Underwriting Manual: TX


Notaries Public

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In General

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A notary or notary public is a person commissioned by a state and authorized to administer oaths, take acknowledgments and depositions, attest and certify documents and protest negotiable instruments for nonpayment or nonacceptance.



In Texas, a notary is appointed for a term of four (4) years and has statewide jurisdiction.



One who is a party to an instrument, no matter how small or nominal their interest, cannot act as a notary public for that instrument. However, a mere relationship to a party does not disqualify a notary.



A notary public must have an official seal. The purpose of the seal is to authenticate the authority of the notary to which the Notarial certificate is duly affixed. The seal must clearly show:




The name of the notary.




The words: ?Notary Public, State of Texas? around a star of 5 points.




The seal may be either circular, or rectangular and have a serrated or milled edge border.




The seal may be affixed by either an embosser or a rubber ink stamp.




The date of the expiration of the notary's commission.



Notaries public are required to keep a record or journal book and to enter therein their notarial acts and other information.



In 2001, Texas passed Legislation authorizing electronic documents to be electronically acknowledged.


The Texas Secretary of State maintains a list of those states that do not require seals to be used by their notaries.  Texas will allow recording instruments by these notaries without a seal on them.


In the case of a notary on a document acknowledged in a foreign nation, we recognize:

1.       Acknowledgement by a consulate official of the United States

2.       An apostille (see form below).


41-326. Apostille

An apostille prescribed by the Hague convention, as cited in 28 United States Code in annotations to rule 44 of the federal rules of civil procedure, shall be in the form of a square with sides at least nine centimeters long and shall contain exactly the following wording:


(Convention de la haye du 5 Octobre 1961)

1. Country: ___________________________________________

This public document

2. Has been signed by ___________________________________

3. Acting in the capacity of ___________________________

4. Bears the seal/stamp of ______________________________


5. At ____________________

6. The ____________________

7. By ___________________________________________________

8. No. _________________________________________________

9. Seal/stamp

10. Signature _______________________