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 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.