What is a Notary?

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.

Will I need to meet with the Notary?

Texas Law requires that a Principle (Signer) must appear before the notary

Traditionally, notarization required a “personal appearance” between the notary and the Principle or Signer. In Texas, this means that the Signer or Principle “physically appeared before the notary public at a time of the notarization in a manner permitting the notary public and principle to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials to each other”.
[Title 1, Part 4, Ch87, Sub Chap. A, Rule 87.1(6)(a)]

Can we meet Online?

Yes! Beginning in 2018, Texas made a change to the Texas Government Code that allows for the personal appearance to take place Online “by an interactive two-way audio and video communication that meets the online notarization requirements as required by Subchapter C, Chapter 406, of the government code”.
[Title 1, Part 4, Ch87, Sub Chap. A, Rule 87.1(6)(b)]

Why do I need an ID?

One of the primary duties of a Notary Public is to verify a Principle or Signer’s identity.

Texas allows notary public’s to determine a Principle’s (Signers) identity by one of three methods:

1) Personal knowledge. This means the notary personally knows the Signer or Principle.

2) Identification by qualifying credential. A Credential means a valid, unexpired, identification card or other document issued by the Federal government or any state government, as defined by the TGC. It must contain a photograph and signature of the Signer or Principle

3) Oath of a Credible Witness. A Credible witness must swear, under oath, that they personally know the Signer or Principle. The Credible witness must either be personally known to the Notary or must produce qualifying identification as defined by this chapter. This method is only allowed in dire situations. It is the sole discretion of the notary to determine whether this method is allowed

The following is a partial list of allowable type of ID in Texas: 
  • 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

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.