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Become a Texas Notary Laws and Requirements

Abbreviation: Tex., TX | 28th State | Statehood: December 29, 1845 |
Eligibility:
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

Qualification:
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.
Click here to apply for a Texas notary public commission.

Non-Residents 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.

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, 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 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 the misconduct of the notary public. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommend Texas notaries public to insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of a Notary Errors and Omissions insurance. Visit our website: www.texasnotary.com for more information.

Filing Fee:
A $21 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.

Texas Notary Term:
4 years.

Jurisdiction:
Statewide.

Appointment:
Secretary of State
Notary Public Unit
PO Box 13375
Austin, Texas 78711-3375
512-463-5705
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/notary-public.shtml

Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may apply 90 days before the commission expiration date by completing a renewal application form.

Education/Testing:
None Required.

Texas Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
Required.

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, 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.

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.

Record Book:
Required. Notaries public are required to maintain a notary record book or journal. For Texas notary supplies contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com.

Notary Fees:
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
  • Deposition $0.50 per 100 words
  • Uncertified copy of a record from a notary journal $.50
A notary public is required to post the 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.

Authority:
A Texas notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Protests instruments
  • Take depositions
  • Certify copies of non-recordable documents

Address Change:
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

Name Change:
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. To download the Application for Change of Name as a Texas Notary Public form, go to http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/statforms.shtml#NPUF.

Death/Resignation/Removal:
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.

Prohibited Acts:
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
  • Overcharge 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

Criminal Offense:
Notaries public who commit official misconduct may be subject to criminal and civil liability, which may also include the revocation of their notary public commission.

Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: February 2014

Texas Notary Bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company (established 1900). American Association of Notaries is owned by Kal Tabbara, a licensed insurance agent in Texas.