Free Notary E-journal for AAN Members

For a long time, notaries have relied on paper journals to keep track of their records. While this method is tried-and-true, compared to electronic record keeping, it does have its downsides.

For one thing, you have to take your paper journal to every notarization. While this may not seem a huge burden, the journal is one more thing you have to carry and keep track of. If you are running late to an appointment with a customer, you might forget to put your journal in your bag, or you might decline to notarize a document for a neighbor on a weekend because you left your journal at your employer's office. Like any of your other belongings, you also might simply lose your journal - which you should avoid at all costs. Another disadvantage is that it takes time to flip through the journal to find specific entries. There is also a finite amount of space for entries. After many years of working as a notary, you'll have accumulated several journals you will have to store safely in a secure location.

With the American Association of Notaries notary e-journal - which is free to AAN members - you don't have to worry about any of these issues. The primary advantage is that our e-journal is 100% online. This means you are able to enter the signers' information and the type of identifications used to identify the signers, obtain the signatures of all the participants, by using your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Like paper-based journals, entries in the notary e-journal are sequential. However, the number of entries in the notary e-journal is unlimited, so you can avoid accumulating paper journals and having to find a secure physical location in which to store them.

Another big drawback of paper journals is that some employers do not allow their notaries to take their paper journals with them when they leave their employers. In fact, the American Association of Notaries receives many complaints about this. The notary e-journal solves this problem. It goes with you wherever you go, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that your employer will never keep it from you.

Our notary e-journal is also very secure. All journal records information is locked, cannot be changed or updated once saved, and will indicate whether any entry has been tampered with. As such, our online journal is more secure than paper journals.

There are several other advantages to the AAN notary e-journal. It complies with most states' notary law requirements for e-record keeping and includes fields for the signature, the signer's address, the type of notarial act, and the document and notarial act dates. It also allows you to store notarial fees and input additional fees, such as travel fees, in a separate field. Furthermore, using your AAN online journal, you can email invoices to your customers. Additionally, all notarial records are searchable, downloadable, and printable. You can email them to customers as well.

Given these upsides, our AAN notary e-journal is a great alternative to paper journals. All notarial records are backed up indefinitely on our server. You can access your notary journal anywhere, and it's secure and simple to use. In addition, you have the option of backing up the records to your local machine. In short, the e-journal is ideal for notaries in today's internet-based world.

Our notary e-journal is accepted in many states and is also recommended in states that do not require notaries to record notarial acts. As always, consult with your state's notary laws on record keeping best practices. To start using the e-journal, please visit our member center.

-- By Evelin Garcia, a Contributing Writer with the American Association of Notaries, Inc.


Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.