Notary Bulletin Handling Notary Journal Inspection Requests By David Thun on May 16, 2013 in Best Practices Updated 5-27-16. When someone asks to see an entry in your journal, there are important rules you should follow to protect the privacy of your signers’ important information contained in other entries. Follow your state’s requirements for allowing access to journal entries. For example, California requires a written request be presented prior to allowing inspection or photocopying of an entry. The request must specify the names of the parties to the notarization, the type of document and the month and year the document was notarized. If your state doesn’t have any requirements, let best practice guide you. The Notary Public Code Of Professional Responsibility recommends following the procedure mentioned above. Do not permit “fishing expeditions.” Never let someone asking to inspect a journal entry for a particular notarization flip wholesale through your journal pages. This compromises the confidentiality of other signers’ information. When making a photocopy or allowing someone to view a journal entry, cover other entries on the same page to conceal them from view. Always be present when an individual examines an entry. Except under special circumstances — such as an authorized request by law enforcement — never allow your journal to be examined or copied unattended. This rule applies when your employer asks to inspect your journal as well. Do not relinquish control or possession of your journal to an unauthorized person — even to a co-worker, relative or friend — for any reason. State laws can be very strict about this. If your journal is subpoenaed by a court or seized by law enforcement, then obviously you must comply. Short of that, protect your journal at all costs. David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association. Related Stories What Every Notary Needs To Know About Journals Journal Thumbprint Brings Final Murder Suspects To Justice Hotline Tip: Can My Boss Examine My Journal Entries? Additional Resources: NNA Webinar: How to Complete a Journal Entry Notary Essentials Email Share 4 Comments Add your commentFannie Toner22 Jul 2015Thank you -- this was clear and helpful.Michael Harris29 Feb 2016I have only had one request for any information from my journal in the dozen years that I have been in business. The request was in the form of a subpoena duces tecum, which is a legal request for data or documentation (the subpoena actually wanted a deposition). The loan signers' lawyer requested all the data I had--I was fortunate to have good data.Lavinia Fitzpatrick 01 Mar 2016Always nice to read & refresh one's memory!THOMAS, LOUISE02 Mar 2016REVISE THE JOURNAL WHERE AS EVERYTHING PER INDIVIDUAL WILL BE ON IT'S OWN PAGE. RIGHT NOW EVERYTHING IS ON THE SAME PAGE.. USE INDIVIDUAL PAGES PER PERSON. BE CREATIVE AND MAKE NEW JOURNAL TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.Leave a Comment Required * Name * Email *(for verfication purposes only) Comment * Enter the text shown in this image *(text is case sensitive)All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.