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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Texas, we lay out the roadmap to achieving this goal. With easy-to-follow, actionable steps, we’ll help you navigate this intriguing process, turning the complex into simple.
Whether you’re looking to serve your community or generate additional income, this article will offer everything you need to know to get started.
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Become a Notary in Texas
In order to become a notary in Texas, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
First and foremost, make sure you meet the essential Texas notary requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You should be a legal resident of Texas
- You must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving “moral turpitude”
Note: Applications from users with felony convictions will become automatically denied.
Step 2: Purchase a Surety Bond
After you ensure that you satisfy the basic requirements of being a notary in Texas, you’ll need to purchase a $10,000 Surety Bond. This protects the general public from any liability that could arise as a result of any misconduct or negligence on your part.
The bond is filed along with your application.
Note: You can choose to purchase a $10,000 Surety Bond from the National Notary’s Texas Notary Surety Bond website while submitting your application for a fee of $50.
Step 3: Fill Out the Application Form
The next step involves filling out Form 2301 – Application for Appointment as Texas Notary Public.
This form requests your personal details and includes a declaration about your criminal history.
Note: You will also need an authorized person of the surety company that’s providing your bond to sign the form. A premium will likely need to be collected by the company from which you purchased the bond.
Step 4: Protect Yourself with Errors and Omissions Insurance
While not required by law, it’s a good idea to consider protecting yourself with Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
This type of insurance provides coverage for any potential mistakes or omissions that you might make as you perform notarial acts. It’s an extra layer of protection that can give you peace of mind while operating for a relatively low opportunity cost.
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Step 5: Pay the Filing Fee and Submit the Form
When you’re ready to submit your application, you’ll also need to pay a filing fee.
This is $21, and can be paid via personal checks, money orders, LegalEase debit cards or American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa credit cards.
You will be able to submit the form to the following address:
Notary Public Unit
P.O. Box 13375
Alternatively, you can deliver it to the James Earl Rudder Office Building, which is located at 1019 Brazos, Austin, Texas 78701 or file your application online.
Step 6: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies
Once your notary commission is approved, get yourself set up with the necessary notary supplies. These include a notary stamp or seal and a Texas notary record book.
The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, and the record book is for logging all the services you provide.
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Step 7: Take an Oath of Office
After you submit your application and pay the required filing fee, you should receive your commission certificate from the Texas Secretary of State within a few weeks.
When you have it, you will need to take it to a Texas notary public who’s already commissioned. They will be able to administer your Oath of Office, notarize the form, and then keep it in file.
You will then be qualified to operate as a notary within Texas.
Step 8: Purchase a Course (Optional)
Even though this last step is not a legal requirement, you should note that several Texas notary applicants choose to invest in a notary course. This is because it can offer several benefits, such as:
- Understanding the Law: Notary laws can be complex and vary from state to state. A course can help ensure that notaries fully understand Texas notary laws and how to apply them correctly
- Professional Development: A course can enhance professional skills, making a notary more effective and competent in their role
- Reducing Liability: By better understanding the rules and best practices, notaries can reduce the risk of making errors that could result in legal action
- Increased Confidence: A notary course can boost a notary’s confidence by giving them a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise to draw from
- Staying Updated: Laws and procedures change over time. A course can help notaries stay current with any changes in notary regulations and practices
So, while it’s not mandatory in Texas, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.
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How to Become a Notary in Texas FAQ
How much does it cost to become a notary in Texas?
The total cost to become a notary in Texas can vary. However, the basic expenses include a $21 state filing fee and the cost of a $10,000 surety bond. You might also need to budget for notary supplies and optional notary training courses, as these costs can add up.
How long does a notary license last in Texas?
In Texas, a notary public commission is valid for four years. Once this period is up, notaries must go through a renewal process to continue providing notary services. This is important to ensure they stay up-to-date with current laws and procedures.
What does a notary do in Texas?
A notary in Texas plays a critical role in many legal processes. For example, they verify the identity of individuals involved, witness the signing of important documents, administer oaths, and certify copies of documents. Their primary role is to help prevent fraud by ensuring all signatures are authentic.
How can I become a notary public in Texas?
To become a notary public in Texas, there are several steps to follow. You must meet the eligibility criteria and complete the entire Texas notary application process. This includes completing Form 2301, purchasing a surety bond (also known as a notary bond), paying the state filing fee, procuring necessary notary supplies, and taking an Oath of Office. See our How to Become a Notary in Texas article for more information.
Who can become a Texas notary?
Texas requires all notary applicants to be at least 18 years old in order to file an application for a commission. You will also need to not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude. These criteria were set in place to ensure that all notaries are: a) of legal age, and b) going to operate in a legal and equitable manner.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.