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Q: What is the purpose of a Notary Public

AA notary public is a person of integrity who is appointed to act as an impartial witness to the signing of an important transaction and to perform a notarial act, which validates the transaction. A notary’s primary purpose is to prevent fraud and forgery by requiring the personal presence of the signer and satisfactorily identifying the signer. A Notary Public is a state appointed Public servant who witnesses the signing of important documents and conducts oaths.

Q:  Will you accept a University ID for identification purposes?

A: No, Among the IDs authorized for use by Texas Notaries are:

State driver’s and official nondriver’s IDs

U.S. passports

U.S. military

IDs and resident alien IDs or “green cards” issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Id’s should have the following: photograph, a physical description a physical description (e.g.,  “brown hair, green eyes”), and a signature of the bearer. Most  government-issued IDs contain all three components.

Q: Can a notary be a witness in Texas?

A: A notary public who has a direct or indirect financial (or other beneficial) interest in a document may not notarize such a document. The better practice is not to notarize for a spouse or family member in order to preserve the integrity of the notarization and to prevent a challenge to the notarization..


Q: Can you make a certified copy of a Birth Certificate or a Marriage License.

A: No. Birth certificates and marriage licenses are recordable documents. A recordable document is one that is recorded with some type of entity whether it be the Secretary of State’s Office, a court of law, a county clerk, or the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Certified copies may be obtained by contacting such entities.


A non-recordable document is one that has not been nor will ever be recorded with any type of entity. For instance, a letter is not recorded with anyone but there are times the sender of the letter would like to obtain a certified copy of that letter for his or her file.


Q: Can a Notary Public determine which type of notarial certificate should be attached to a document? 

A: No. A notary public who is not an attorney should only complete a notarial certificate which is already on the document, or type or attach a certificate of the maker’s choosing. If a notary public were presented with a document that did not contain a certificate and decided which certificate to attach, that notary public would be “practicing law.” Instead, the notary may allow the person for whom the notarization is performed to choose among the sample certificates provided to the notary with the notary’s commission

Q: Do notaries prepare legal documents?

A: No. A Notary may not prepare legal documents, or even act as a legal adviser in any way, unless they are also an attorney. Violating this rule may lead to prosecution. They cannot provide advice about your documents.There are certain Notaries that can do more than others, such as sign off on divorce papers or deed transfers. When you are looking for a Notary Public, find one that suites your specific needs. In this day and age, many people can be assigned the status of Notary Public. You could hold the title of Notary Public if you are a doctor, lawyer, priest, or even an average Joe.

Q: How do I obtain a certificate on my school transcript or diploma?

A: A school transcript or diploma may only be certified by the educational institution that issued the transcript or diploma. The certifying official for the institution must complete the certification before a Texas notary public. Please note that notaries cannot make certified copies of school transcripts or diplomas.