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Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for appointment as a Texas notary public, a person shall be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the State of Texas. In addition, the applicant must not have been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude that has not been dismissed or discharged by law.

A person shall submit an application to the secretary of state on a form prescribed by the secretary of state – Form 2301. An individual qualifies by:

  1. properly completing the application form;
  2. executing the statement ;
  3. providing the bond;
  4. paying the required filing fees; and
  5. meeting the eligibility requirements.

Contact the Office of the Secretary of State, County Clerk, or your insurance agency/surety company for the required form.

Total costs to be a Texas notary public: Secretary of State fees of $21.00; the premium payable to the insurance/surety company where you purchase a $10,000 surety bond; and the price of a personalized notary seal and record book (available from an office supply company).

A notary public may renew his or her commission by filing a new bond and paying the required fees no earlier than 90 days prior to the expiration date of the notary's term.

Contact the Office of the Secretary of State, County Clerk, or your insurance agency/surety company for the required form.

Application & Appointment

An application for a commission as a notary public can be completed online or printed from our website. Please return your completed and signed application, to us at our address listed on your form: Placeholder for reiterating our name and Texas address HERE.

As provided by law, a $21 application fee is required by the State of Texas. If you purchase a notary package, this fee is include with your package. State notary fees are non-refundable by the State of Texas. § 406.007. FEES PAID TO SECRETARY OF STATE. (a) The applicant must submit to the secretary of state: a fee of $10 for approving and filing the bond of the notary public, if required; and a fee of $1 to be appropriated to and used by the secretary of state only for distributing the materials required to be distributed under Section 406.008. (b) The secretary of state shall charge for use of the state a fee of $10 for a notary public commission. The applicant must pay the fee in advance to the secretary of state.

A notary public application that contains a false statement knowingly made by an applicant concerning a criminal conviction will be denied. If a commissioned notary public is found to have made such a false statement on the notary's application, action will be taken to revoke the notary's commission. In addition, it may be determined that an applicant or a notary public who makes a false statement in a notary public application has committed a criminal offense under Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code.

The Office of the Secretary of State performs random background investigations on individuals submitting new or renewal notary public applications. If an investigation reveals that an applicant or a notary has made a false statement regarding a criminal conviction in an application, the Office may refer the matter to the Texas Department of Public Safety for appropriate action.

Term of Office

All commissions as a notary public are issued for a four-year term of office. This term is set by law.

Notary Public Bond

Each person to be appointed a notary public shall, before entering the official duties of office, execute a bond in the amount of $10,000 with a solvent surety company authorized to do business in this state as a surety. The bond must be approved by the secretary of state, payable to the governor, and conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties of office. The secretary of state has the authority to accept an electronic filing of the notary public bond if an agreement has been made with the surety company. The notary bond shall be deposited in the office of thesecretary of state, is not void on first recovery, and may be suedon in the name of the injured party from time to time until the wholeamount of the bond is recovered.

An errors and omissions (E&O) policy does not replace a bond. While a notary bond protects a notary's customer, an errors and omissions policy, while not required by law, is highly recommended because it protects you – the notary public. E&O pays for your legal fees and costs should you be sued in your capacity as a notary. Unlike your state-required Notary Bond, your E&O policy does not require that you repay a claim! E&O insurance protects you by paying for financial claims and legal fees (up to policy liability limit) and financial claims including defense costs up to liability limits.

Embosser, Seal, and Rubber Stamp

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. The notary public shall authenticate all official acts with the seal of office. The 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 2-1/2 inches in length. The seal must have a serrated or milled edge border. The seal must be affixed by a seal press or stamp that embosses or prints a seal that legibly reproduces the required elements of the seal under photographic methods. An indelible ink pad must be used for affixing by a stamp the impression of a seal on an instrument to authenticate the notary public's official act.Tex. Gov't. Code Ann. § 406.013 requires a Notary Public to use a seal of office to authenticate the Notary Public's official acts. Section 406.013 states:

  1. 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. The notary public shall authenticate all official acts with the seal of office.
  2. The 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 2½ inches in length. The seal must have a serrated or milled edge border.
  3. The seal must be affixed by a seal press or stamp that embosses or prints a seal that legibly reproduces the required elements of the seal under photographic methods. An indelible inkpad must be used for affixing by a stamp the impression of a seal on an instrument to authenticate the notary public's official act.
  4. (d) Subsection (c) does not apply to an electronically transmitted authenticated document, except that an electronically transmitted authenticated document must legibly reproduce the required elements of the seal.

