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List of Prohibited Acts

List of Prohibited Acts

If a notary public performs any of the following acts, the notary may be subject to possible criminal prosecution, civil liability, including liability under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and the revocation or suspension of the notary’s notary public commission. Texas Secretary of State Website

A notary public may not:

  1. Perform acts, which constitute the practice of law;
  2. Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents;
  3. Use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” to advertise notary services;
  4. Overcharge for notary public services;
  5. Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence;
  6. Notarize the notary’s own signature;
  7. Issue identification cards;
  8. Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned;
  9. Certify copies of documents recordable in the public records;
  10. Record in the notary’s record book the identification number and/or state that was assigned by the governmental agency or by the United States to the signer, granter or maker and that is set forth on an identification card or passport; or any other number that could be used to identify the signor, grantor or maker of the document. (This does not prohibit a notary from recording a number related to the residence or alleged residence of the signer, granter or maker of the document or the instrument.);
  11. Using the translation into a foreign language of a title or other word, including “notary” and “notary public” in reference to a person who is not an attorney in order to imply that the person is authorized to practice law in the United States.


Disciplinary Good Cause Actions

The secretary of state shall, for ineligibility or good cause, reject any application, revoke the commission of any notary public, or take other disciplinary action, as outlined in §87.34 of the Texas Administrative Code (relating to Disciplinary Action), against a notary public as the secretary of state deems appropriate. 1 Texas Administrative Code §87.31

Good cause may include the following:

  1. A false statement knowingly made in a notary public application;
  2. A final conviction for the violation of any law concerning the regulation of the conduct of notaries public in this state or any other state;
  3. Use of the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” in connection with advertising or offering the services of a notary public;
  4. False representation as an attorney as specified in §406.017, Government Code;
  5. A failure to fully and faithfully discharge any of the duties or responsibilities required of a notary public;
  6. The unauthorized practice of law;
  7. A failure to utilize a correct notary seal as described in §406.013 and §406.101(5), Government Code and this chapter;
  8. A failure to administer an oath or affirmation as required by law;
  9. The collection of a fee in excess of the fees authorized by §406.024 and §406.111, Government Code;
  10. The execution of any certificate as a notary public containing a statement known to the notary public to be false;
  11. A failure to complete the notarial certificate at the time of the notary public’s signature and seal are affixed to the document;
  12. The advertising or holding out in any manner that the notary public is an immigration specialist, immigration consultant, or any other title description reflecting an expertise in immigration matters;
  13. The use of false or misleading advertising of either an oral or written nature, whereby the notary public has represented or indicated that he or she has duties, rights, powers, or privileges that are not possessed by law;
  14. Performing a notarization when the purported principal did not personally appear before the notary public at the time the notarization is executed;
  15. Previous disciplinary action against the notary public in accordance with these sections;
  16. A failure to comply with, or violation of, a previous disciplinary action taken pursuant to §87.34 of this title (relating to Disciplinary Action);
  17. A failure to promptly respond to a request for public information in accordance with §87.52 of this title (relating to Public Information);
  18. A failure to properly identify the individual whose signature is being notarized;
  19. A failure to keep a notary record as described in §406.014 and §406.108, Government Code, and Chapter 87 of this title;
  20. A failure to include in the notarial certificate for an online notarization a notation that the notarization is an online notarization (for online notary publics only);
  21. A failure to take reasonable steps to ensure that the two-way audio-visual communication used during an online notarization is secure from unauthorized interception (for online notary publics only);
  22. A failure to safely and securely maintain notary materials;
  23. Performing a notarial act that the notary public is not authorized to perform;
  24. Use of a digital certificate or electronic seal that has expired or is no longer valid;
  25. A failure to report a new digital certificate or electronic seal as required by §87.63 of this title (relating to Changes to Digital Certificate and Electronic Seal for Online Notary);
  26. Notarizing one’s own signature;
  27. A failure to pay the filing fee required by §406.007, Government Code, and §87.14, Texas Administrative Code (relating to Issuance of the Traditional Notary Public Commission by the Secretary of State and Issuance of the Online Notary Public Commission by the Secretary of State) or when such payment was made by an instrument that was dishonored when presented by the state for payment;
  28. A failure to timely respond to a request for information from the secretary of state; and
  29. A failure to maintain a current address as required by §406.019, Government Code.