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GOVERNMENT CODE
CHAPTER 406. NOTARY PUBLIC; COMMISSIONER OF DEEDS
SUBCHAPTER A. NOTARY PUBLIC

 § 406.001. APPOINTMENTS. The secretary of state may 
appoint a notary public at any time.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.002. TERM. The term of a notary public expires four 
years after the date the notary public qualifies.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.003. JURISDICTION. A notary public has statewide 
jurisdiction. 

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.004. ELIGIBILITY. Each person appointed and 
commissioned as a notary public shall be at least 18 years of age 
and a resident of the State of Texas and must not have been 
convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.


 § 406.005. APPOINTMENT PROCEDURE--STATEMENT. (a) Each 
person to be appointed a notary public shall submit an application 
to the secretary of state on a form prescribed by the secretary of 
state. The application must satisfy the secretary of state that the 
applicant is qualified. The application must state:
  (1) the applicant's name to be used in acting as a 
notary public; 
  (2) the applicant's post office address; 
  (3) the applicant's county of residence; 
  (4) the applicant's date of birth; 
  (5) the applicant's driver's license number or the 
number of other official state-issued identification; and
  (6) the applicant's social security number. 
 (b) The applicant shall also execute the statement of 
officers as required by Section 1, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.
 (c) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1211, § 1. 

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 
2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1211, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


 § 406.006. QUALIFICATION.. An individual qualifies by: 
  (1) properly completing the application form; 
  (2) executing the statement; 
  (3) providing the bond, if required; 
  (4) paying the required filing fees; and 
  (5) meeting the eligibility requirements. 

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 406, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 
1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 2003, 78th 
Leg., ch. 285, § 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


 § 406.007. FEES PAID TO SECRETARY OF STATE. (a) The 
applicant must submit to the secretary of state:
  (1) a fee of $10 for approving and filing the bond of 
the notary public, if required; and
  (2) a fee of $1 to be appropriated to and used by the 
secretary of state only for hiring an investigator and for 
preparing and distributing the materials required to be distributed 
under Section 406.008.
 (b) The secretary of state shall charge for use of the state 
a fee of $10 for a notary public commission. The applicant must pay 
the fee in advance to the secretary of state.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 4, § 2.14(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; 
Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 285, § 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


 § 406.008. COMMISSION; NOTARY MATERIALS. (a) 
Immediately after the qualification of a notary public, the 
secretary of state shall send notice of appointment along with a 
commission to the notary public. The commission is effective as of 
the date of qualification.
 (b) When the commission is issued, the secretary of state 
shall supply the notary public with:
  (1) materials outlining the powers and duties of the 
office; 
  (2) a list of prohibited acts; and 
  (3) sample forms for an acknowledgment, jurat, and 
verification and for the administering of an oath, protest, and 
deposition.
 (c) Repealed by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 10, eff. 
Jan. 1, 1996. 

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 4, 10, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.


 § 406.009. REJECTION OF APPOINTMENT; SUSPENSION OR 
REVOCATION OF COMMISSION. (a) The secretary of state may, for good 
cause, reject an application or suspend or revoke the commission of 
a notary public.
 (b) An action by the secretary of state under this section 
is subject to the rights of notice, hearing, adjudication, and 
appeal.
 (c) An appeal under this section is to the district court of 
Travis County. The secretary of state has the burden of proof, and 
the trial is conducted de novo.
 (d) In this section, "good cause" includes: 
  (1) a final conviction for a crime involving moral 
turpitude; 
  (2) a false statement knowingly made in an 
application; 
  (3) the failure to comply with Section 406.017; 
  (4) a final conviction for a violation of a law 
concerning the regulation of the conduct of notaries public in this 
or another state; 
  (5) the imposition on the notary public of an 
administrative, criminal, or civil penalty for a violation of a law 
or rule prescribing the duties of a notary public; or
  (6) performing any notarization when the person for 
whom the notarization is performed did not personally appear before 
the notary at the time the notarization is executed.
 (e) The dismissal and discharge of proceedings under either 
the misdemeanor adult probation and supervision law or the adult 
probation, parole, and mandatory supervision law shall not be 
considered a conviction for the purposes of determining good cause.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 4, § 2.15(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; 
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 5, 6, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.


