Become a Texas Notary
To become a notary in Texas, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements to become a notary in Texas detailed in the next section.
- Properly complete an Application for Appointment as Texas Notary Public (Form 2301).
- Purchase a $10,000 surety bond. State employees are exempt from the bond requirement and must complete Form 2301-NB instead of Form 2301.
- Submit the notary application, attachments regarding your criminal convictions (if any), and a $21 filing fee to the Texas Secretary of State, Notary Public Unit.
- Take an oath of office before a notary public upon receipt of the notary public commission. If you provided an email address on your notary application, the notary public commission will be emailed to you.
Click here to learn how to become a Texas notary.
Who can become a notary public in Texas?
To become a notary in Texas, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least eighteen years of age.
- Be a resident of the state of Texas.
- Not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or a felony if the conviction has become final, has not been set aside, and no pardon or certificate of restoration of citizenship rights has been granted.
Note: 1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.10(c) states, “A crime involving moral turpitude includes the commission of a crime involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, deliberate violence, moral depravity, or that reflects adversely on the applicant's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a notary public, which may include, but not be limited to:
- class A and B type misdemeanors which have not been set aside, or for which no pardon or certificate of restoration of citizenship rights have been granted; and
- felony convictions which have not been set aside, or for which no pardon or certificate of restoration of citizenship rights have been granted.”
Class C type misdemeanor convictions shall not be considered in determining eligibility [1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.10(d)].
This Texas notary guide will help you understand:
How do I renew my notary commission in Texas?
To renew your notary public commission in Texas, you must go through the same process as when you first applied for a notary commission. A renewal notary application must be submitted to the secretary of state along with a $21 filing fee. A new notary bond and notary stamp must be purchased for your new term.
You can renew your Texas notary commission ninety days before the expiration date. Click here to renew your Texas notary public commission.
Who appoints notaries in Texas?
The Texas Secretary of State appoints and commissions new applicants and renewing notaries public. “All records concerning the appointment and qualification of the notary public shall be kept in the office of the secretary of state” (Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §406.012).
The Texas Secretary of State can be contacted at:
Notary Public Unit
Secretary of State
PO Box 13375
Austin, Texas 78711-3375
Can a non-resident of Texas apply for a commission as a notary public?
Yes. A non-resident applicant can apply to become a notary in Texas if they meet all the following requirements:
- Is a non-resident licensed Texas escrow officer within the meaning assigned by §2652.051 of the Texas Insurance Code.
- Satisfies the same qualifications as Texas residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Is a resident of one of the following adjacent states: New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, or Louisiana [1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.12(a)].
Click here to download the Application for Appointment as Texas Notary Public by Escrow Officer Residing in Adjacent State (Form 2301-E).
How long is a notary public's commission term in Texas?
The term of office of a Texas notary public is four years after the date the notary public qualifies (Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §406.002). However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation, death, or revocation.
- When a notary public ceases to be a resident of Texas during the notary’s commission term.
- When a non-resident notary public is no longer a licensed Texas escrow officer during the notary’s commission term.
- When a notary is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, which includes class A and B type misdemeanors and felony convictions.
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Texas?
A notary applicant seeking an appointment to become a notary public or to renew his or her notary public commission in Texas is not required to take and pass a notary course or exam.
However, the American Association of Notaries (AAN) recommends that all Texas notaries take a notary course to learn how to perform notarial acts according to Texas notary laws and administrative rules.
The American Association of Notaries offers a Texas notary training course that includes:
- Very specific Texas legal requirements with which all Texas notaries should comply.
- The fundamental notarial standards, guidelines, and practices critical to the office of a notary public.
- Step-by-step notarial practices for the execution of proper notarial acts so notaries can perform these acts professionally and effectively.
Click here to begin the AAN online notary course training: https://www.texasnotary.com/notary-course
How much does it cost to become a notary public in Texas?
You must pay the following to become a notary public in Texas:
- A $21 filing fee.
- The cost for a four-year, $10,000 surety bond.
- A notarial fee to have your oath of office notarized.
Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:
- A notary stamp.
- A notary record book.
- An errors and omissions insurance policy to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you as a notary. (This policy is optional.)
Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Texas?
A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional in Texas and is not required to become a Texas notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Texas notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. An E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage you select as a Texas notary public.
