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Texas Bar Advises Notaries To Replace Seals Now To Avoid Legal Challenges

Notary seals issued in Texas after January 1, 2016 are required to include the Notary’s ID number.

A section of the State Bar of Texas urges Notaries to replace their current seals now to comply with a new state law. Using an old seal after January 1 could expose certain transactions to legal challenges.

In a statement issued last week, the State Bar’s Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section reported that the law — which requires that Notary seals issued after January 1, 2016 include the Notary’s identification number — could apply to all Notaries, not just those who are new or renewing.

“The safest course of action is to replace your Notary seal with one that includes your identification number,” said William (Bill) D. Pargaman, Chair of the State Bar Section. “Our concern is that a third party might challenge the validity of an acknowledgment or jurat based on the lack of a (proper) seal.”

Unclear Notary Law Wording
 

According to the Texas Secretary of State, lawmakers who drafted House Bill 1683 intended for new and renewing Notaries after January 1 to obtain seals with an ID number. They did not intend for current Notaries to replace their seals until they renew their commission.

However, after examining the law, the State Bar Section concluded that the wording of the law does not let existing Notaries off the hook. In court, someone could argue that a seal without a Notary ID number is an “incorrect seal,” which Texas law states is the “equivalent to no seal at all.” That determination could cause significant problems with certain wills and real estate deeds, Pargaman wrote.

Protecting Your Notarizations and Those Who Rely on Them
 

Even though the Secretary of State’s office has said current Notaries do not have to replace their seals, your notarizations could be challenged in court with lawful ownership to property at risk. If you replace your seal now, you will save your signers, your employer and yourself from any questions about the validity of your notarizations.

To obtain a new seal with your Notary ID number, contact your seal manufacturer or the NNA (800-876-6827). No additional documentation is needed; your seal manufacturer can verify your Notary ID number through the Secretary of State’s website.

The NNA has been including Notary ID numbers on Texas Notary seals since early September. If you have any questions, you may contact the NNA at 800-876-6827.

Kat Garcia is the Content Strategy Manager for the National Notary Association.

Related Articles:

New Notary Stamps: Smaller, Easier To Use

Hotline Tip: Can A Notary Have More Than One Stamp Or Embosser?

Notary Solutions: Fixing A Bad Seal Impression

Additional Resources:

How to Use Your Notary Seal Stamp

Understanding Notary Certificates and Seals: Vital Notary Know-How

34 Comments

Add your comment

Sally

09 Nov 2015

Where do you find you ID #

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2015

You can get your Notary ID number through the Texas Secretary of State’s website here: https://direct.sos.state.tx.us/notaries/NotarySearch.asp

Teresa Villanueva

09 Nov 2015

I just renewed my commission, will it have my ID number in it? If not what should I do?

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2015

If you renewed and/or ordered your seal through the NNA, it will have your Notary ID number on it. If you did not order from the NNA check with the company manufacturing your seal to ensure that your ID number will appear on it.

Paul Abernathy

09 Nov 2015

Your number is on your commission document provided by the state or on their website as well.

Carla Ziesmer

12 Nov 2015

Please tell me how to order a new stamp so I can be compliant. My commission doesn't expire until Jan 13, 2017

Alice Guzman

12 Nov 2015

will there be a cost to replace with a new one?

National Notary Association

12 Nov 2015

Yes there will be a cost. Contact your seal manufacturer to find out how much.

Josie Pereyra

12 Nov 2015

I'm not up for renewal until September of 2016, my question is, since the Secretary of State has said "current Notaries do not have to replace their seals", would it be safe for me to just add my ID number to the signature block until I renew, or is the law that it need to be part of the actual stamp?

National Notary Association

12 Nov 2015

We believe the answer is no, but we are awaiting further guidance. The law specifically states the ID number must be on the stamp impression. Please watch for a new Bulletin article next week for further clarification.

Judy A. Weddell

12 Nov 2015

I am assuming that ID # and Commission # are one in the same. Thank you for your assistance. Judy

National Notary Association

12 Nov 2015

Yes, they are the same.

Faye

12 Nov 2015

Can I write my Notary ID# on each document until I renew my notary?

National Notary Association

12 Nov 2015

We believe the answer is no, but we are awaiting further guidance. Please watch for a new Bulletin article next week.

Nelia Smith

12 Nov 2015

My notary was recently renewed and want expire until April 2019 would it be wise to replace my notary seal?

National Notary Association

12 Nov 2015

Hi Nelia. It's up to you to make that determination, but the State Bar section strongly recommends it, especially if you deal with real property or estate documents.

Vicki walton

12 Nov 2015

This is the best. I will be Replacing, my seal after, this comment. This new Notary Seal, will help protect Notary's across the country. Yeah!!!

Sharon Parker

13 Nov 2015

I was told by the state that this is for renewal and new only. Those who already have a seal will use the ID at renewal. This is a misleading email.

National Notary Association

18 Nov 2015

Hello Sharon. The Texas State Bar has expressed concerns about possible issues due to unclear wording in the new law. Please see the advisory and comments from them in the article for more details.

Linda S. McArthur

13 Nov 2015

My commission doesn't expire until July 2017. Is there a lesser charge on the new seal if you have that much time left on you commission?

National Notary Association

18 Nov 2015

Hello Linda. That would depend on your seal manufacturer. If you purchased your seal through us, you can contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 and they can help you with questions you have about cost of updating to a new seal.

JolieM

13 Nov 2015

This is typical for our elected legislators to screw up a simple law to the extent that we have to get new seals. That away to go you dunderheads.

Kathleen M. Kelley

16 Nov 2015

Where can I find my NNA Member Number? Do I need it to renew my stamp.

National Notary Association

16 Nov 2015

Hi Kathleen. If you contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827, they should be able to assist you in looking up your NNA member number.

SANTA DELGADILLO

18 Nov 2015

my comm expire 07/07/2017 do I need to order a new seal and pay for it.

National Notary Association

18 Nov 2015

Hello Santa. It's up to you to make that determination, but the State Bar section strongly recommends it, especially if you deal with real property or estate documents.

Carolyn Hurley

02 Feb 2016

If you live in one county in Texas, but work in another county in Texas, and all of the Notary work you do is for your company in the county other than your residence county, should the address associated with your membership be the residence address or the employment address?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2016

Hello. If you're referring to NNA membership, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 for assistance. Thanks.

S. L. Caldwell

06 Apr 2016

If I become a signing agent, does my current commission change? ( 7/17) Will I still be a notary with a 4yr commission in addition to the SA, or do I lose that. So then the ID# is on the new stamp? Does this question make sense?

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2016

Hello. Working as a signing agent does not affect your Notary commission.

cindimanney@yahoo.com

25 Aug 2016

I just passed my certification, what do I do next. I was told I need to be bonded, how do I do that so that I can get my seal.

National Notary Association

25 Aug 2016

Hi Cindi. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are applying for a commission in? If you applied for your commission through the NNA, our Customer Care team can also help you at 1-800-876-6827 or Services@nationalnotary.org.

olivia murray

22 Mar 2019

where can I find information for online notarizations?

National Notary Association

22 Mar 2019

Hello. If you are looking for Texas information, these links may be helpful to you: https://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/online-np-educational.shtml https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/remote-notarization-what-you-need-to-know

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