TX House Bill 3674 | NNA
Law

TX House Bill 3674

Notary Law Update: TX House Bill 3674

State: Texas

Summary:

House Bill 3674 authorizes an unsworn declaration to be made in any circumstance in which a written sworn declaration, verification, certification, oath or affirmation is permitted.

Signed:  June 17, 2011

Effective:  September 01, 2011

Chapter: 1406

Affects:

Amends Section 132.001 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code

Changes:
  1. Authorizes an unsworn declaration to be used in lieu of a written sworn declaration, verification, certification, oath, or affidavit required by statute or required by a rule, order, or requirement adopted as provided by law.
  2. Provides a form for an unsworn declaration, erroneously labeled as a “jurat.”
Analysis:

House Bill 3674 is the latest example of a current trend by state legislatures to essentially strike the notarial act of verification on oath or affirmation, or jurat, from state law. We have seen Montana enact a similar measure in 2011 and now Texas does the same. The impetus for bills like these is the assumption that it is inconvenient for the public to obtain the services of a Notary Public to administer a formal oath or affirmation, which seems ironic in a state like Texas that has over 400,000 Notaries. Incidentally, this bill repealed a former provision which actually made sense. It allowed an inmate held in a county jail to make an unsworn declaration because presumably he or she could not access the services of a Notary. The NNA sees the need for allowing unsworn declarations in certain cases where the application is narrow and the need is justified, but HB 3674 applies it to every sworn declaration, verification, certification, oath or affidavit required by law, administrative rule, order or other authority.

Read the bill text.

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