Notary Bulletin

For California Notaries, A Signature On Every Line

California Notaries who use diagonal lines and ditto marks in their journals when recording multiple entries for a single signer should no longer follow this practice, according to a Notary statute clarification issued by the Secretary of State.

When completing multiple notarizations for the same signer — a common occurrence for mortgages and other real estate-related transactions, for example — Notaries commonly use ditto marks to repeat the same information on successive lines in their journals, and they often draw a diagonal line across the signature spaces so the signer only has to sign the journal once.

But that should not be a practice for Notaries in the Golden State. The Secretary’s clarification reads: “Government Code Section 8206 requires that the Notary Public’s journal include all the information for each official act.’ Therefore, each act would include the date, time, type of each official act, character of the instrument, signature, type of identification, fee, and thumbprint (if applicable) on a separate line for each act.”

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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.)

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