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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 for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. 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 notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, 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 in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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.