TX Administrative Rule (Journal) | NNA
Rule

TX Administrative Rule (Journal)

Notary Law Update: TX Administrative Rule (Journal)

State: Texas

Summary:

This new Texas administrative rule prohibits Notaries from recording in the journal a serial or other identification number from a form of written identification presented as satisfactory evidence of identity.

Signed:  April 02, 2007

Effective:  April 22, 2007

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Adds new Section 87.60 to Title 1 of the Texas Administrative Code

Changes:
  1. Prohibits a Notary Public other than a court clerk notarizing documents for the court from recording in the Notary’s official journal an identification card number from a state-approved identification card used by the Notary to positively identify a document signer or any other number (including, but not limited to, a Social Security number) that could identify the signer.
  2. Does not prohibit a Notary from recording the address or alleged address of the document signer in the journal.
Analysis:

This new administrative rule reflects what is likely to be a growing trend to limit the amount of personal identifying information recorded in Notary journals. The Texas Government Code does not currently require Notaries to record a driver’s license number, passport number, etc. in the journal, but since many Notaries have been doing so, and since the Government Code states that information in the journal is public information, there is a possibility that this personal identifying information could be divulged. The timing of this new administrative rule is worth noting. Earlier in the winter, the Texas Attorney General issued an opinion holding county recorders liable for any documents in the public record containing Social Security numbers of grantors, which led to a temporary halt in business at the state’s 254 county recording offices. The Texas legislature subsequently passed emergency legislation allowing recorders to redact this information from the public record and protecting recorders from liability.

The upcoming revision to the NNA’s Model Notary Act due to be released later this year will contain a prohibition against recording a serial or other identification number from an ID card in the journal (the 2003 Act already prohibits Notaries from recording a Social Security or credit card number in the journal).

Even with these prohibitions, Notaries must take extra precautions to protect the information in the journal. NNA Information Service counselors, seminar presenters and other staff responsible for instructing Notaries should urge members to follow the NNA’s longstanding best practice of shielding all journal entries other than any requested entry from observation and scrutiny when allowing inspection of the journal and making photocopies of individual entries for member of the public. In addition, Notaries should be reminded to keep their journals in a locked and secured area when not in use and to follow any applicable rules for disposition of the journal at the end of the Notary’s term or career.

Read the text of the administrative rule.

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