TEXAS SECRETARY of STATE
ROLANDO B. PABLOS

   UCC |  Business Organizations |  Trademarks |  Notary |  Account |  Help/Fees |  Briefcase |  Login
NOTARY OVERVIEW

GENERAL INFORMATION OPENING AN SOS DIRECT ACCOUNT ACCEPTING THE SOS AGREEMENT
TECHNICAL USER GUIDE SAMPLE SOAP Envelope WSDL LINKS
CONTACT INFORMATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS SAMPLE ENOTARY CLIENT

GENERAL INFORMATION

The eNotary Web Service provides a means to file Notary Applications to our Notary Unit through the Internet. A bonding company can use this service to submit Notary Applications to the Office of the Secretary of State of Texas once they have opened an SOS Direct account and accepted the eNotary Agreement as described below.

eNotary Web Service Overview
Notary Applications must be signed by the applicant. The bonding company submits data from the application along with a base64-encoded image of the application itself as described below. The transmitted SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) envelope will contain two objects – a Client Data Object identifying the bonding company and specifying the payment method for application fees, and a Notary Data Object containing the application data and base64-encoded images for a collection of Notary Applications. The status of previously submitted envelopes may be checked on the SOS Direct website.

OPENING AN SOS DIRECT ACCOUNT

To set up an SOSDirect Client Account:
  • Point your browser to http://www.sos.state.tx.us/
  • Click the SOSDirect icon.
  • When the SOS Direct page displays, click “click here to enter”.
  • On the Account Login page, scroll to the bottom and click “request for SOSDirect Account”.
  • On the SOSDirect Account Acknowledgment page, enter your name and click continue.
  • On the second SOSDirect Account Acknowledgment page, complete the displayed form and click continue.
  • On the third SOSDirect Account Acknowledgment page, enter your payment information and click continue.
  • On the fourth SOSDirect Account Acknowledgment page, read the Terms of Use Agreement and then click “I Accept”.
  • Your account number (SOS Direct Client ID) will be sent to you by e-mail at the address you provided during account set-up.
  • Once this set-up is complete, you may submit envelopes of notary applications paying the fees either by credit card or with this pre-funded account. Accounts may not go into arrears. A convenience fee of 2.7% will be added to any credit card payment.
  • ACCEPTING THE SOS AGREEMENT

    To accept the eNotary agreement:
  • Point your browser to http://www.sos.state.tx.us/.
  • Click the SOSDirect icon.
  • When the SOS Direct page displays, click “click here to enter”.
  • On the Account Login page, enter your User ID and Password and then click “Submit”.
  • On the SOSDirect Account Acknowledgment page, click the continue button.
  • Select the Notary tab to navigate to the Notary Menu.
  • On the Notary Menu, select “Accept agreement to File Notary Applications Electronically’.
  • Read the eNotary Agreement “Accept”.
  • CONTACT INFORMATION

    For assistance with any questions, please call 512-463-5705 or email: Notary@sos.texas.gov

    TECHNICAL USER GUIDE

    To retrieve the eNotary User Guide: Technical Specifications, click here.

    SAMPLES

    Click here for a sample SOAP envelope.

    LINKS

    Click here for WSDL (Web Services Description Language) link.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    In the eNotary Client, when you browse for Application Image, there are only three file types listed: .bmp, .jpg, .gif. Can you please tell us why .pdf is not an option?
    We cannot accept .pdf images since they require the Adobe reader to view them. We can only accept images that are in a Windows format and viewable by our VB.NET application.

    Date of Birth - DateTimeFormat - mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm or [Days since Dec 30, 1899].[fraction of day] or other format?

    Date of Birth is in a DateTime format as defined on your system and in your programming language. As long as it is accepted as a valid date when you put it in the XML document, it will be accepted by our system.

    Residence Address - can this be multi line? If so what is the line separator?

    Residence Address is one line only.

    Postal Code - with 10 char, is the "-" is required?

    The 10 character Postal Code permits the “-“ but does not require it. A five or nine-digit zip code is acceptable.

    I have never worked with Base64 encoded images. From what I have read on the internet, it is a method of encoding the text found in a document, but it is not an 'image' of the document as you would find in a .jpg. Is this correct? If I'm on the wrong track, is there software I can buy to encode and decode Base64 encoded images or do I need to write this myself?

    Any file, including the image files we require can be Base64 encoded. Many programming languages already include Base64 functions and most others have code freely available so you should not need to either write or buy them.

