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Notary Bulletin

Notary Records Are Your Best Evidence

Not all states require that Notaries keep a Notary journal or other form of records, and some law professionals mistakenly believe keeping them is redundant and a waste of time. But your records are your best friend when it comes to upholding the authenticity of your official acts. And whether your state requires it or not, they will be especially helpful if one of your notarizations is challenged in court.

While attorneys and law firms generally keep copies of notarized documents as part of their case files, you might not have access to them. It could prevent you from being able to fulfill a legal public request for a line-item copy of a notarization, even from law enforcement officials.

Additionally, if you switch employment, you will no longer have access to any of the documents you notarized, severely prohibiting access to any evidence of your official acts on behalf of your previous employer.

Lastly, you will have no record or evidence if one or more parties that rely upon a document you notarized request information about the notarization. You perform your official acts on behalf of your commissioning authority as a public service, not as an employee of a law firm, so keeping official records is the best evidence you can have that you are upholding your duty.

Additional resources

 

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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