Why is Record keeping of Notarial acts important?
Updated: Apr 24
Who is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a public official appointed by the state government and hired as an independent contractor by signing agencies or title companies to help in the process of Notarization to eliminate fraud. Notaries help in the signing process by witnessing, verifying the identity of the signers, conduct an oath for the signers under the Penalty of Perjury to assure that the information given in the documents are correct. These are called as Notarial acts.
Notarization is a process in which assurance is given by the Notary that the documents are authentic, signature is genuine and the signer acted without duress or intimidation according to the National Notary association.
Notary Journal is a sequential journal that the notaries use to record all the notarial acts performed. It is mandatory and required by law in some states like California. Keeping the records in order is very important in case any doubts or questions arise in regards to a notarial act performed.
Benefits of a Journal
There are numerous benefits in maintaining a journal with notarial acts in sequential order.
The Notary Journal includes all the details such as the Date, type of Notarization, tnpe of document notarized, the signature of the signers, Details of the ID, and any fingerprint needed if the document notarized is a Deed, Power of Attorney etc.
It protects the Notary from Lawsuits if anything arises from the conducted Notarization.
Consistency is very important in recording the entries on the journal and the state mandates to hold on to the journal at least for 10 years.
But most notaries hold on to the journal over decades for life or until they decide to leave the notary profession during which the Journal is supposed to be returned to the county clerk office.
It can be overwhelming if the notary is called on court regarding the notarization done several years back and it helps jog the memory if a proper notary journal is maintained.
The notary journal can be used an an evidence in court cases if any accusation is made against the Notary.
Journal also help in Bookkeeping as it helps track the fees charged for the services rendered and is easier to report for the tax purposes.
It also helps to render the notary process smoothly without missing any steps as each notarization is done by entering all the necessary information on the Journal.
It helps to retrieve any information of the notarization done by the officials or public in case they needed in legal court proceedings.
Journal and Stamp safeguards
Journal and the notary stamp are meant to be the used only by the authorized Notary. The journal cannot be shared with another Notary. The journal and the notary stamp must be placed in a locked private location which is only accessible by the authorized notary. Even the employer of the notary is not authorized to access the journal and stamp. The journal must be returned only to the county clerk office while leaving the commission even if employed by an employer as the records are very confidential.