    Is it possible to get a sample SOAP message so we can see what you are expecting to receive?

    These SOAP messages are generated by system just before they are sent. The WSDL (A sample is available using a link on this HELP page) describes the expected SOAP envelope. (A sample SOAP envelope may be accessed from a link on this HELP page)

    Will it be possible to send the data in an e-mail or does it need to be posted to the web server?

    The data must be sent via the web service to be received by the appropriate components of our system.

    Do we need to establish an SOS Direct Account before we can send test filings? Will we be billed for test filings?

    Use your SOS Direct Account only for production filings. We will establish a test account for you to use at no charge.

    If there is a definite "testing window", will a company that misses that window still be able to send test data after the system goes live?

    Testing will always be possible as we expect to always be open to new bonding companies.

    Regarding the payments, are other options besides paying with a credit card or the prepaid account? Could we wire funds "just in time"? Or, as a surety company, we are expected to be good for the money on the bond so we should be good for the funds on this. Could we pay after-the-fact, such as monthly based on our transactions in the prior month?

    We are setting up the service to accept only prepaid accounts or credit cards. Changing this would be a legal/administrative issue.

    How will rejected transactions be handled? If we send a batch of 50 and one is rejected for a reason such as the image being poor quality, will the entire batch be rejected or just that one?

    Unless there is an error that causes the web service to reject your envelope as not understandable, the decision to accept or reject the applications in it will be made individually.

    If an application is rejected, will we be notified or will we need to check the status of each batch to find any applications that were rejected?

    We will have a website where you can check the status of your applications

    Will the notary applicant be notified of the rejection and the reason for it?

    The notary applicant will not be notified.

    Will we be able to set this up for nightly processing, instead of sending it during the day?

    The web service will be available 24/7.

    The Technical User Guide didn't mention encryption but we notice that one of the fields being passed is the Social Security Number. Does encryption of the data need to be addressed?

    We provide a secure socket for the web service and this will provide public key encryption.

    Do you have an instruction manual on how to consume the web service?

    Yes. You can access a copy of the User Guide from this HELP page.

    Will Surety companies be required to submit their Notary Applications Electronically?

    No. The Office of the Secretary of State will continue to accept paper notary applications and you will be able to do business with us just as you have in the past without using the new web service.

    We are currently planning on opening an SOS direct account. How would we check the balance in that account? If an application is rejected because our account balance is insufficient, what kind of notice would we receive?

    If the web service rejects your envelope because of insufficient funds, it will respond immediately with a response of “Insufficient Funds” followed by the available balance in your account and the amount required for your packet of notary applications. One can determine their account balance by selecting SOSDirect menu item Account|Client Account Statements. “Available Balance” appears on the page

    If a notary application is rejected, will the $21 filing fee be refunded? If it will, will that be as a credit to our SOS Direct Account?

    Fees are charged for notary applications after they have been accepted, so no fee would be charged for a rejected application in the first place.

    If an application is rejected for a "fixable" reason, such as the missing the signature on the application, will the record be stored in your database as rejected? If it will, will a resubmission of that application by us in a new batch cause a problem because of the duplicate record?

    We do not store rejected applications so resubmitting it will not cause a problem. Also there is no problem with reusing an Application ID as long as it is in a different batch.

    Does the image of the application need to show the Official Notary Public Bond for the State of Texas section fully completed and signed by the surety? The overview in the guide only says that it must be signed by the applicant. I suppose the question is whether the bond is considered to be issued electronically if we file it this way.

    Yes, the image must show the bond to be completed and signed.

    When we receive a two-sided application from a notary, could we file it electronically if the image we submit has both sides copied onto one form?

    Use of the new on-sided form is a requirement to file electronically. Failure to use this form is cause for rejecting the filing.

    Is there a limit to the number of applications per envelope?

    There is no limit to the number of applications in an envelope.

    If an application is corrected and re-transmitted, would it be treated as a correction or as a new application? It is treated as a new application, since our web service does not remember previous envelopes.

    How can we delete/cancel an application or an entire envelope?

    Once an envelope reaches our system, you cannot delete it or the applications in it.

    How long before a submitted batch should appear on the status page?

    It should appear as soon as it is in our system.

    SAMPLE ENOTARY CLIENT

    Click here for the VB.NET 2005 source code for a elementary sample eNotary client.