(a) In this section, “instrument” means a deed, deed of trust, or any other record recorded by a county clerk related to real property, including a mineral lease, a mechanic's lien, and the release of a mechanic's lien.
(b) An instrument submitted for recording is not required to contain an individual's social security number, and the social security number of an individual is not obtained or maintained by the clerk under this section. The preparer of a document may not include an individual's social security number in a document that is presented for recording in the office of the county clerk.
(c) Notwithstanding Section 191.007(c), Local Government Code , an instrument transferring an interest in real property to or from an individual must include a notice that appears on the top of the first page of the instrument in 12-point boldfaced type or 12-point uppercase letters and reads substantially as follows:
NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY RIGHTS: IF YOU ARE A NATURAL PERSON, YOU MAY REMOVE OR STRIKE ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION FROM ANY INSTRUMENT THAT TRANSFERS AN INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY BEFORE IT IS FILED FOR RECORD IN THE PUBLIC RECORDS: YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE NUMBER.
(d) The validity of an instrument as between the parties to the instrument and the notice provided by the instrument are not affected by a party's failure to include the notice required under Subsection (c).
(e) The county clerk may not under any circumstance reject an instrument presented for recording solely because the instrument fails to comply with this section. Other than the duty to redact an individual's social security number as required by Section 552.147, Government Code , the county clerk has no duty to ensure that an instrument presented for recording does not contain an individual's social security number.
(f) The county clerk shall post a notice in the county clerk's office stating that instruments recorded in the real property or official public records or the equivalent of the real property or official public records of the county:
(1) are not required to contain a social security number or driver's license number; and
(2) are public records available for review by the public.
(g) All instruments described by this section are subject to inspection by the public. The county clerk is not criminally or civilly liable for disclosing an instrument or information in an instrument in compliance with the public information law (Chapter 552, Government Code) or another law.
(h) Unless this section is cited in a law enacted after September 1, 2003, this section is the exclusive law governing the confidentiality of personal information contained in the real property or official public records or the equivalent of the real property or official public records of a county.
(i) To the extent that federal law conflicts with this section, an instrument must contain the information required by and must be filed in a manner that complies with federal law.
(j) On receipt of a written request from a federal judge, state judge as defined by Section 572.002, Government Code , or spouse of a federal or state judge, the county clerk shall omit or redact from an instrument described by this section that is available in an online database made public by the county clerk, or by a provider with which the county commissioners court contracts to provide the online database, social security number, driver's license number, and residence address of the federal judge, state judge, or spouse of the federal or state judge.
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