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How to record credible witnesses in your Texas Notary journal

Updated 1-8-24. Texas allows Notaries to identify the signer through a credible identifying witness. A credible witness is an individual who personally knows the signer and can vouch for the signer’s identity to the Notary.

If you use a credible witness to identify a signer, what information do you need to write in your journal? Here’s what Texas Notaries need to know about recording credible witness information in a journal entry.

Texas requirements for a credible witness

In Texas, a credible witness must either personally know the Notary or must present to the Notary a valid, unexpired ID issued by the federal or a state government that contains the photo and signature of the witness (1 TAC 87.40[2] and 87.1[1]).

A credible witness must know the signer well enough to be able to swear or affirm the signer’s identity before the Notary.


Texas journal entry requirements for a credible witness

Under state law, Government Code Section 406.014(6) requires Texas Notaries to record the following information in the journal entry when a credible witness identifies a signer:

1. The name of the credible witness.

2. The residence address of the credible witness.

If you need additional room to enter information about multiple witnesses, you can also use the “Additional Information” section of your journal entry.

See the sample credible witness information for a Texas journal entry in the photo above as a guide.

Texas Notary journal restrictions

Texas Notaries are prohibited by law (1 TAC 87.50[a][1]) from recording the serial or identifying numbers on identification documents in their journal entries. If a credible witness presents you with ID, remember that you must not record the ID number in your journal.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor with the National Notary Association.

Related Articles:

A Notary’s guide to completing journal entries

What every Notary needs to know about journals

View All: Best Practices


Add your comment

Todd A Ford

14 May 2021

Where can I get a credible witness document

National Notary Association

19 May 2021

Hello. We're sorry but we are not clear what you mean by a "credible witness document." A credible witness is a person who serves as proof of identity for a signer during a notarization, and normally does not have a specific document associated with this process. Can you provide more detail about what type of document you are referring to?


02 Jun 2022

If a credible witness is personally known to both the signer and the notary and the credible witness witnesses the signer signing the document, does the signer still need to be present in front of the notary or can the credible witness just be present in front of the notary and take the oath as to the authenticity of the signature by the signer?

National Notary Association

02 Jun 2022

Hello. You are confusing two different types of witnesses, a "credible identifying witness" and a "proof of execution subscribing witness." A credible witness essentially serves as a human ID card, verifying the signer's identity to the Notary. Using a credible witness does not excuse the signer from appearing in person before the Notary. In a "proof of execution by subscribing witness," a person who witnessed a third party signing a document appears before the Notary on the third party's behalf. However, not all states permit proofs of execution and others restrict their use. For more information, please see this article:


03 Apr 2023

Is there particular verbiage that is different from a regular oath for credible witnesses in TX? i.e.: Do you solemnly swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the statements made in this document are true to the best of your knowledge or belief?

National Notary Association

14 Apr 2023

Hello. Texas does not provide specific wording for the oath or affirmation administered to a credible witness.


28 Apr 2023

where can i find a notary in Texas that WILL DO a credible witness signing? the notaries that i have contacted thus far will only do a signing where the signer has valid ID. I have paperwork from an attorney out of state that needs to notarized for the sale of property. I do not have a valid state ID, but I do have an appointment made (08/03/2023) to get one. These papers need to be notarized now not 4 months down the road. Where do I find a notary that will notarize the paperwork using a credible witness? Thank you!

National Notary Association

01 May 2023

UPDATED REPONSE 7-24-23. Hello. To use a credible witness for identification of a signer in Texas, the credible witness must be personally known to the Notary as well as being able to identify you (CPRC 121.005[a]) or the credible witness must be able to present proof of identity to the Notary in accordance with state Notary law (1 TAC 87.40[b]).


05 Jul 2023

My mother who is 80 uses several names. Same person with just her first name in Spanish and then translated to English and has 2 deeds with English name but not here Spanish name and doesn’t have ID stating the first name. Only in Spanish with correct last name. Guessing back in the day it didn’t matter. Now we are having a hard time selling the properties. Is there an affidavit that works with notary for identifying same person? Cause I read above that a notary has to personally know the signer.

National Notary Association

06 Jul 2023

Hello. You will need to contact a qualified attorney who can provide legal advice regarding what steps you can take in your situation.


20 Jul 2023

Please I need help with my school leaving certicate ,I have my marriage name on it but my green card carries my maiden name and now I need to proof I am the same person on my certificate and greencard ,what steps do I need to take ? How can notary help? Thank you

National Notary Association

21 Jul 2023

Hello. We're sorry, but you would need to contact USCIS or a qualified immigration attorney to answer any questions about confirming your identity for a green card.


22 Jul 2023

I respectfully disagree with the answer given to Busy on May 1, 2023. According to 1 TAC 87.40(2) (a) A traditional notary public shall not perform a notarization if the principal does not personally appear before the notary at the time of notarization in accordance with §87.1 of this title (relating to Definitions). (b) The methods by which a traditional notary public identifies a principal are as follows: (1) Traditional notary public personally knows the principal; or (2) Principal is introduced by oath of credible witness who personally knows the principal and either is personally known to the traditional notary public or provides qualifying identification in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection; or (3) Identification by a credential. According to this TAC language, the notary can accept a credible witness who is unknown to the notary by credential (unexpired drivers license showing witness photo and signature.

National Notary Association

24 Jul 2023

Hello. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will update the previous response.

Lisa Contreras

28 Dec 2023

What type of document (other than the notary journal) does a credible witness need to sign? There will not be a place on the documents obviously, so is the process just swearing them in and notating in the journal or is there something else they need to sign?

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2024

Hello. In Texas, the credible witness must swear or affirm the signer's identity before the Notary, but is not required to sign additional documents. Under state law, Government Code Section 406.014(6) requires Texas Notaries to record the following information in the journal entry when a credible witness identifies a signer: 1. The name of the credible witness. 2. The residence address of the credible witness.


29 Jan 2024

What are the CREDIBLE WITNESS requirements for an Apostille?

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2024

Hello. An apostille is a verification of a Notary's commission status. It does not require credible witnesses to identify the Notary.

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