To become a notary in Texas, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements tobecome a notary in Texasdetailed 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 hereto learn how to become a Texas notary.
Who can become a notary public in Texas?
Tobecome 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 the following:
- Who can become a notary in Texas.
- How to become a notary in Texas.
- The basic duties of a notary in Texas.
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 hereto 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 tobecome anotary in Texasif 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.
To order a Texasnotary stamp,notary seal, completenotary package, andnotary supplies,please visit theAmerican Association of Notarieswebsite at https://www.texasnotary.com/notary-stamps.
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:
- Protesting a bill or note for non-acceptance or non-payment, register, and seal: $4
- Each notice of protest: $1
- Protesting in all other cases: $4
- Certificate and seal to a protest: $4
- Taking the acknowledgment or proof of a deed or other instrument in writing, for registration, including certificate and seal: $6 for the first signature and $1 for each additional signature
- Administering an oath or affirmation with certificate and seal: $6
- A certificate under seal not otherwise provided for: $6
- A copy of a record or paper in the notary public's office: $0.50 for each page
- Taking the deposition of a witness: $0.50 for each 100 words
- Swearing a witness to a deposition, certificate, seal, and other business connected with taking the deposition: $6
- All notarial acts not provided for: $6
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?
Yes. Other than records of online notarizations, notary records may be maintained in a book or electronically in a computer or other storage device so long as the records are adequately backed-up and can be printed in a tangible medium when requested.
Records of an online notarization shall be maintained electronically in a computer or other storage device that can record the information required by §406.108, Government Code, including a recording of any video and audio conference that is the basis for identifying the principal.
Please visitthe American Association of Notaries website at https://www.texasnotary.com/record-book to order a Texasnotary journal.
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 and proofs of written instruments
- Administer oaths
- Protest instruments permitted by law to be protested
- Take depositions
- Certify copiesof documents not recordable in the public records
Can I perform in-person electronic notarizations in Texas?
Yes. The Texas Legislature enacted the “Uniform Electronic Transactions Act” (Section 322.011), Title 10, Subtitle B, Chapter 322 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code, which authorizes a traditional notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic documents in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization.
What is the process to become a Texas electronic notary public?
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.
Can I perform remote online notarizations in Texas?
Effective July 1, 2018, Texas notaries are authorized to perform online notarizations using interactive two-way audio and video communication that meets the standards adopted by the Texas Secretary of State. Read the section below to learn how to become an online notary in Texas.
What is the process to become an online notary in Texas?
Tobecome 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 their Online Notary Public Commissioning System and acknowledge that you:
•Will comply with the standards set forth in the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 87 relating to identity proofing and credential analysis
•Will use a third-party provider who has provided evidence of its ability to provide an electronic technology standard that utilizes Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology from a PKI service provider that is X.509 compliant when attaching or logically associating your electronic seal and digital certificate to an electronic document
•Will, upon request by the secretary of state, promptly provide any necessary instructions or techniques supplied by a vendor that allows your digital certificate and seal to be read and authenticated
•Meet the eligibility requirements to be commissioned as a Texas notary public
- 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.
An online notary public commission runs concurrently with a traditional notary public commission and will expire on the same date as a notary’s corresponding traditional notary commission. A separate notary bond is not required for an online notary public commission.
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 theNotary 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 American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information on this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from varioussources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their states if they have legal questions about how to perform notarial acts.