You can order a Texas notary errors and omissions insurance policy online at the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.texasnotary.com/notary-insurance
Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Texas?
You must provide proof of a four-year, $10,000 notary bond with your notary application to become a notary public in Texas. A surety company licensed to do business in Texas must issue the notary bond.
To purchase a Texas notary bond, visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.texasnotary.com/texas-notary-bond.
Do I need to order a notary stamp in Texas?
Yes. All Texas notaries must use an inked notary stamp or notary seal embosser when notarizing documents.
Section 406.013 of the Texas Government Code provides the legal specifications regarding the layout and the information required on all official inked stamps or embosser seals.
Dimensions: The inked stamp or embosser seal may be a circular form not more than two inches in diameter or a rectangular form not more than one inch in width and two-and-a-half inches in length.
Required Elements: The seal of office must clearly show the following elements when embossed, stamped, or printed on a document:
- The words “Notary Public, State of Texas” around a star of five points
- The notary public’s name
- The notary’s identifying number
- The date the notary public’s commission expires
- A serrated or milled edge border
Note: All the notary’s stamp or embosser seal elements must show clearly and legibly on notarized documents and be capable of being reproduced photographically.
How much can a Texas notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
Texas notary fees are set by state notary statute (Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §406.024). The maximum allowable fees a Texas notary or their employer may charge for notarial acts are as follows:
- For protesting a bill or note for nonacceptance or nonpayment, register and seal: $4
- For each notice of protest: $1
- For protesting in all other cases: $4
- For certificate and seal to a protest: $4
- For taking the acknowledgment or proof of a deed or other instrument in writing, for registration, including certificate and seal;
For the first signature: $10
For each additional signature: $1
- For administering an oath or affirmation with certificate and seal: $10
- For a certificate under seal not otherwise provided for: $10
- For a copy of a record or paper in the notary public’s office (for each page): $1
- For taking the deposition of a witness (for each 100 words): $1
- For swearing a witness to a deposition, certificate, seal, and other business connected with taking the deposition: $10
- For a notarial act not provided for: $10
An online notary public or their employer may charge a fee not to exceed $25 for performing an online notarization in addition to any other fees authorized under Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §406.024.
Note: Notaries public must keep posted at all times in a conspicuous place in the respective offices a complete list of fees the notary may charge by law (Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §603.008). Furthermore, “an officer who by law may charge a fee for a service shall keep a fee book and shall enter in the book all fees charged for services rendered” (Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §603.006). Charging more than the maximum fee allowed by Texas notary laws may subject Texas notaries to possible criminal prosecution and suspension or revocation of their commission by the secretary of state.
Is a notary journal required in Texas?
A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery and fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.
Notary journal requirements in Texas:
- Traditional Notarizations – Texas notaries performing traditional notarizations are required to maintain a record book in which they record all notarial acts performed. The record book can be maintained in a tangible or electronic format.
- Electronic Notarizations – Texas notaries performing electronic notarizations are required to maintain an electronic record book in which they record all electronic notarial acts performed.
- Online Notarizations – Texas notaries performing online notarizations are required to maintain an electronic record book in which they record all electronic notarial acts performed.
The American Association of Notaries offers a wide variety of notary journals.
Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.
Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.
What information must Texas notaries record in their notary journals?
Texas requires notaries to chronicle the following information in their notary journals:
• For Traditional Notarizations and Electronic Notarizations:
- The date of each instrument notarized.
- The date of the notarization.
- The name of the signer, grantor, or maker.
- The signer's, grantor's, or maker's mailing address.
- Whether the signer, grantor, or maker is personally known by the notary public, was identified by an identification card issued by a governmental agency or a passport issued by the United States, or was introduced to the notary public and, if introduced, the name and mailing address of the individual introducing the signer, grantor, or maker.
- If the instrument is proved by a witness, the mailing address of the witness, whether the witness is personally known by the notary public or was introduced to the notary public and, if introduced, the name and mailing address of the individual introducing the witness.
- The name and mailing address of the grantee.
- If land is conveyed or charged by the instrument, the name of the original grantee and the county where the land is located; and
- A brief description of the instrument.
• For Online Notarizations:
- The date and time of the online notarization.
- The type of notarial act.
- The type, the title, or a description of the document or proceeding.
- The printed name and address of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding.
- Evidence of identity of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding in the form of:
- a statement that the person is personally known to the online notary public.
