Whether you notarize as a full-time career or as a side hustle, your job depends on keeping your commission current. Each state’s process varies, but generally, you’ll have to take a course or exam, file a bond and oath of office, and buy supplies.
Your commission is valid for four years and can only be renewed within a 90-day window prior to its expiration date.
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Application for Reappointment
If you’re a notary public whose license is about to expire, you must submit an application for reappointment no later than 90 days before your commission expires. Depending on your state’s laws, you may also need to submit a new notary bond and/or pass a background check to renew your license.
Regardless of what your state requires, it is important to take steps to ensure that you don’t allow your commission to lapse, as doing so can result in significant fines or even legal action. Renewing your notary commission is usually fairly simple, but it’s always a good idea to be proactive and start the process well ahead of time to avoid any lapse in service.
Some states have additional requirements that must be met in order to get a notary public’s license renewed, such as completing a notary education course or passing a background check. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the state’s laws governing notaries so that you can be aware of any restrictions or limitations on the services notaries are permitted to perform.
For instance, it is prohibited for a notary public to charge a fee for the drafting of immigration paperwork or to offer legal counsel in Texas. The Secretary of State may take disciplinary action against notaries who break these standards, which may include suspending or revoking their commission.
Unless they are state employees exempt from the bond requirement, all notary publics must apply for reappointment to be commissioned by the Texas Secretary of State. Applicants must meet the qualifications for a notary public, purchase a $10,000 surety bond and pay a $21 filing fee to receive their new commission. They must also take an oath of office before a notary in order to become fully recommissioned.
The NNA offers a convenient and cost-effective way to renew an expired notary public’s commission in Texas. We can help you obtain a new bond, stamp, and journal, as well as submit your renewal paperwork to the Secretary of State on your behalf. We’ll also include access to our notary hotline and a new notary supply package with your surety bond so that you have everything you need in one place.
Application for Renewal
Whether you notarize it as your primary career or as a part-time income source, keeping your license current is essential to your ongoing notary business. Fortunately, the process for renewing a notary commission in Texas is relatively simple.
The state’s online application for renewal opens 90 days before your commission expires. You must submit the same form that you used to apply for your initial commission. In addition, you will need to pay the renewal fee. You can pay the fee by personal check, money order, or LegalEase debit card.
If you are an active military service member, you may be eligible for a three-month extension on your commission. Otherwise, you must surrender your commission and take the knowledge and skills exams again.
Some states require notaries to pass an exam or complete a specific course of study before being commissioned. In Texas, however, there are no educational requirements or exams.
Once your application is approved, the Secretary of State will mail you a notice of approval and an invoice for the renewal fee. The invoice must be paid before you can renew your commission. If you do not receive the invoice within 30 days of the date of your approval letter, contact the Secretary of State’s office.
You must also purchase a new notary seal and journal/record book. The state recommends that you keep your record book permanently, so you can refer back to documents you notarized in the past. If your record book is full, you can buy a larger one to hold more documents. Also, you must obtain a separate surety bond to cover your notary duties.
The surety bond is like insurance that protects others if you make a mistake during your notary duties. You must have a minimum $10,000 policy to serve as a notary public in Texas. The bond must be submitted with your renewal application, and the premium is based on your experience level. It is important to review the state’s rules on notary practices before you begin working, so you do not violate any laws.
As a notary public, you have the authority to authenticate documents with your seal. This seal must prominently display the words “Notary Public, State of Texas” surrounding a five-pointed star and the notary’s name when embossed, stamped, or printed on a document. A notary’s commission is valid for four years. If you fail to perform your duties, you may be fined or even have your commission suspended or revoked by the secretary of state’s office.
In addition to a fee, all notaries must purchase a $10,000 surety bond to protect others from harm caused by the notary’s actions. The premium for this bond is paid to an insurance agent licensed in the state of Texas. This agency submits the bond to the secretary of state on behalf of the notary applicant.
When applying for a new notary commission, the notary must disclose his or her criminal record and whether or not he or she has been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude. The notary must also provide his or her Social Security number. The Secretary of State conducts random background checks on all applicants for a notary public. If an investigation reveals that the notary has made a false statement, the Office of the Secretary of State may refer the matter to the appropriate authorities.
Notaries must take a sworn or affirmed oath of office at the time of their appointment and when they renew their commission. The oath must be administered by someone who is authorized to administer oaths in the state of Texas. The oath must be signed by the person taking the oath and must be notarized.
The notary must have a journal or record book on hand to keep track of all notarizations. It is important to keep track of the dates and times that notarizations are performed so that the notary can produce the correct notarial certificate when needed. The notary must also obtain a new seal and start a new record book when his or her current one is full.
Notaries can begin the renewal process no earlier than 90 days before their current commission expires. To renew, the notary must resubmit Form 2301 along with a renewed $10,000 surety bond and a filing fee of $21. The notary must also purchase errors and omissions insurance that is valid for the duration of his or her commission.
Whether you notarize as your full-time job or as part of another profession, preventing your notary commission from expiring is one of the keys to keeping you on the path to success. Luckily, avoiding an expired commission is fairly simple. All you need to do is take a few steps before the deadline printed on your commission expires.
To renew a notary public commission in Texas, you must meet all the eligibility requirements set forth by state law. Those requirements include completing an application for reappointment, purchasing a notary bond, and submitting the correct paperwork to the Secretary of State. You must also purchase a new seal and start a new record book for future notarizations.
You should submit your application for renewal to the Secretary of State no earlier than 90 days before your current commission expires. You must also submit a fee to cover the cost of processing your application. During the renewal process, you must ensure that the name you enter on your application matches the name on your notary bond and the oath of office you took when you initially became a notary.
If you move or change your name during the course of your appointment, you must contact the secretary of state’s office to make the necessary changes to your record. The state will then send you a new notary commission certificate with the updated information.
You must also keep a record of all your notarizations in a journal. If you are not already keeping a journal, now is a good time to start. The State recommends that you keep a journal for three years. If your record book is nearly full, you should buy a new one as well. You should also obtain a new notary stamp with the updated commission expiration date and consider getting errors and omissions insurance. The insurance pays out to other people if you mishandle documents or cause damage as a notary, and the State requires that you have this coverage. The minimum amount is $5,000.