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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s largest body of public officials is undergoing a number of changes to longstanding regulations.

Indiana notaries public can now discharge their duties remotely, and new rules for continuing education will soon take effect.

One major change introduced this year was the debut of remote notarization, which took effect March 31. In a remote notary situation, signers appear before the remote notary public by two-way audio/visual communication. This communication must be on a pre-approved platform, and the notarization and signatures are captured electronically.

For this change, the Business Services Division fast-tracked the adoption of the rules, and the office started accepting applications for remote notary authorization three months earlier than planned. This authorized Indiana notaries to perform remote notarizations at an essential time, due to stay at home orders and social distancing protocols stemming from COVID-19.

Only active notaries can become remote notaries, and only after an application has been accepted (in addition to the general requirements for notaries). Remote notaries must work through state-approved technology vendors.

Starting July 1, all notaries will be required to take a continuing education course every two years during their eight-year commission. All notaries are required to participate, and if a notary fails to complete their continuing education requirements by the deadline, their commission will be terminated.

“With the changes made over the past few months, we have taken huge steps to balance technological innovation with notarial integrity,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson. “I am excited by the introduction of remote notarization in our state and want to extend a special thanks to the Business Services Division team for their hard work on this issue.”