- a notation of the type of identification document provided to the online notary public.
- a record of the identity verification made under Tex. Gov’t. Code §406.110, if applicable; or
- The following:
i) The printed name and address of each credible witness swearing to or affirming the person's identity; and
ii) For each credible witness not personally known to the online notary public, a description of the type of identification documents provided to the online notary public.
- A recording of any video and audio conference that is the basis for satisfactory evidence of identity and a notation of the type of identification presented as evidence.
- The fee, if any, charged for the notarization.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Texas?
You may perform notarial acts while you are physically anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Texas.
However, a Texas notary is not authorized to perform a notarial act on a federal enclave or Indian reservation within Texas (Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. JC-0390 ). Some but not all military bases are federal enclaves (Texas Secretary of State’s website).
What notarial acts can a Texas notary public perform?
A Texas notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts [Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §406.016(a)]:
- Take acknowledgments or proofs of written instruments
- Administer oaths
- Protest instruments permitted by law to be protested
- Take depositions as provided by Section 20.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code
- Certify copies of documents not recordable in the public records
What type of notarizations are allowed in Texas?
Traditional notarization – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. Traditional notarization involves an individual signing a tangible document with an inked pen and a notary public signing and affixing an inked notary stamp impression to the tangible notarial certificate.
Electronic notarization (in person) – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. However, the notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.
Online notarization - The signer appears remotely before an online notary via audio-visual conference technology. The notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.
Online notarization on tangible documents (Effective 1/1/2024) - The signer appears before an online notary via audio-video conference technology. This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to send the document to each other and for the online notary public to use their physical stamp to notarize the document without the aid of an electronic seal or electronic signature.
What are the steps to become an electronic notary in Texas?
Any traditional Texas notary can perform in-person electronic notarizations. There are no additional application requirements to perform in-person electronic notarizations; you just need to have an active notary public commission and acquire an electronic signature and electronic notary seal through a third-party vendor.
What are the steps to become an online notary in Texas?
To become an online notary in Texas, you must:
- Have an active notary public commission.
- Purchase an electronic image of your notary seal in one of the following formats: BMP, JPEG, PNG, or TIF.
- Purchase a digital certificate containing your electronic signature from a reputable third-party provider.
- Have the tools necessary to meet the secretary of state’s standards for performing online notarizations.
- Apply online on the secretary of state’s website through the Online Notary Public Commissioning System.
- Download the Statement of Officer and sign it using your digital certificate.
- Upload the electronically signed Statement of Officer.
- Upload a sample of your electronic seal that you will use to perform remote online notarizations.
- Pay a $50 application fee and a processing fee of $1.35.
- Take the Oath of Office before another notary once you receive your online notary commission certificate.
Note: An online notary in Texas can perform online notarizations on both tangible and electronic documents. For more information on how to become an online notary in Texas, visit the secretary of state’s website.
How do I update my address on my Texas notary commission?
If your address on file with the Texas Secretary of State changes, you must notify the secretary of state within ten days of the change (Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §406.019).
You have two options to update your address with the secretary of state, as follows:
- Visit the Texas Secretary of State’s website and update your information online
- Download and complete the Notary Public Change of Address (Form 2302) and submit it to the secretary of state by mail or fax or hand deliver it
No fee is required for an address change. If a notary public fails to comply with Tex. Gov’t. Code Ann. §406.019, their notary commission may be revoked.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in Texas?
Updating your official notary name after a name change is optional. You may continue to perform notarial acts under the name you are commissioned under until your commission term expires.
If you wish to update your notary name while your notary commission is active, you must:
- Download and complete an Application for Change of Name as Texas Notary Public (Form 2305).
- Obtain a rider or endorsement from the bonding or surety company that executed your original bond.
- Mail Form 2305, the original rider or endorsement, the original notary public commission certificate, and a $20 filing fee to the secretary of state.
The secretary of state will issue an amended commission reflecting the name change and the effective date of the change, provided there are no errors or omissions on the notary’s name change request.
Once you receive your amended notary commission certificate, you must order a new notary seal that contains your new name.
If you are commissioned as both a traditional and an online notary, you need to order both a new traditional seal and a new electronic seal and a digital certificate that contains your new name, as specified on the amended commission [1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.62(c)].
Legal disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions.
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). American Association of Notaries is owned by Kal Tabbara, a licensed insurance agent in Texas.