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How to Become a Notary Public in Texas

If you're interested in becoming a Notary Public in Texas this practical guide answers many common questions about the process. Learn about a Notary's duties and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to become a Texas notary or renew your Texas commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

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

Texas Notary Process
Requirements to be a Notary in Texas
General Notary Public Information

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BECOME a Notary

Texas Notary Process

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 your $10,000 surety bond.
  3. Complete the entire application Form 2301. 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. Consider purchasing E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure.
  9. Consider taking a continuing education course for additional training and guidance.

How long does it take to receive my 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 (4) years.

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.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Texas

 

Who can become a Notary?

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

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must reside in the state of Texas.
  • You cannot 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 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 an exam?

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

What kind of supplies will I need?

You’ll need a Notary seal, journal and a fee schedule to display for customers.

Your Notary seal may be a stamp or an embosser. 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. 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 in your journal (1 Tex. Admin. Code §87.40).

If you are a mobile or retail Notary, an ID checking guide is recommended because you are constantly dealing with different people, as opposed to someone who notarizes in the same setting for the same group of people day after day.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

Notaries in Texas are required by law to purchase 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

 

Can anyone help me become a 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.

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.

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 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 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.

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