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What is a notary?
Transcript of What is a notary?
Applying to Become a Notary in Indiana
Applicant must complete a course of education
Applications must be submitted
Applicant must submit a sample of signature
Applicant must pay application and commission fees
After you receieve your commission certificate from the Secretary of State's office, you may begin notarizing documents
A notary’s commission is valid for 8 years.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Notary Public
Serve as an independent public official in verifying the identity of individuals and the actions of those individuals in signing documents or making sworn statements
It is not necessary for you to know the contents of the document you are notarizing
A notary certificate must include a signature, a seal and the notary's printed name exactly as it appears on the notary's commission
When attesting to or witnessing a signature, a notary public shall determine that the signer is signing the document voluntarily, that the signer is competent to sign the document and identifies the signer.
An attestation must include: the notary public's signature exactly how it appears on the commission, the notary public's name printed or typed and the notary public's stamp or seal.
Read the certificate carefully
If it says "subscribed and sworn," administer an oath or affirmation and witness the signature
"County" is where the notarization took place
The notary is entered in the first blank and the signer's name goes in the second blank
Fill in all of the blanks - draw a line to fill extra space
Recall that the certificate must identify the signer
Affix the notary signature and stamp properly
Qualifications to become a notary
18 years old
Either a full-time, permanent resident of the State of Indiana or primarily employed in the State of Indiana
Possesses an Indiana ID
Obtain a $25,000 corporate surety bond. A bond company can recover money from the notary for any claim it pays on the notary public's behalf
A notarial officer may perform the following:
- Taking an acknowledgement
- Administering an oath or affirmation
- Taking a verification on an oath or affirmation
- Attesting or witnessing a signature
- Attesting or certifying a copy
- Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument
Indiana Secretary of State: Notary Education Course
This course will prepare you for the notary exam. It is essential you review this information carefully. You will not know whether you pass the test until after your application is submitted. So, please ensure you understand the following information before attempting the notary exam.
All notary application fees are non-refundable.
- The words "Notary Public"
- The words "State of Indiana"
- The word "seal"
- The name of the notary
- The commission number
- The words "my commission expires" followed
by the expiration date of the notary public's commission
- The seal must be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is associated
Notaries have the authority to perform notarial acts anywhere in the state and nowhere outside the state.
An Indiana notary can notarize documents that came from outside the state of Indiana.
Conflicts of Interest
A notary may not perform a notarial act for oneself, one's spouse or any party that may benefit any of these described persons.
A notary should never authenticate the signatures of a husband and wife if the notary did not witness or otherwise affirm, that each spouse actually signed the document.
The person signing the document must physically be in your presence for the notarization to be valid.
There are 3 possible ways for a notary to verify the identity of a signer: ID documents, personal knowledge or credible witness.
The following types of identification documents may be used to ID a client, as long as they are current and or not expired for more than 3 years:
- A driver's license or ID card issued by any state
- A U.S. passport or an officially recognized passport from a foreign country
- A U.S. military identification card
- An ID card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe
- At least one current document issued by the federal government or a state, country or other local government which contains the person's photograph
Indiana does not require notaries to maintain a journal of their notarial acts.
The Secretary of State recommends that all acts be recorded in a journal.
The journal can prevent a notary from being named in a lawsuit and may be admitted as evidence in court.
Employer of a notary
If an employee notary leaves employment or is terminated, the notary’s commission remains valid and the notary stamp/seal belongs to the notary.
A notary public may charge, $10 per signature, within the same document. For example, a notary public may charge $20 for a minor consent to travel, where both the mother and father’s identities were verified by the notary and in which both sign the document.
One of the most common mistakes made by notaries public is failing to sign the document using the name exactly as it appears on the notary’s commission.
Another common mistake is the notary public not requiring the signer to personally appear before him or her.
Notarizing in Special Circumstances
If a signer is physically unable to sign a document, the signer may direct another person to sign the document on his or her behalf.
A valid signature may be an “x” or other mark.
Example of a certificate for witnessing a signature
"On this 11th day of August, 2017, personally appeared Sam Smith who, being personally known to me who proved upon satisfactory evidence or on the testimony of a credible witness to be the person who is named in the above instrument, did knowingly and of his or her own free will sign and execute the same in my presence as his/her own signature for the purposes intended.”
Example of A Complete and Correct Notarization
You've completed the Indiana
SOS notary education course.
You may now apply to become
a notary public.
This course of education is NOT the
Indiana notary examination.
This course is designed to help you pass
the Indiana notary examination, which
can be found within the online notary
https://inbiz.in.gov/BOS/Certification/NotaryAgreement. Failing to review this
information may result in failing the
Indiana notary examination and denied a
notary public application. Notary public
application fees are non-refundable.”