 § 406.010. BOND; OATH. (a) Each person to be appointed a 
notary public shall, before entering the official duties of office, 
execute a bond in the amount of $10,000 with a solvent surety 
company authorized to do business in this state as a surety. The 
bond must be approved by the secretary of state, payable to the 
governor, and conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties 
of office. The secretary of state has the authority to accept an 
electronic filing of the notary public bond if an agreement has been 
made with the surety company.
 (b) The notary bond shall be deposited in the office of the 
secretary of state, is not void on first recovery, and may be sued 
on in the name of the injured party from time to time until the whole 
amount of the bond is recovered.
 (c) A notary public, before entering on the duties of 
office, shall take the official oath required by Section 1, Article 
XVI, Texas Constitution.
 (d) The oath shall be signed and sworn to or affirmed by the 
notary public in the presence of a notary public or other person 
authorized to administer oaths in this state. A notary public 
cannot execute his or her own oath of office.
 (e) The secretary of state shall provide an oath of office 
form along with the commission and educational materials.
 (f) Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply to a person whose 
services as a notary public are performed primarily as a state 
officer or employee.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 
2003, 78th Leg., ch. 285, § 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


 § 406.011. REAPPOINTMENT. (a) Not earlier than 90 days 
prior to the expiration date of the notary's term, a notary public 
may apply for reappointment on submission of a new application to 
the secretary of state.
 (b) A notary public who is not reappointed on or before the 
expiration date of the term the notary public is serving will be 
appointed for a new term expiring four years from the date of 
qualification.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 8, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.


 § 406.012. INSPECTION OF RECORDS. All records concerning 
the appointment and qualification of the notary public shall be 
kept in the office of the secretary of state. The records are 
public information.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 4, § 2.16(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


 § 406.013. SEAL. (a) A notary public shall provide a seal 
of office that clearly shows, when embossed, stamped, or printed on 
a document, the words "Notary Public, State of Texas" around a star 
of five points, the notary public's name, and the date the notary 
public's commission expires. The notary public shall authenticate 
all official acts with the seal of office.
 (b) The seal may be a circular form not more than two inches 
in diameter or a rectangular form not more than one inch in width 
and 2-1/2 inches in length. The seal must have a serrated or milled 
edge border.
 (c) The seal must be affixed by a seal press or stamp that 
embosses or prints a seal that legibly reproduces the required 
elements of the seal under photographic methods. An indelible ink 
pad must be used for affixing by a stamp the impression of a seal on 
an instrument to authenticate the notary public's official act.
 (d) Subsection (c) does not apply to an electronically 
transmitted authenticated document, except that an electronically 
transmitted authenticated document must legibly reproduce the 
required elements of the seal.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 4, § 2.71(d), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; 
Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 95, § 2, eff. May 11, 2001.


 § 406.014. NOTARY RECORDS. (a) A notary public other 
than a court clerk notarizing instruments for the court shall keep 
in a book a record of:
  (1) the date of each instrument notarized; 
  (2) the date of the notarization; 
  (3) the name of the signer, grantor, or maker; 
  (4) the signer's, grantor's, or maker's residence or 
alleged residence; 
  (5) whether the signer, grantor, or maker is 
personally known by the notary public, was identified by an 
identification card issued by a governmental agency or a passport 
issued by the United States, or was introduced to the notary public 
and, if introduced, the name and residence or alleged residence of 
the individual introducing the signer, grantor, or maker; 
  (6) if the instrument is proved by a witness, the 
residence of the witness, whether the witness is personally known 
by the notary public or was introduced to the notary public and, if 
introduced, the name and residence of the individual introducing 
the witness; 
  (7) the name and residence of the grantee;
  (8) if land is conveyed or charged by the instrument, 
the name of the original grantee and the county where the land is 
located; and
  (9) a brief description of the instrument.
 (b) Entries in the notary's book are public information. 
 (c) A notary public shall, on payment of all fees, provide a 
certified copy of any record in the notary public's office to any 
person requesting the copy.
 (d) A notary public who administers an oath pursuant to 
Article 45.019, Code of Criminal Procedure, is exempt from the 
requirement in Subsection (a) of recording that oath.
 (e) A notary public may maintain the records required by 
Subsection (a) electronically in a computer or other storage 
device.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 4, § 2.17(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; 
Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 406, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 
1989, 71st Leg., ch. 451, § 1, eff. June 14, 1989; Acts 1999, 
76th Leg., ch. 1545, § 71, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2005, 79th 
Leg., ch. 103, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.


