Q: ATTENTION ALL NOTARIES! NEW LAWS! Did you know that there is a new law that affects your ability to acknowledge documents?
A: You do now. Effective January 1, 2016 a new notary law requires the Texas Secretary of State to issue identifying numbers to each notary when a commission is originally issued OR renewed; AND the notary’s seal must include the identifying number. For existing notaries, you are not required to obtain a new seal with the identifying number until such time as you renew your notary commission. HOWEVER, it is strongly encouraged that you go ahead and replace your notary seal as soon as possible in order to avoid third party challenges to your acknowledgment by those individual or entities who may be vaguely familiar with the new law but who are unaware of the specific language. In addition, in the new CFPB environment in which our industry resides, it would not be surprising at all if many lenders, notably the big three, make a requirement in the closing instructions that their documents must be acknowledged by a notary using a seal that reflects the notaries identifying number. Again, it is our recommendation that you be proactive and update your notary seal prior to January 1, 2016. You can find information regarding your commission at the Texas Secretary of State web site located at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/.