Whether or not your state requires it, keeping your notary journal safe and up to date can help protect you from lawsuits and can provide important evidence if ever needed. But, do you know what good notary journal practices are? Are your tracking all the information you need? Take a look at how to follow good notarial journal practices.
Does your employer keep your Notary journals if you quit your job?
Answer: No. Even though an employer has paid for your seal and journal does not entitle them to keep those tools if you leave the business. In most states, you always keep your Notary tools, but in Arizona and Oregon, there are exceptions to this rule. Familiarize yourself with your state laws regarding journal ownership and follow those rules.
What do you do with your journal when it’s not being used?
Remember, a journal contains sensitive and often private information about signers that can be used for identity theft and other crimes in the wrong hands. Whenever you are not using your journal keep it stored in a secure location and under your sole control.
Can a Notary use ditto marks when recording the same information for multiple journal entries?
When entering the duplicate information you are allowed to use ditto marks only if your state allows it. For example, California and Hawaii require Notaries to make a full journal entry for each notarial act. Check your state Notary laws before copying information.
Should you write your journal entry before or after the notarization is complete?
A journal entry should be recorded while the signer is still present. The only way you’ll be able to obtain all the necessary information for a journal entry is with the signer present. Getting a signature or a thumbprint requires the signer to be present and are needed in some states.
What should I do with journals once they are full?
Most states have rules for keeping and disposing of Notary journals. For example, Colorado and California require you to keep all journal records until you stop being a Notary, then turn them over to a government agency. Some states allow you to destroy journals. Always follow your state’s requirements regarding storage and disposal of completed journals.