Record Book Public Records

NOTARY RECORDS. (a) A notary public other than a court clerk notarizing instruments for the court shall keep in a book a record of:
(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 governmental agency or a passport issued by the United States, or was introduced to the notary public and, if introduced, the name and residence and, if introduced, the name and residence or alleged residence of the individual introducing the 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.
(b) Entries in the notary's book are public information.
(c) A notary public shall, on payment of all fees, provide a certified copy of any record in the notary public's office to any person requesting the copy.
(d) A notary public who administers an oath pursuant to Article 45.019, Code of Criminal Procedure, is exempt from the requirement in Subsection (a) of recording that oath.

Tex. Gov't. Code Ann. § 406.014 requires that a Notary Public maintain a record book. This record book must be maintained whether or not any fees are charged for your notary public services.

A notary public other than a court clerk notarizing instruments for the court shall keep in a book a record of: (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 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.

Entries in the notary's book are public information. A notary public shall, on payment of all fees, provide a certified copy of any record in the notary public's office to any person requesting the copy. A notary public who administers an oath pursuant to Article 45.019 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is exempt from the requirement of recording that oath in the notary public's record book.

All records concerning the appointment and qualification of the notary public shall be kept in the office of the secretary of state. The records are public information.

Reappointments (Renewals)

Not earlier than 90 days prior to the expiration date of the notary's term, a notary public may apply for reappointment on submission of a new application to the secretary of state. A notary public who is not reappointed on or before the expiration date of the term the notary public is serving will be appointed for a new term expiring four years from the date of qualification.

Notaries May Charge Certain Fees

Section 603.008 of the Government Code requires a Notary Public to keep posted the fees that a notary is authorized by law to charge.
A county judge, clerk of a district or county court, sheriff, justice of the peace, constable, or notary public shall keep posted at all times in a conspicuous place in the respective offices a complete list of fees the person may charge by law.

FEES CHARGED BY NOTARY PUBLIC.

Tex. Gov't. Code Ann. § 406.024 sets out the maximum fees a Notary Public, or their employer, may charge for notary public services. A Notary Public who charges more than the maximum set out below subjects the notary to possible criminal prosecution and suspension or revocation of the notary's notary public commission by the Secretary of State's office.

Notaries Public may charge the following fees:

Protesting a bill or note for non-acceptance or non-payment, register and seal

$ 4.00

Each notice of protest

1.00

Protesting in all other cases

4.00

Certificate and seal to a protest

4.00

Taking the acknowledgment or proof of any deed or other instrument in writing, for registration, including certificate and seal:

(1) for the first signature

6.00

(2) for each additional signature

1.00

Administering an oath or affirmation with certificate and seal

6.00

All certificates under seal not otherwise provided for

6.00

Copies of all records and papers in the Notary Public's office, for each page

.50

Taking the depositions of witnesses, for each 100 words

.50

Swearing a witness to a deposition, certificate, seal, and other business connected with taking the deposition

6.00

All notarial acts not provided for

6.00

Change of Name or Address

A Notary Public may change the name on their commission by sending the Secretary of State a name change application, your current certificate of commission, a rider or endorsement from the insurance agency or surety, and a $20.00 filing fee. The above four elements must be sent at the same time.

Form 2305. Application for Change of Name as a Texas Notary Public (1) – The form used to change a notary public's name. (Word, Acrobat – Fill in the blank)

APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF NAME AS TEXAS NOTARY PUBLIC

(1) SOCIAL SECURITY #: __________-________-__________* (2) TX. DRIVERS LICENSE # ___________________

(3) NAME TO BE USED AS A NOTARY PUBLIC:

_____________________________________________________________
(LAST) (FIRST) (MIDDLE) (SUFFIX)

(4) MAILING ADDRESS: [Please note that this change of name application is a public record that is subject to public access and disclosure. When providing address information, use a business or post office box address rather than a residence address if privacy concerns are an issue.]

___________________________________________________________
(ADDRESS) (CITY) (STATE) (ZIP CODE)

(5) COUNTY OF RESIDENCE:______________________________

(6) NAME IN WHICH YOUR PRESENT COMMISSION IS ISSUED:______________________________

(7) DATE CURRENT COMMISSION EXPIRES: ____________________

I hereby certify that the information herein provided is true and correct and that I am not disqualified by law or any other reason from holding the office of Notary Public.

X __________________________________________
SIGNATURE OF APPLICANT (MUST MATCH NAME IN #3)

*The disclosure of your social security number is mandatory. Its solicitation is authorized by Chapter 406 of the Government Code and is used to maintain accuracy of the notary records.

INSTRUCTIONS

The name change procedure is optional. The notary public may continue to sign the name that is shown on their commission until that commission expires and change their name when they renew their term.

The name change will be effective on the date all (4) items listed below are received in this office providing there are no errors or omissions. An amended commission reflecting the name change and the effective date of the change will be issued.

