You can add Indiana to the states lined up to update their notary laws soon, as Indiana has approved changes to take effect in 2018. The changes will bring Indiana closer to the rest of the nation in regards to notarial law.
Of course, we’ll see tighter testing requirements for notaries, as we are seeing across the country, as well as changes to reflect traveling and other common notary issues.
Indiana did previously have testing for new notaries, but the test was not very substantial, and allowed potential notaries multiple guesses to get questions correct. That is going away and will be replaced by a new, more comprehensive test for prospective notaries. Current notaries will need to re-take the test every two years, as well.
A big update is being made to reflect the fact that notaries are traveling more and more to provide services. Previous law only allowed a notary to charge up to $2 to travel to a signing, even though many, if not most, signings required more than $2 worth of gas to travel to.
Seriously, two dollars!
Fortunately, the new law allows for notaries to charge for travel expenses at the federal mileage rate. It also raises the amount notaries are allowed to charge for their services.
Another issue being addressed is who can become a notary public in Indiana. Current law states that you must be a resident of the state. The new law states that you only need to work in the state to become a notary. We have also seen this issue recently in North Carolina.
It is common practice for many businesses to have someone in the office commissioned as a notary. This has been a problem in border areas of the state. Many of these businesses employ individuals who live out of the state. These employees were automatically disqualified from being an Indiana notary due to their residence. To eliminate this inconvenience, Indiana will allow individuals primarily employed in the state of Indiana to become Indiana notaries.— Eagle Country Online
Another issue that will affect notaries directly are bond requirements. Currently, a notary has to hold a $5,000 bond, which will be raised to $25,000. For current notaries, though, there will be no change until the end of their commission. Their current bond will be grandfathered in until their current commission expires, and won’t change to $25,000 until then.
Laws affecting notaries are changing all over the country now, to reflect the changing times we live in, and to protect notaries and their clients. Expect to see more states update their laws in the coming months and years.
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