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Montana Governor Upholds 'Strong Protection' Of Notarial Journals

Citing the consumer protections and evidentiary value provided by records of notarizations, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed a bill that would have repealed the state’s two-year-old law requiring Notaries to keep a journal of their official acts.

In a letter to Secretary of State Linda McCulloch explaining the veto of HB 306, Schweitzer wrote that the “journal entry serves as a trustworthy, contemporaneous account of exactly what took place at the time a document was notarized.”

Schweitzer specially noted that journal entries “serve as proof” in court cases that a document was willingly signed in front of a Notary and that the signer was competent. Journals also offer “strong protection for consumers.”

McCulloch and her staff worked hard in 2009 to get the journal requirement enacted and opposed the effort this spring to repeal it.

“Gov. Schweitzer clearly recognized how important the Notary journal is in protecting the citizens and businesses of Montana and our Notaries,” McCulloch said. “Repealing the journal requirement would have significantly increased the potential for fraud and identity theft and seriously undermined the importance and value of notarizations as a fundamental component of credible business transactions.”

McCulloch continued, “I’d like to thank the National Notary Association for their assistance in keeping Montana’s journal requirement intact. Their expertise and cooperation were invaluable.”

The Governor’s action means that there will be no change to the way Montana Notaries do business.

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