 § 406.015. COPIES CERTIFIED BY COUNTY CLERK. (a) A copy 
of a record, declaration, protest, or other official act of a notary 
public may be certified by the county clerk with whom the instrument 
is deposited.
 (b) A copy of an instrument certified by the county clerk 
under Subsection (a) has the same authority as if certified by the 
notary public by whom the record, declaration, protest, or other 
official act was originally made.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.016. AUTHORITY. (a) A notary public has the same 
authority as the county clerk to:
  (1) take acknowledgments or proofs of written 
instruments; 
  (2) protest instruments permitted by law to be 
protested; 
  (3) administer oaths; 
  (4) take depositions; and 
  (5) certify copies of documents not recordable in the 
public records. 
 (b) A notary public shall sign an instrument in Subsection 
(a) in the name under which the notary public is commissioned.
 (c) A notary public may not issue an identification card. 
 (d) A notary public not licensed to practice law in this 
state may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.0165. SIGNING DOCUMENT FOR INDIVIDUAL WITH 
DISABILITY. (a) A notary may sign the name of an individual who is 
physically unable to sign or make a mark on a document presented for 
notarization if directed to do so by that individual, in the 
presence of a witness who has no legal or equitable interest in any 
real or personal property that is the subject of, or is affected by, 
the document being signed. The notary shall require identification 
of the witness in the same manner as from an acknowledging person 
under Section 121.005, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
 (b) A notary who signs a document under this section shall 
write, beneath the signature, the following or a substantially 
similar sentence:
 "Signature affixed by notary in the presence of (name of 
witness), a disinterested witness, under Section 406.0165, 
Government Code."
 (c) A signature made under this section is effective as the 
signature of the individual on whose behalf the signature was made 
for any purpose. A subsequent bona fide purchaser for value may 
rely on the signature of the notary as evidence of the individual's 
consent to execution of the document.
 (d) In this section, "disability" means a physical 
impairment that impedes the ability to sign or make a mark on a 
document.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1218, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. 


 § 406.017. REPRESENTATION AS ATTORNEY. (a) A person 
commits an offense if the person is a notary public and the person:
  (1) states or implies that the person is an attorney 
licensed to practice law in this state;
  (2) solicits or accepts compensation to prepare 
documents for or otherwise represent the interest of another in a 
judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding 
relating to immigration to the United States, United States 
citizenship, or related matters;
  (3) solicits or accepts compensation to obtain relief 
of any kind on behalf of another from any officer, agency, or 
employee of this state or the United States;
  (4) uses the phrase "notario" or "notario publico" to 
advertise the services of a notary public, whether by signs, 
pamphlets, stationery, or other written communication or by radio 
or television; or
  (5) advertises the services of a notary public in a 
language other than English, whether by signs, pamphlets, 
stationery, or other written communication or by radio or 
television, if the person does not post or otherwise include with 
the advertisement a notice that complies with Subsection (b).
 (b) The notice required by Subsection (a)(5) must state that 
the notary public is not an attorney and must be in English and in 
the language of the advertisement and in letters of a conspicuous 
size. If the advertisement is by radio or television, the statement 
may be modified, but must include substantially the same message. 
The notice must include the fees that a notary public may charge and 
the following statement:
 "I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN TEXAS AND 
MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE."
 (c) It is an exception to prosecution under this section 
that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person is licensed to 
practice law in this state and in good standing with the State Bar 
of Texas.
 (d) Except as provided by Subsection (e) of this section, an 
offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
 (e) An offense under this section is a felony of the third 
degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant 
has previously been convicted under this section.
 (f) Failure to comply with this section is, in addition to a 
violation of any other applicable law of this state, a deceptive 
trade practice actionable under Chapter 17, Business & Commerce 
Code.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 566, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.


