Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: What Do I Do If A Client Refuses To Sign My Journal?

As a New York Notary, I maintain a journal containing entries for all of the notarial acts I perform. Given that journals are not mandatory in New York, what should I do if a signer refuses to sign my journal? Do I note the reason for the refusal and continue with the notarization, or should I refuse to notarize the document? – J.E., New York, NY

A Notary Public in the state of New York is not required to keep a journal; however, it is a recommended practice. If you are performing a notarization and your signer refuses to sign your journal, we recommend you make a notation as to the reason for the refusal and continue with the notarization. Since a journal is not required in your state, you cannot refuse to perform the notarization.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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