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Hotline Tip: What Do I Do With A Damaged Journal?

New Hotline Resized 3My Notary journal has been damaged and is no longer usable. According to the California Secretary of State’s website, I am supposed to notify them of the issue, but the site offers no information as to what I should do with the damaged journal. Should I keep it, or have it destroyed? – K.B., San Diego, CA

If you have a damaged Notary journal, you are required to notify the Secretary of State by certified mail informing them that the journal has been damaged. Explain the extent of the damage and the time period the journal covers. Keep the damaged journal, along with any other journals, and simply start a new one. You are required to turn in your journals, including your damaged one, to the county clerk’s office if you resign your commission, if it has been revoked, or if it expired more than 30 days prior to receiving a new commission. Until such time, do not destroy or shred your journals, but keep them under your direct supervision and control in a locked and secured place.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. –The Editors

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.


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, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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Larry Weniger

09 Sep 2014

In Illinois are you required to keep a journal?

National Notary Association

10 Sep 2014

Hello Larry, An anti-fraud pilot program in Illinois effective through June 30, 2018, requires any Illinois Notary who notarizes conveyances of real property within Cook County to maintain a "notarial record" for each person whose signature is notarized in connection with a Document of Conveyance. The record must include the date of the notarial act; they type title or description of the Document of Conveyance, the Property Index Number and property's street address; the signature, printed name and residence street address of each person whose signature is notarized and a certification by each person stating, “The undersigned grantor hereby certifies that the real property identified in this Notarial Record is Residential Real Property as defined in the Illinois Notary Public Act”; a description of the satisfactory evidence of identity relied on by the Notary to identify the signer(s); the fee charged for the notarization; the Notary’s home or business phone number, residence street address and commission expiration date; the name and street address of the Notary’s employer or principal and the right thumbprint of the signer or agent in a physical or electronic medium, or, if that print is not available, the left thumbprint or the print of any other available finger. Again, this "notarial record" requirement specifically applies to notarizations of conveyances of real property within Cook County.

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