 § 406.018. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. (a) A notary public 
guilty of wilful neglect of duty or malfeasance in office may be 
removed from office in the manner provided by law.
 (b) A notary public indicted for and convicted of a wilful 
neglect of duty or official misconduct shall be removed from 
office. The court shall include the order for removal as part of 
its judgment.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.019. CHANGE OF ADDRESS. A notary public shall 
notify the secretary of state of a change of the notary public's 
address not later than the 10th day after the date on which the 
change is made.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.020. REMOVAL FROM STATE. A notary public who 
removes his residence from this state vacates the office.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.021. REMOVAL FROM PRECINCT. An ex officio notary 
public who moves permanently from the notary public's precinct 
vacates the office.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.022. EFFECT OF VACANCY. If the office of a notary 
public becomes vacant due to resignation, removal, or death, the 
county clerk of the county in which the notary public resides shall 
obtain the record books and public papers belonging to the office of 
the notary public and deposit them in the county clerk's office.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 406, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


 § 406.023. ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT. (a) The 
secretary of state shall adopt rules necessary for the 
administration and enforcement of this subchapter. The rules must 
be consistent with the provisions of this subchapter.
 (b) The secretary of state may employ an investigator to aid 
in the enforcement of this subchapter.
 (c) The secretary of state may provide for the appointment 
of county clerks as deputy custodians for the limited 
authentication of notary public records deposited in the clerks' 
offices.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. 


 § 406.024. FEES CHARGED BY NOTARY PUBLIC. (a) A notary 
public or its employer may charge the following fees:
  (1) for protesting a bill or note for nonacceptance or 
nonpayment, register and seal, a fee of $4;
  (2) for each notice of protest, a fee of $1; 
  (3) for protesting in all other cases, a fee of $4; 
  (4) for certificate and seal to a protest, a fee of $4; 
  (5) for taking the acknowledgment or proof of a deed or 
other instrument in writing, for registration, including 
certificate and seal, a fee of $6 for the first signature and $1 for 
each additional signature;
  (6) for administering an oath or affirmation with 
certificate and seal, a fee of $6;
  (7) for a certificate under seal not otherwise 
provided for, a fee of $6; 
  (8) for a copy of a record or paper in the notary 
public's office, a fee of 50 cents for each page;
  (9) for taking the deposition of a witness, 50 cents 
for each 100 words; 
  (10) for swearing a witness to a deposition, 
certificate, seal, and other business connected with taking the 
deposition, a fee of $6; and
  (11) for a notarial act not provided for, a fee of $6. 
 (b) A notary public may charge a fee only for an 
acknowledgment or official act under Subsection (a). The fee 
charged may not exceed the fee authorized by Subsection (a).

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 147, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended 
by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 4, § 2.18(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1989; 
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 259, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


 § 406.025. SIGNATURE ON COMMISSIONS AFTER CHANGE IN 
OFFICE. If the governor or secretary of state ceases to hold or 
perform the duties of office, existing stocks of commissions 
bearing the person's printed name, signature, or facsimile 
signature may be used until they are exhausted, and the person 
succeeding to the office or the duties of the office shall have the 
commissions issued with:
  (1) the obsolete printed name, signature, or facsimile 
signature struck through;
  (2) the successor's printed name submitted for the 
obsolete printed name, signature, or facsimile signature; and
  (3) the inscription "Printed name authorized by law" 
near the successor's printed name.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 719, § 9, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.