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How to Become a Notary Public in Texas

To become a Notary Public in Texas, applicants must complete the following process:

  1. Make sure you meet all of Texas' eligibility requirements (see below).
  2. Get a $10,000 surety bond.
  3. Complete the application. Consider using our application wizard to avoid mistakes.
  4. Submit your application, proof of your bond and a $21 filing fee to the state.
  5. Receive your commission certificate.
  6. Take your oath of office. You will need to bring your commission certificate to a Texas Notary who will administer the oath and notarize the form. They will keep the commission certificate and oath (Tex. Gov't Code, Sec. 406.005).
  7. Buy your Notary seal, journal (record book) and fee schedule.
  8. Get E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure (optional, but strongly recommended).
  9. Take a continuing education course for additional training and guidance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: Texas Notary Process | TX Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Texas Notary Process

Find more information about the Notary Public application process below.

How much does it cost to become a Texas Notary?

The state filing fee is $21. The cost of your bond, seal and journal will vary based on the vendor you choose. Be sure to check the fine print and product quality before buying your supplies. Some vendors may package items with additional or hidden fees – processing fees for example.

New Notaries may need more assistance than experienced Notaries. Training courses, books and live expert assistance are often must-haves for new Notaries who are learning how to perform their duties.

How long does it take to receive my TX Notary commission?

You should receive your commission certificate from the state in approximately two weeks if you emailed it and approximately 30 days if you mailed it.

How long will my Texas Notary commission last?

Your Texas Notary commission lasts for four years.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Texas

Wondering what it takes to become a Notary in the Lone Star State? Read on below.

Who can become a TX Notary?

There are three basic qualifications for a person to become a Notary in Texas:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident of the state of Texas
  • Not be convicted of a felony or a crime that involves moral turpitude that has not been dismissed or discharged by law

Escrow agents who are residents of a state adjacent to Texas may qualify as Texas Notaries without meeting the residency requirement.

Is training required to become a TX Notary?

Training is not required for Texas Notaries but the Secretary of State does provide educational materials and a training video online.

The NNA also offers an interactive online course that provides new Notaries with the how-to knowledge needed to perform common notarial acts.

Do I need to take a Texas Notary exam?

No, passing an exam is not required to become a Notary in Texas.

What Notary supplies will I need?

Notaries are required to use an official Notary seal -- and a journal if they charge for their Notary services.

Your Notary seal may be an inked stamp or embosser in either a circular shape no larger than 2" in diameter or in a rectangular shape no larger than 1" x 2.5". Within a milled edge or serrated border, the seal must surround the following information:

  • The words "Notary Public, State of Texas" (around the five-pointed star)
  • A star of five points
  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • Your Notary ID number
  • Your commission expiration date

Ask the vendor you choose about product guarantees because quality and durability can vary greatly.

When you're deciding which journal to buy, look for security features like tamper-proof sewn binding as well as a section for fees. You must keep your journal safe and secure for your entire commission, or for three years after the last notarization, whichever is longer (1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.44). Texas considers it a best practice to permanently maintain and safeguard copies of the records. You may not record any identification number, driver’s license, Social Security card or passport numbers, or biometrics like thumbprints in your journal (1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.40).

Notaries also have to keep their supplies under their exclusive control at all times, so you may want to get a case or a bag that locks.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

Notaries in Texas are required by law to buy a $10,000 surety bond from a company authorized to do business in the state.

The bond must be approved by the Secretary of State, payable to the Governor and conditioned to provide reimbursement to any person damaged by the Notary's improper performance of official duties (Texas Gov't Code, Sec. 406.010). Notaries who primarily perform notarizations as officers or employees of state agencies do not need a bond.

The bond is a financial guarantee from a bonding company for signers and parties relying on a notarization who experience financial damages because a Notary intentionally or unintentionally violated a Notary law. If damages are paid out from the bond, you will need to repay your surety company.

Since a surety bond does not protect the Notary, many Notaries choose to purchase optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies to protect themselves from legal expenses. E&O insurance is not a requirement in Texas.

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General Notary Public Information

Here, you’ll find general information about being a Texas Notary Public.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Secretary of State, located in Austin, TX, issues Notary Public commissions.

Although Texas does not require training, where can I get it?

You can find several reputable Notary Public training providers with a quick online search. It's important to note that the Secretary of State does not provide workshops or seminars, nor does the Secretary endorse any business that advertises Notary Public training. Since the Secretary of State doesn't have jurisdiction to take action regarding a business that offers Notary training, make sure you thoroughly review any company you plan to work with.

Can anyone help me become a TX Notary?

Yes. Several companies, including the National Notary Association, offer Notary training, supplies, bonds, insurance and assistance with the entire application process. Also, the Secretary of State's website has the application with submission details, educational materials and a training video if you want to get the process started on your own.

Where will I be able to notarize?

You will be able to notarize anywhere in the state of Texas.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for everyone who presents acceptable identification, excluding yourself. You cannot notarize your own signature, nor can you notarize documents you are named in or would benefit from. Texas law doesn't specifically prohibit you from notarizing for a spouse or relative or for a spouse's business. If being a Notary is part of your job, your employer may limit the notarizations you perform during work hours.

How much can I charge for notarial acts?

Texas Notaries may charge maximum fees ranging from $0.50 per 100 words of a deposition to $6 for taking the acknowledgment or proof of a deed or other instrument in writing. Notaries may charge fees lower than the maximum amount or no fees at all. If you charge any fees, you must have a fee schedule to display for customers.

What should I do if I move or change my name?

You must notify the Secretary of State of any changes to your address or name within 10 days of the change. If you move, complete the Notary Public Change of Address Form and submit it to the Secretary’s office. You may also change your mailing address online.

For name changes, complete the Application for Change of Name as a Texas Notary Public. Then, you'll need to get a rider or endorsement to the bond on file from the surety company specifying the name change. Submit the completed application, rider or endorsement, current certificate of commission, and the $20 filing fee to the Secretary. As an alternative to your current certificate, you may submit a notarized statement that you will perform all notarial acts under the name specified on the amended commission. Upon approval, you'll receive an amended commission at which point you'll need to get a new seal bearing your new name.

How much legal risk will I face?

It depends. Even the most careful and detail-oriented people can make mistakes. As a Notary Public, any unintentional mistake you make or intentional misconduct you engage in could be very costly for everyone involved. Notaries have been sued for financial damages that signers incur, and lawsuits are expensive even if you're innocent. If you are diligent in following the law and keep thorough records, you'll be better prepared if any legal action does come your way.

How do I renew my Notary commission?

To renew your commission, you must maintain your $10,000 surety bond and reapply. You should start the process no earlier than 90 days before your commission expires. You must buy a new Notary seal to reflect your updated commission expiration date. You'll also need a new journal if your old one is full.

How do I become a TX electronic Notary?

Electronic notarizations are in-person transactions that involve digital documents and electronic signatures. Any commissioned traditional Notary Public can perform electronic notarizations as long as the notarization meets all of the requirements of a traditional, paper-based notarization, such as the signer personally appearing before the Notary.

What do I need to know about remote online notarization in Texas?

On July 1, 2018, Texas became the third state to allow remote online notarization (RON). Notaries with an active commission can register to become a Texas remote online Notary by following the steps in this guide.

If you're not quite ready to get started, we have additional resources where you can learn what a Notary is, what they do and why you should become a commissioned Notary.

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