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Hotline Tip: Are Notaries Required to Keep Copies of the Documents they Notarize?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesAre Notaries Required to Keep Copies of the Documents they Notarize?
-- L.M., Thousand Oaks, California

Since documents often contain sensitive information (private letters, business information, identification numbers), a Notary could be held liable for damages if the signer proved his or her privacy was compromised by copies of the signer’s paperwork. If a Notary is concerned about keeping a record of notarial acts, the proper way to accomplish this, even if it is not a state requirement, is to keep a journal.


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) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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M Khonsari

26 Jan 2015

Will you be redoing your acknowledgment forms to reflect the customer disclosure that is now required?

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2015

Hello, If you're referring to the new CA certificate wording law, we have updated our CA certificates to include the new wording. They are available for purchase here: NNA members can also download the new wording at no charge at:

Parvin seaver

05 Dec 2015

I notarized a domestic partnership document and for legal reasons I need a prof of it. I contacted the notary person today and told me there is no way he can help me. Is this true, what should I do.

National Notary Association

07 Dec 2015

Hello. We're sorry, but we're not entirely clear from your message what you are asking the Notary to provide. Can you please provide us some more details and what state you are writing from? You can also contact our Hotline team at directly for assistance. Thanks.

Henry Butler

22 Jul 2018

Hello, can I ask the notary public in question if I can view a copy of the P.O.A he notarized to make sure it wasn't falsified?, some initials aren't the same.

National Notary Association

24 Jul 2018

Hello. Normally a Notary would not keep a copy of a document that has been notarized. However, depending on what state you are located in, you may be able to request access to the Notary's journal entry record of the notarization. Can you tell us what state you are located in?


10 Oct 2018

I had a p.o.a. notarized. The notary gave a copy of my p.o.a. to a police detective, that was investigating me. Can the notary get in trouble for that ?

National Notary Association

10 Oct 2018

Hello. You would need to contact an attorney to answer any questions regarding possible liability or misconduct on the Notary's part in this situation.


07 Dec 2018

I have certified some of my documents by notary , but my notary took copies of my documents and kept it with him.we are in ontario , it legal ?

National Notary Association

10 Dec 2018

Hello. We are sorry, but that is a legal question we are unable to answer. You would need to speak to a Canadian attorney or another individual authorized and qualified to give legal advice on Canadian law to assist you.


06 Jan 2019

Im missing pages of a power of attorney that was notrized would the notary have the missing parts or would there journal entry if they have one help me find the missing pages

National Notary Association

07 Jan 2019

Hello. If the Notary notarized any signatures on the missing pages, it is possible that the Notary has a journal entry with a record of that notarization. However, it is not normal procedure for a Notary to remove or keep pages of a document after a notarization is performed.

sharon pelletier

30 Dec 2019

I had a letter notarized about 18 or 19 years ago, I have lost my copy. is there any way I can find out about that. I don't remember the name of the person who notarized it either. are they the only ones with that knowledge of my documents, or do they get filed someplace for us to have if needed, as in my situation? any help would be greatly appreciated

National Notary Association

02 Jan 2020

Hello. Notaries do not normally retain copies of documents they notarize. The Notary may have made a journal record of the notarization, but if you do not have any information available about the Notary who performed the notarization, we are not aware of any means for you to contact the Notary in question.

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