What is a Notary?
A Notary Public is a public servant and “officer” of the State of Texas. Notary Publics are commissioned to faithfully perform the duties of serving as a disinterested third party authenticating the acts of a signing party. In general terms, a Notary Public Texas authenticates and verifies the identity of a signing party and verifies that the signature is authentic, under penalty of law.
Therefore, one of the primary duties of a Notary Public is to verify a signers identity. This generally means that the signing party must personally appear before the Notary, at the time of signing, and be able to produce a valid form of picture ID. Personal appearances DO NOT INCLUDE appearances by fax, telephone, video conferencing, spouse or friends permission, or employers assertion.
- Texas Drivers License
- Texas Concealed Carry License
- Texas Non-Drivers Identification Card
- U.S. Military Identification Cards
- U.S. Passport
- ID cards and resident alien ID cards (aka, Green Card) issued by any the U.S. immigration services
A credible Witness may also appear to vouch for the identity of a signing party. However, this is a discouraged practice and is only allowed in limited circumstances as determined by the Notary Public. A credible witness must personally appear and produce a valid form of photo ID and be willing to be put under oath and swear to the identity of the signer, under the same penalties and rules which govern testimony in a court of law (aka, perjury), which may include jail time. For more information, please call for a free phone consultation.
Secondly, the Notary public must verify the signers identity by physically inspecting a VALID form of picture ID. However, in some very limited cases, the Notary may identify the signer through personal knowledge. However, our Best Notary policy is to ALWAYS require a photo ID. A valid photo ID is generally considered to include an ID card issued by a Federal or State government agency that is currently valid and contains a photograph and signature.
Social Security Cards (except as a second form of ID often required in Real Estate and Loan documents), Work ID’s, Birth Certificates, and Credit/Debit Cards are absolutely unacceptable as primary forms of valid ID.
Foreign issued Passports are NOT acceptable as a primary form of ID unless it involves a Real Estate transaction.