contains a properly formatted notarial certificate.
3. Identify the signer, either through your personal acquaintance of the individual or some type of satisfactory evidence, such as a valid driver’s license, passport or another form of acceptable identification listed in the notary law.
4. Enter the transaction into your record book. Although the law does not require it, the Governor’s Office recommends you keep an official record of all your notarial acts.
5. Perform the notarization ceremony. You must communicate verbally with the signer to perform the notarial act. The person usually signs the document at this point.
6. Complete the notarial certificate. Make sure the information is correct and complete. Do not forget to sign and seal the certificate.

What is the venue? 

"State of Idaho, 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 the signature of a blind person? 

Yes. But only if you first read the document to the person and you feel sure about the person’s understanding and willingness to sign.

May I notarize my own signature? 

No. Notarizing your own signature violates the requirement for impartiality. Violation of this prohibition is a felony crime.

Can I perform a notarization for a family member? 

Idaho law states you may NOT notarize your own signature. However, you are allowed to notarize for anyone (but the notary his/herself) as long as there is no conflict of interest.

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 the transaction could be deemed unlawful or unenforceable.

May I assist a client with legal documents? 

No, not unless you are an attorney licensed to practice law in Idaho. 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 help a friend fill out immigration papers? 

No. Only attorneys or qualified immigration specialists may perform these duties.

Can I notarize a photograph? 

No. This is not an authorized duty of a notary. An alternative would be to notarize the signature of a person who is willing to certify the authenticity of the photograph in a sworn statement.

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 agains 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 notaries 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 improperly notarized document
Proof of error or fraud by notary
Letter stating amount of financial damage or loss caused by the notarization
Please send the above information to:

Claims Department
Notary Public Underwriters of Idaho
P.O. Box 16387
Boise, ID 83715-6387

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 the status of a claim? 

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

 Can I apply online to become an Idaho notary? 
Yes! Notary Public Underwriters takes the difficulty out of the application process by providing you with the necessary forms on our website. All you need to do is go to the Become a Notary page and follow the instructions.

We provide a customizable package where you can select the best stamp for your needs. We also have an array of Notary Accessories for you to choose from. 

When you have printed your completed application, simply sign it and mail it to us:

Notary Public Underwriters
P.O. Box 16387
Boise, ID 83715-6387

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1.800.826.2936.

How do I renew my Idaho notary commission? 

Notary Public Underwriters makes the renewal process as easy as possible. Simply go to our Renew Commission page and follow the instructions to renewing your commission.

We provide you with customizable packages to select the perfect seals and accessories to keep your Notary Business organized. Don't forget to check out our Errors & Omissions Insurance options available to keep you covered. 

Once you have printed and signed your completed notary forms, please mail to:

Notary Public Underwriters
P.O. Box 16387
Boise, ID 83715-6387

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1.800.826.2936.

How do I take the Idaho Oath of Office?  

The Oath of Office is printed on the application form for Idaho notaries. You take the Oath by signing under the penalties of perjury.

How long does the Idaho notary application process take? 

Please allow at least 2 weeks for processing for all Idaho notary applications.

May I be an Idaho notary if I live in another state? 

You must live or work in Idaho to be appointed as a notary public.

Can I be an Idaho notary if I have a criminal record? 

You may become an Idaho notary if you have not been convicted of a serious crime within 10 years of the date applying or if you have not had a notary commission revoked for misconduct.

When should I renew my Idaho notary commission? 
To allow enough time to process your renewal application, we suggest that you send the application at least 3 months before your expiration date.

Does the Idaho application and bond require notarization? 
The Idaho notary public application requires a notary signature; the bond does not.

What is the age requirement to become an Idaho notary? 
In Idaho, you must be at least 18 years of age to be appointed as a notary public.