  1. APPLICATION: Complete the application above. Do not omit any information.
  2. RIDER: Obtain and send an original rider or endorsement changing the name on your bond from the bonding or surety company which executed your original notary bond.
  3. CERTIFICATE OF COMMISSION: Return your original notary public commission to this office. If you no longer have your commission, submit a letter stating so.
  4. FILING FEE: A filing fee of $20.00 is required for filing the bond rider and issuing an amended commission. Make checks payable to "Secretary of State".

Mail all four items listed above to Secretary of State, Notary Public Unit, P. O. Box 13375, Austin, Texas 78711-3375.

Form 2305 (Rev. 11/21/05)

A notary public shall notify the secretary of state of a change of the notary public's address not later than the 10th day after the date on which the change is made.

NOTARY PUBLIC CHANGE OF ADDRESS

YOU MUST NOTIFY THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF ANY CHANGE OF ADDRESS WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS FROM THE DATE THE CHANGE OCCURS. [Please note that this notary public change of address is a public record that is subject to public access and disclosure. When providing address information, use a business or post office box address rather than a residence address if privacy concerns are an issue.]

________________________________________ ___________________________
PRINT OR TYPE NAME OF NOTARY PUBLIC DATE COMMISSION EXPIRES

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER *_____________________________________
*The disclosure of your social security number is mandatory. It is solicited by the authority of Chapter 406 of the Government Code and will be used only to maintain the accuracy of the notary public records.

OLD ADDRESS:

________________________________________________________________________
Address City County State Zip Code

NEW ADDRESS:

________________________________________________________________________
Address City County State Zip Code

Submit this form to the Office of the Secretary of State, Notary Public Unit, P.O. Box 13375, Austin, Texas 78711. An acknowledgement of receipt of this address change will not be returned to you.

Form #2302 (Rev. 11/21/05)

Rejection of appointment; Suspension or revocation of commission

(a) The secretary of state may, for good cause, reject an application or suspend or revoke the commission of a notary public.
(b) An action by the secretary of state under this section is subject to the rights of notice, hearing, adjudication, and appeal.
(c) An appeal under this section is to the district court of Travis County. The secretary of state has the burden of proof, and the trial is conducted de novo.
(d) In this section, “good cause” includes:
(1) a final conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude;
(2) a false statement knowingly made in an application;
(3) the failure to comply with Section 406.017;
(4) a final conviction for a violation of a law concerning the regulation of the conduct of notaries public in this or another state;
(5) the imposition on the notary public of an administrative, criminal, or civil penalty for a violation of a law or rule prescribing the duties of a notary public; or
(6) performing any notarization when the person for whom the notarization is performed did not personally appear before the notary at the time the notarization is executed.
(e) The dismissal and discharge of proceedings under either the misdemeanor adult probation and supervision law or the adult probation, parole, and mandatory supervision law shall not be considered a conviction for the purposes of determining good cause.

REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. (a) A notary public guilty of wilful neglect of duty or malfeasance in office may be removed from office in the manner provided by law.
(b) A notary public indicted for and convicted of a wilful neglect of duty or official misconduct shall be removed from office. The court shall include the order for removal as part of its judgment.

Unauthorized Practice of Law

An attorney or similar trained legal professional often holds the position of a Notary Public in Mexico and many foreign countries. To avoid deception by such persons and to dispel erroneous assumptions, the Texas Legislature enacted § 406.017 of the Government Code. Section 406.017 states:

  1. A person commits an offense if the person is a notary public and the person: (1) states or implies that the person is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state; (2) solicits or accepts 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; (3) solicits or accepts compensation to obtain relief of any kind on behalf of another from any officer, agency, or employee of this state or the United States; (4) uses the phrase “notario or “notario publico” to advertise the services of a notary public, whether by signs, pamphlets, stationary or other written communication or by radio or television. (5) advertises the services of a notary public in a language other than English, whether by signs, pamphlets, stationary or other written communication or by radio or television; if the person does not post or otherwise include the notice with the advertisement a notice that complies with Subsection (b).
  2. The notice required by Subsection (a)(5) must state that the notary public is not an attorney and must be in English and in the language of the advertisement and in letters of a conspicuous size. If the advertisement is by radio or television, the statement may be modified, but must include substantially the same message. The notice must include the fees that a notary public may charge and the following statement:

“I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN TEXAS AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE.”

  1. It is an exception to prosecution under this section that, at the time the conduct charged, the person is licensed to practice law in this state and is in good standing with the State bar of Texas.
  2. Except as provided by Subsection
  3. of this section, an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. (e) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted under this section.
  4. Failure to comply with this section is, in addition to a violation of any other applicable law of this state, a deceptive trade practice actionable under Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code.