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Notary Law Update: Texas House Bill 1683
House Bill 1683 requires the Secretary of State to assign an identification number to all Notaries issued commissions on or after January 1, 2016 and requires this ID number to appear in the Notary’s official seal.
Effective: January 1, 2016
Amends Section 406.001 of the Texas Government Code
Changes: Requires the Secretary of State to issue an identification number to each Notary issued a commission on or after January 1, 2016. Requires Notary seals to include the Notary’s ID number on or after January 1, 2016.
House Bill 1683 requires the Secretary of State to assign an identification number to all Notaries issued commissions on or after January 1, 2016 and requires this ID number to appear in the Notary’s official seal. A notary public’s stamp, or seal of office, currently lacks unique identifying information that could be used to answer questions regarding the notarization or authenticity of a document. H.B. 1683 provides for an identifying number on the stamp in an effort to better connect notaries public to the documents they notarize.
It is unclear whether current Notaries with existing commissions prior to January 1, 2016 are exempt from the new seal provision. The legislation did not include a “grandfather” provision exempting existing Notaries from replacing their existing seals until their current commission expires. HB 1683 does not contain such a provision. Section 4 of the new law states that the Secretary of State is required only to issue identification numbers to a Notary who applies for a commission or re-appointment on or after the effective date; however, it does not say that the provision requiring the seal to contain the ID number applies only to those Notaries who apply for a commission or re-appointment on or after
January 1, 2016.
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