Indiana Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $50 for an eight-year term
- Bond Amount: $25,000
- Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in Indiana
- Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
- Who Regulates Notaries Public in Indiana: The Indiana Secretary of State
Indiana Code 33-42-12-1 requires all notaries operating in the state to obtain a commission from the Secretary of State before performing notarial acts. The Indiana legislature enacted this requirement to ensure that notaries engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the commission requirement, notaries must purchase and maintain a $25,000 surety bond to be eligible for a commission.
What is the Purpose of the Indiana Notary Public Bond?
Indiana requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. The bond protects the public from financial harm if the notary fails to comply with the regulations outlined in Indiana Code 33-42-12-1. Specifically, the bond protects the public if the notary signs any documents for persons committing fraud or does not actually witness the signatures on documents being notarized. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the notary violates the terms of their commission.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Indiana Notary Public Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Indiana Notary Public bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Notary” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Gain access now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Indiana Notary Public Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Indiana Notary Public bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all notaries in the state regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Indiana Notary Public Bond Cost?
The Indiana Notary Public bond costs just $50 for an eight-year term.
Who is Required to Purchase the Indiana Notary Bond?
Indiana requires notaries public to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a notary commission. To paraphrase Indiana Code 33-42-0.5-18, a notary public is a public official authorized to provide the following services:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer and take verification of oaths and affirmations
- Witness signatures
- Certifying copies of tangible documents or electronic records
- Take proofs
- Note protests of negotiable records
Notaries who wish to become remote notaries public will not need to purchase an additional surety bond. A remote notary public is authorized to perform their duties electronically through audio/visual communication.
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in Indiana?
Notaries public in Indiana must navigate several steps to obtain a commission. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the state’s INBiz website and the Indiana Notary Public Guide for details on the process.
Commission Term: All Indiana Notary Public Commissions are valid for eight years from the date of issuance.
Step 1 – Meet the Qualifications
To be eligible to apply for a notary public commission, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
- Live or work in Indiana
- Not be disqualified under Indiana Code 33-42-13
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries public are required to purchase and maintain a $25,000 surety bond.
Step 3 – Obtain a Criminal History Record
Notaries must obtain an Indiana State Police Limited Criminal History Record no earlier than 30 days before submitting their application. Notaries can find their records online here and must pay a $16 fee to obtain the record.
Step 4 – Complete the Application
Notaries must submit their completed commission applications online here. To find the application, notaries must go to the certifications tab in their INBiz account and select “notary public commissions”. Notaries must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:
- Surety bond certificate and bond number
- Criminal History Record
- $75 application fee
- Proof of residence or proof of employment
- Signature sample matching the name on the application
Step 5 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries must complete a notary education course and pass an exam prior to obtaining a commission. To gain access to the course and exam, notaries must log in to their INBiz account where they will find links to the education courses and exam. Notaries can only take the exam after completing the education course and must pass the exam with at least an 80% score to receive their commission.
Step 6 – Receive the Commission and Order Supplies
After passing the exam, notaries will receive a certificate of appointment which will permit them to begin purchasing their notary supplies. Purchasing the notary seal and stamp will allow the notary to begin performing notarial acts. Notaries should visit the FAQs section of the INBiz website for details on the requirements for the notary seal.
Remote Notaries Public
Step 7 – Complete the Application
Commissioned notaries public who wish to become registered as remote notaries public will need to submit an online application through their INBiz account. Notaries must complete the application in its entirety and pay a $100 application fee. Applicants will also be required to select the technology vendor they plan to use when completing the application. Notaries can review approved vendors on the INBiz website under the “Remote Notary” tab.
Step 8 – Pass the Exam
Before receiving their remote online authorizations, notaries must complete an online education course and pass a remote notary exam. Both the course and exam can be found on the notary’s INBiz portal. After passing the exam, notaries will be authorized to perform their duties online and remotely.
How Do Indiana Notaries Public Renew Their Commissions?
Notaries can renew their commissions online through the INBiz portal. All Indiana Notary Public Commissions are valid for eight years from the date of issuance. Additionally, Notaries public are required to complete a continuing education course every two years to maintain their commission. There is a fee of $50 for each education course, and notaries are required to complete three over the course of their commission. Failing to complete these education courses will terminate the notaries’ commission.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Notaries Public in Indiana?
Indiana does not require notaries to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a commission. Notaries public must purchase and maintain a $25,000 surety bond.
How Do Indiana Notaries File Their Bonds?
Notaries public should file their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, online on their INBiz account. For more details on the process, notaries can contact the Business Services Division of the Secretary of State’s office.
The bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the notary. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name, address, and county
- Bond amount
- Acknowledgments of applicant and surety’s signature
What Can Indiana Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in Indiana must follow all state regulations, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not leave any notary supplies (seal and journal) in a place where they can be easily stolen
- Do not perform notary services for entities/individuals who are engaged in acts of fraud
- Ensure that the signers of documents are who they say they are and are not misrepresenting themselves
- Witness the signatures of all documents being notarized
- Record all transactions in a notary journal
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Notaries in Indiana?
Indiana does not require notaries to obtain any form of liability insurance. However, many notaries will consider obtaining errors and omission (E&O) insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue liability insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Indiana Notary Customers?
Indiana conveniently provides a public database of commissioned notaries operating in the state. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.
What Other States Require Notary Bonds?
29 states and the District of Columbia require notaries to obtain a Notary Bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a commission. Insurance agents should utilize our Main Notary Bond Page for a detailed analysis of the Notary Bond requirements nationwide.