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Texas Law Now Allows Notarization Online

In 2017, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1217, which allows Texas notaries to do remote notarization. Beginning July 1, 2018, commissioned notaries can apply to be commissioned as an Online Notary Public. In August 2017, the Texas Secretary of State published the revised administrative rules that govern the new process.

The new rules require that you first be a licensed notary, and obtain a digital certificate furnished by a third party provider and an electronic seal. In addition, an online notary must maintain an electronic record of the online notarization, including a recording and backup of the audio-visual conference, and must use a third party to perform identify proofing and credential analysis in order to identify the person for whom you are performing the notarization. Further details are available at the Texas Secretary of State website here.

This new process will certainly facilitate online transactions like real estate purchases and oil and gas leases. However, as with all things digital, there is going to be the capacity for fraud. It will be interesting to see how this new process weathers over time.

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