How to become a notary in texas?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 29, 2024

Becoming a notary in Texas involves several steps, from meeting specific eligibility requirements to completing an application and obtaining the necessary supplies. This detailed guide breaks down each step, so you can confidently navigate the process of becoming a notary public in the Lone Star State.

Eligibility Requirements

Before you begin the application process, ensure that you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Residency: You must be a legal resident of Texas or a resident of a neighboring state who works in Texas.
  • Criminal Record: You must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

Complete the Application

The next step is to complete the notary application, which can be done online or via mail. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Application Form: Obtain the application form from the Texas Secretary of State’s website or request a paper form if you prefer.
  • Fee: The application fee is $21, payable by credit card for online applications or check/money order for mailed applications.
  • Oath of Office: You must take an oath of office, which is included in the application process. This oath must be notarized by another notary.

Obtain a Notary Bond

In Texas, you are required to obtain a $10,000 surety bond. This bond serves as a financial guarantee that you will perform your notarial duties ethically and in accordance with the law. Here’s how to obtain one:

  • Bond Companies: Choose a bond company licensed to issue surety bonds in Texas. Many insurance companies also offer notary bonds.
  • Cost: The cost of the bond varies but typically ranges between $50 and $100 for a four-year term.
  • Submission: Submit proof of the surety bond along with your application to the Texas Secretary of State.

Purchase Notary Supplies

Once your application is approved, you’ll need to purchase the necessary notary supplies. Essential supplies include:

  • Notary Seal: Your official notary seal must include your name, the words “Notary Public, State of Texas,” and your commission expiration date. It can be a rubber stamp or an embosser.
  • Notary Journal: While Texas does not legally require notaries to keep a journal, it is highly recommended to maintain a record of all notarial acts you perform. This can protect you in case of legal disputes.
  • Certificate Forms: Obtain notary certificate forms for acknowledgments, jurats, and other common notarial acts. These forms must comply with Texas notary laws.

Continuing Education

Although Texas does not mandate notary training, it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with notary laws and best practices. Consider the following options:

  • Online Courses: Several organizations offer online courses to help you understand your duties and responsibilities as a notary.
  • Workshops: Attend workshops or seminars provided by notary associations or local community colleges.
  • Reference Materials: Invest in reference books and guides that cover Texas notary laws and procedures.

Receive Your Commission

After your application is approved, you will receive your notary commission certificate. This certificate is valid for four years. Here’s what to do next:

  • Verify Information: Double-check that all the information on your commission certificate is accurate.
  • Public Record: Your commission details will be recorded in the Texas Secretary of State’s office, and you are now officially authorized to perform notarial acts.

Perform Notarial Acts

With your commission certificate and supplies in hand, you can begin performing notarial acts. Common notarial duties include:

  • Acknowledgments: Verifying the identity of individuals signing documents.
  • Jurats: Administering oaths or affirmations and witnessing the signing of documents.
  • Certified Copies: Certifying that copies of certain documents are true copies of the original.

Maintain Your Notary Commission

It’s crucial to maintain your notary commission and stay compliant with Texas notary laws. Here are some tips:

  • Renewal: Begin the renewal process at least three months before your commission expires to avoid a lapse in your notarial authority.
  • Record Keeping: Keep detailed records of all notarial acts and retain your notary journal for at least three years after your commission expires.
  • Legal Updates: Stay informed about changes in notary laws and regulations by regularly visiting the Texas Secretary of State’s website or joining a notary association.

Additional Resources

Here are some valuable resources that can assist you throughout your notary career in Texas:

By understanding and following these detailed steps, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your notary journey in Texas. Each step of the process, from ensuring eligibility to maintaining your commission, is a vital component of your notarial career. The path to becoming a notary in Texas is structured to ensure you perform your duties with integrity, making a valuable contribution to the legal and business communities in the state.

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