HB 1217

85(R) - 2017
House State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
House State Affairs
Senate State Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Tan Parker


Brandon Creighton

Bill Caption

Relating to appointment of and performance of notarial acts by an online notary public and online acknowledgment and proof of written instruments; authorizing a fee and creating a criminal offense.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would establish guidelines and procedures for online notarization. The Secretary of State would be tasked with developing and maintaining certain standards for credential analysis and identity proofing. This bill provides some guidelines such as the requirement that the notary public shall keep an electronic record of notarizations, security for the electronic signature, and requirements for verifying one’s identity. In addition, this bill specifies the authority to perform online notarization, and specifies that an online notary pubic would not be liable for a false statement unless the notary knows that the statement is false. 

This bill also outlines the procedure for online notarization including a two-way video and audio conference to verify the identity of a person creating an electronic signature. An online notary public or the online notary public's employer would be able to charge no more than $25 for performing the online notarization. Upon the termination of the online notary public's commission all coding, disks, certificates, cards, or software or passwords that enables electronic affixation of the online notary public's official electronic signature or seal would be required to be destroyed. 

Finally, if this bill passes, it would be considered a Class A misdemeanor for a person to knowingly obtain, conceal, damage, or destroy, the software or hardware that enables the online notary public to affix their official electronic signature or seal onto documents. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

We support modernizing and allowing a process for online notarization. However, the content of this bill does not have a measurable impact on our liberty principles and we will remain neutral. 

Organizations Supporting

First American/American Land Title Association
JP Morgan Chase
Stewart Title Guaranty Company
Texas Association of Business
Texas Association of Realtors
Texas Bankers Association
Texas Mortgage Bankers Association