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Notary Complaints & Disciplinary Action

The Office of the Secretary of State (the “Office”) may take disciplinary action against a Texas notary public in cases where good cause exists. The disciplinary action is at the discretion of the Office and can range from an informal reprimand to, at most, revocation of the notary’s commission. The Office does not have jurisdiction to bring criminal or civil charges against a notary public. You may wish to pursue those options with a private attorney.

How to File a Complaint

A person harmed by the actions of a Texas notary public may file a complaint with the Office. You must submit a completed Form 2304 (Word, Acrobat) to our Notary Complaints Unit* to open a complaint. The complaint must include the following:

  • Signature on the last page of the complaint form before a notary public or other officer authorized to perform an oath.
  • The notarized document at issue, if applicable, or other supporting documentation.
The complaint must allege a violation of the Texas Government Code §406, Civil Practice and Remedies Code §121, and/or Texas Administrative Code Title 1 Chapter 87.

This Office does not represent the complainant or the notary in the complaint process. Complainants need to present factual evidence, within the complainant’s personal knowledge, that the notary engaged in conduct that violates the laws and rules governing the conduct of Texas notaries public.

This Office cannot assist in filing a claim against the notary’s bond and does not have the power to prosecute a notary for criminal violations associated with the notary’s official duties. Bond information for a specific notary can be located in the Notary Search feature on our website. Please note the Office is a separate entity from the bonding company.

This Office does not have jurisdiction and cannot take action against a person who is not a commissioned notary public or a notary who is not currently commissioned.

*The Complaint can also be mailed to Notary Complaints Unit, P.O. Box 13375, Austin, TX 78711-3375.

Complaint Process

Once the complaint is submitted and deemed acceptable for investigation, an investigation can take 3-6+ months. Our investigation time line is partly determined by the response times of the parties and witnesses involved. The Office cannot provide a guaranteed timeframe for completion. Our investigators will notify the notary and the complainant if the office moves forward with a complaint or takes no additional action. A complaint is subject to the Public Information Act and can be released to a member of the public by written request.

Your complaint and supporting documents will be reviewed to determine whether:

  • The Office of the Texas Secretary of State (“Office”) has jurisdiction to take any action;
  • The complaint substantially complies with the prescribed form; and
  • The factual allegations, if true, merit a disciplinary action.
The Office may determine that the actions of the notary public are not sufficiently egregious to warrant formal disciplinary action. The Office may determine to take no action on the complaint, or the Office may determine to informally advise the notary public of the appropriate conduct and the applicable statutes and rules governing the conduct. The secretary of state may pursue the following disciplinary actions against individuals commissioned pursuant to Subchapter A or C, Chapter 406, Government Code:
  • Written Reprimand
  • Educational Training and Exam
  • Suspension
  • Revocation
This Office does not represent the complainant and cannot seek restitution for any monetary damages, determine the validity of the document in question, or decide contractual or other disputes between parties. Our review is limited to determining whether a commissioned notary public violated the rules governing the conduct of Texas notaries public.

Other Remedies

If you wish to obtain compensation for damages that may have been caused by the notary’s conduct, you may consider contacting a private attorney or filing a claim with the notary’s bonding company. It is your responsibility to pursue other available remedies.

Questions

Please direct any questions to our Notary Complaints Unit.