The Importance of a Stamp or Seal | The Differences | Qualifying for a Stamp or Seal
When you take a document to a notary public in Texas, the notary will, as a part of the notarization process, either emboss your document or stamp it with the words “Notary Public, State of Texas.” As an alternative, the notary public may print those words on the document. The notary must also affix his or her name to the document, as well as the date his or her commission expires. What is the purpose of a seal or stamp embosser? What is the difference between the two? How does a notary qualify to obtain a stamp or seal?
What Is a Stamp or Seal and What Is It’s Purpose for a Notarization?
The principal functions of a notary public are to verify that the parties signing a document are who they claim to be, and that the document being signed is authentic. Notarization can also be evidence that the parties to an agreement entered into it willingly.
The notarization process typically includes five steps:
- The notary will typically require the personal appearance of any signatories
- The notary will typically review the document to determine that there are no blanks that can be filled in at a later date, and to confirm that the names and dates are correct
- The notary will then verify identification information from all signers, confirming that they are who they claim to be
- The notary will then watch as the parties sign the document
- The notary will record the notarization in a notary journal and complete the notarial certificate. This includes signing the certificate and affixing the seal or embossing the stamp on the document.
What Is the Difference between a Stamp and a Seal?
There are actually two types of seals—embossed seals and affixed seals. An embossed seal uses a metal tool that crimps the paper of the document, raising the letters and design of the seal on the paper. The imprint provides essential information about the notary’s qualifications, including his or her name, the words “Notary Public,” the date his or her commission expires, and the seal of the state where the commission is held.
An affixed seal may also be embossed, but it is attached to the document, rather than created on the document with an embossing tool. It typically comes with a peel and stick backing, and it contains the same information as the embossed seal.
A stamp, while it also conveys the same essential information, uses rubber and ink to put that information on the document.
Though some states have regulations that require certain types of documents to be embossed and allow others to be stamped, Texas does not make any such distinctions. The important component of the seal or stamp in Texas is the information that it provides on the document.
How Does a Person Qualify for a Notary Seal or Stamp in Texas?
To qualify to obtain a notary seal or stamp in Texas, you must meet the state requirements to practice as a notary public:
- Eligibility requirements—You must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of Texas, and have no convictions for any felony or crime of moral turpitude
- You must post a $10,000 surety bond
- You must complete and submit your application, with proof of your bond and a $21 filing fee
- You must receive your commission and take the oath of office
- You must purchase errors and omissions insurance