How to become a Texas Notary Public2018-12-20T17:45:28+00:00

The video was taken directly from our Texas Notary Public Professional Training Workshop.  Here are the links mentioned in the video:

Texas Secretary of State Notary Public Unit

American Association of Notaries

The FAQ’s below were taken directly from the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

FAQ’s

  1. Who is eligible to become a notary public?

    To be commissioned as a notary public in Texas, you must be a Texas resident at least 18 years of age who has not received a final conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude or a felony.

  2. How do I become a notary public?

    If you meet the eligibility requirements, submit the following to the secretary of state:

    1. Completed Form 2301 (available from the secretary of state, county clerk, or your insurance agency or surety company);
    2. Proof of a $10,000 surety bond; and
    3. Filing fee of $21.

    Once you are commissioned, you may purchase your required notary seal and record book from any office supply company.

  3. Do I need to return my Notary Public Commission to the Secretary of State’s Office once it has been signed and notarized?

    No. The notary public should have their commission available to show when performing notarial services.

  4. How do I renew my notary public commission?

    To renew your commission, submit the following to the secretary of state no earlier than 90 days before the expiration of your commission:

    1. Completed Form 2301 (available from the secretary of state, county clerk, or your insurance agency or surety company);
    2. Proof of a $10,000 surety bond; and
    3. Filing fee of $21.
  5. May I change my name from the name shown on my Notary Public Commission?

    Yes. A notary public may change the name on his or her commission by sending the secretary of state a name change application (Form 2305), 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.

  6. Do I need to keep a record book? What information should be included?

    Yes. A Texas notary public is required to maintain a record book. This record book must be maintained whether or not any fees are charged for your notary public service. The following information must be included in the record book:

    1. the date of each instrument notarized;
    2. the date of the notarization;
    3. the name of the signer, grantor, or maker;
    4. the signer’s, grantor’s, or maker’s residence or alleged residence;
    5. whether the signer, grantor, or maker is personally known by the notary public, was identified by an identification card issued by a United States federal or state governmental agency or a passport issued by the United States, or was introduced to the notary public and, if introduced, the name and residence or alleged residence of the individual introducing the signer, grantor, or maker;
    6. if the instrument is proved by a witness, the residence 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 residence of the individual introducing the witness;
    7. the name and residence of the grantee;
    8. if land is conveyed or charged by the instrument, the name of the original grantee and the county where the land is located; and
    9. a brief description of the instrument.

    Tex. Gov’t Code §406.014

    The person for whom a notarization is performed is not required to sign the record book.

    A notary should not record any identification number that was assigned by a governmental agency or by the United States to the signer, grantor or maker on an identification card, driver’s license, social security card or passport; or any other number that could be used to identify the signer, grantor or maker of the document. 1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.40. However, a notary is not prohibited from recording a number related to the residence or alleged residence of the signer, grantor or maker of the document or the instrument.

  7. Can I get a copy of a notary’s record book?

    Yes. The entries in a notary’s record book are public information and a notary is required to provide a certified copy of the record book to any person who requests, and pays the fees for, the copies. Tex. Gov’t Code §406.014(b), (c). Although not required, the secretary of state suggests that you make all requests in writing, by sending a certified letter to the notary’s official address on file with this Office. Making your request in this manner provides evidence of the request. Should a notary fail to respond or provide copies, you may file a complaint with this Office and include the evidence of the request as supporting documentation.

  8. I am changing jobs and my current employer will not let me take my notary book, seal or commission with me. What should I do?

    The employer is not the owner of a notary’s record book or seal, even if the employer paid for the materials. Tex. Atty. Gen. Op. GA-0723. A Texas notary public is required by law to maintain a record book containing information on every notarization performed and is required to authenticate every official act with the seal of office. The record book is public information and a notary is required to produce copies of the book upon request. Therefore, the book and seal should remain in the possession of the notary at all times.

    Similarly the secretary of state issues a commission to the individual notary public for a four-year term, without regard to who paid the application or bond fees. As a result, an employer may not retain the commission of an employee.

    If your employer retains your seal, record book or commission when you leave your job, you should provide your employer a copy of Texas Attorney General Opinion GA-0723. If after receiving a copy of the opinion, your employer still will not let you take your notary book or seal with you, you should make a copy of the pages of the record book so that you can produce them upon request. You should also obtain a new seal and start a new record book for future notarizations. If your employer will not release your commission, you may contact the secretary of state’s office for a duplicate copy of the commission.

  9. Is a notary public seal required?

    Yes. A notary public shall provide a seal of office that clearly shows, 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, and the date the notary public’s commission expires. Notaries public commissioned for the first time on or after January 1, 2016, and notaries public renewing their commissions on or after that date must have their notary ID number on their seal of office. See Section 406.013 of the Texas Government Code as amended by HB 1683 (PDF). The notary public shall authenticate all official acts with the seal of office.

  10. How long should I keep my record book?

    A notary is required to keep, in a safe and secure manner, copies of the records of notarizations performed for the longer of: 1) the term of the commission in which the notarization occurred; or 2) three years following the date of notarization. 1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.44. The best practice, however, would be for the notary to permanently maintain copies of the records.

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