Notary Agent’s Duties
Texas Notary Public
Notary publics in Texas are officially commissioned by the Texas Secretary of State office. It gives individuals who are recognized as notaries in Texas certain powers to, essentially, preside over official documents.
The basic duties of notary publics remain pretty standard across all states. It’s in the details of the requirements where differences lie.
In Texas, as with all other states, notary publics are responsible for:
The Notary Public, upon taking office, is required to post a $10,000 bond with the Secretary of State. It’s to ensure that the individual appointed will execute their duties professionally and honestly.
In the case of Ms. Jackson, for example, this posted bond could be jeopardy if she’s found negligent and doesn’t win her case.
Is a Notary Public Seal Required in Texas?
Another aspect of the notary public’s duties in Texas is to apply a seal to all “certificates” or forms that are attached to the documentation to be witnessed, signed, or authenticated.
Seals are standard procedure in all states and its inclusion just provides further information about the notary public, including their name, as well as the date their commission expires.
There’s also a new rule for notary public seals commissioned (or who are renewing their commissions) after January 1, 2016. Their seals need to include their notary ID number
- Take acknowledgements and affirmations
- Administer oaths
- Take depositions
- Certify copies of documents that are not recorded in public records
- Witness signatures on official documents
- Authenticate the identities of signers
Do Texas Notary Publics Need To Keep a Record Book?
Absolutely. In Texas, notary publics must keep a record book.
In other states, the Notary Public doesn’t have to keep a record book (also known as a journal) if there’s no exchange of money for the service.
Not so in Texas – in this state, notaries must keep a record book of all notarial acts performed, regardless of whether the client was charged or not.
Record books kept in Texas usually include the following information:
- Date each instrument is notarized
- Date of the notarization performed
- Name and place of residence of the signer/granter/maker
- Details on the type of ID provided
- A description of the instrument being signed
- Whether an individual is personally known by the notary public or was introduced to them
…and a few other details
Can Texas Notaries Perform Electronic and Remote Notarizations?
Notary publics in Texas are allowed to perform “electronic” notarizations. This is where the signature can be digital or the document can be digitally signed.
However, the signer of the document must still appear before the notary so that their identity can be authenticated. That requirement remains alive.
However, Texas House Bill 1217 gives notaries to perform remote or online notarizations and this is probably what people think stands in for electronic notarizations. It’s a considerably flexible law and an evolution in the notarial act itself.
Essentially, notarial acts can be performed through two-way video and audio conferencing. The signer does not need to be physically present because, obviously, the notary public can view and hear them.
One last thing about “remote” notarizations: over-the-phone attempts to notarize documents don’t count in Texas.