Notaries: Maintain a Notary Journal!

The notary's best defense is the notary record book, or notary journal. Some states require notaries to keep a notary record book and some states do not; however, all notaries are encouraged to keep a journal of every notarial act.

Precise entries in a properly maintained record book can prove that the notary acted properly at the time of the notarial act, and may mean the difference in penalties for wrongdoing or praise for proper adherence.

The notary record book entry may well serve to remind the notary of pertinent facts regarding a particular notarial act in question (often by a court of law) that may have occurred years before. The notary would in all probability be unable to recall details of a transaction after the fact without the benefit of proper records of the act made at the time it took place.

Entries in the journal along with the signature of your signer will prove that the signer was physically present at the time of the notarial act. The journal would prove absolutely invaluable if ever called to testify! Make sure to write down any unusual circumstances pertaining to the notarial act.

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information. However, it is important to note that the information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

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.