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Just Don't Do It

The Texas Secretary of State's website advises Notaries not to notarize if the Notary is a party to a document or would benefit in some way from the transaction. The Texas Administrative Code, however, states it is “cause” for the Secretary of State to reject a commission application, revoke the commission of a Notary or take other disciplinary action against a Notary when the Notary notarizes their own signature (1 TAC 87.31[26). However, the state does not have a specific prohibition against notarizing for relatives. A Notary is not disqualified from performing a notarization if the Notary is an employee of a corporation and takes an acknowledgment or proof of a written document in which the employee's corporation has an interest. Similarly, a Notary is not disqualified from notarizing corporate documents unless the corporation has 1,000 or fewer shareholders and the Notary owns more than one-tenth of one percent of the corporation's issued and outstanding stock (Civil Practices and Remedies Code 121.002). Texas Notaries are not disqualified from notarizing solely on the basis of the Notary owning stock in certain trust institutions that are an interested party in the transaction (Texas Finance Code 199.002).

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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