How to Become a Texas Notary:
To become a Texas notary public
, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a resident of the State of Texas
- Must not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude that has become final, which has not been set aside, or for which no pardon or certificate of restoration of citizenship rights have been granted
In order to receive a Texas notary public commission, a person must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements
- Properly complete and submit a notary application form to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $21, along with a $10,000 bond, if required. Provide an email address on the application to receive an electronic return of the notary commission.
Non-Resident Texas Notary:
Permitted. A non-resident Texas licensed escrow officer who resides in states adjacent to Texas may apply to be commissioned as a Texas notary public. A non-resident Texas licensed escrow officer must be at least 18 years old and meet the criminal history requirements. If the non-resident notary public is no longer a licensed Texas escrow officer, the notary must surrender his or her notary public commission to the Secretary of State. Escrow officers residing in an adjacent state should complete Form 2301-E.
Texas Notary Bond:
A bond in the amount of $10,000 is required for new and renewing notaries public. Notaries employed by state agencies are not required to obtain surety bonds; however, they must obtain verification of employment from the State Office of Risk Management prior to submitting their notary applications. If the notary public ceases to be employed by a state agency, the no-bond notary must either surrender his or her notary public commission to the Secretary of State or obtain a bond for the remainder of the commission term. For Texas notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.texasnotary.com
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Texas notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance. To purchase this insurance policy, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or by visiting our website at www.texasnotary.com
A $21 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Texas Notary Term:
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may apply 90 days before the commission expiration date by completing a renewal application form.
Texas Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
Type – embosser or rubber-inked stamp
Ink color – any color as long as the seal can be reproduced under photographic methods
Shape – round or rectangular
Dimensions – a circular form not more than two inches in diameter, or a rectangular form not more than one inch in width and 2 ½ inches in length
Required elements – the notary public's name, the commission expiration date, the notary’s identification number and the words "Notary Public" and "State of Texas" around a star of five points. The notary seal must have a serrated or milled edge border. For notaries who were commissioned or recommissioned prior to January 1, 2016, the seal of such notaries is not required to contain the identifying number issued by the Secretary of State until the notary is recommissioned. The seal of notaries who were commissioned or recommissioned prior to January 1, 2016 may, however, contain the identifying number issued by the Secretary of State.
Note. An employer may not retain the notary records or seal of an employee who is a notary public upon termination of employment even if the employer paid for the notary materials.
Required. Texas notaries are required to maintain a notary record book or journal. Texas notaries may maintain a notary record book electronically in a computer or other storage device. For Texas notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com
Notarial fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:
- Acknowledgments - $6.00
- Oaths or affirmations - $6.00
- For a certificate under seal not otherwise provided for - $6.00
- Copy certification - $6.00
- Depositions - $0.50 per 100 words
- Uncertified copy of a record from a notary journal - $.50
A notary public is required to post the notarial fees that he or she is authorized by law to charge. A notary public who charges a fee for notary services must keep a fee book.
A Texas notary public has the authority to:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths or affirmations
- Protests instruments
- Take depositions
- Certify copies of non-recordable documents
Permitted. Texas notaries are allowed to perform electronic notarizations in compliance with the provisions of the Texas Notary Public Act and the Texas Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. Section 406.026 of the Texas Government Code states that if a signature is required to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirements may be satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform that act, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature required to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath.
Required. A notary public shall notify the Secretary of State of a change of the notary's address not later than the 10th day after the date on which the change is made. You can update your address online
, or by downloading and mailing the Notary Public Change of Address form
to the Secretary of State's office.
Optional. Texas notaries public must notarize under their commissioned names. If a notary public wishes to change his or her commission name, the notary must submit to the Secretary of State a name change application, his or her certificate of commission, a rider or endorsement from the insurance agency or surety showing the name change, and a $20 filing fee. Click here
to download the Application for Change of Name as a Texas Notary Public form.
A notary public or his or her representative must provide a written notice to the Secretary of State if the notary moves from Texas, dies, or resigns during the term of the notary public commission. The notary record books must be deposited with the county clerk of the county in which the notary public resided. The notary seal must be destroyed.
A notary public may not:
- Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents
- Perform acts which constitute the practice of law
- Use the phrase "notario" or "notario publico" to advertise notary services
- Solicit or accept compensation to prepare documents for or otherwise represent the interest of another in a judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship, or related matters
- Overcharge fees for notary services
- Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary's presence at the time of the notarization
- Notarize his or her own signature
- Issue identification cards
- Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned
- Certify copies of documents recordable in the public records
- Record in the notary’s record book the identification number that was used to identify the signer of the document that the notary notarized
- Take an acknowledgment or administer an oath or affirmation over the telephone
- Notarize an instrument if he/she is a party to the instrument or financially or beneficially interested in the transaction
- Change, alter, or draft any instrument
- Determine which type of notarial certificate should be attached to a document that does not contain one
- Fill out Form I-9 on the behalf of an employer
- Perform a notarial act on a military base that is federal enclave or an Indian reservation
- Make a false statement knowingly on his/her notary application
- Perform a notarial act with an incorrect notary seal
- Hold himself/herself out as an immigration specialist
- Sign and seal a notarial certificate before thoroughly completing the notarial certificate
- Perform a notarial act without properly identifying the individual whose signature is being notarized
- Refuse to promptly respond to a request for public information
- Bypass the notary record book requirements
- Execute any notarial certificate as a notary public containing a statement known to the notary public to be false
- Perform a notarial act if the notary has reasonable grounds to believe that the signer is acting under coercion or undue influence
- Perform a notarial act if the notary has reasonable grounds to believe that the document in connection with which the notarial act requested may be used for an unlawful or improper purpose
- Perform a notarial act if the notary has reasonable grounds to believe the signing party does not have the capacity to understand the contents of the document
- Perform a notarial act that the notary is not familiar with the type of the notarization requested
- Provide notarial services that interfere with the notary’s discharge of the notary’s duties if the notary is employed by a governmental body
- Refuse a request for notarial services on the basis of the sex, age, religion, race, ethnicity or national origin of the requesting party
- Refuse a request for notarial services unless the notary has given careful deliberation
Notaries public who commit official misconduct may be subject to criminal and civil liability, which may also include the revocation of their notary public commissions.
to view your state's notarial certificates.
Texas Notary Bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company (established 1900). The American Association of Notaries is owned by Kal Tabbara, a licensed insurance agent in Texas.