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Hotline Tip: Should I Use My Old Journal Or My New Journal?

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I currently own two Notary journals: the one I purchased when I reinstated my commission last year, and another that I just came across that I had been using back when my commission expired in 2009. Should I continue using my new journal as I have been, or go back to my original journal? — S.D., Modesto, CA

According to California Notary law, once you have a lapse in commission for more than 30 days you are required to turn the journal into the County Clerk’s Office where you filed your bond and took your oath. You are then required to start a new journal. So, in your case, you were correct in using a new journal when you got your new commission, but you should now turn your old journal in to the County Clerk’s office.

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.

 

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18 Comments

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Karen Rogers

10 Jul 2014

I renewed my commission and tried to turn in my old ledger and the county office would not accept it because it was not completely filled up. I knew they were wrong but I could not force them to take it. I have used my new journal and still have the old one what am I supposed to do?

National Notary Association

11 Jul 2014

Hello Karen! We'll be happy to try and assist you. What state you are writing from, please?

Kay Dillon

02 Dec 2014

if your commission expires, what should you do with your journal?

National Notary Association

02 Dec 2014

Hi Kay, Each state has different laws regarding disposal of a Notary journal when the Notary's commission expires. Please let us know what state you are writing from, and we'll be happy to assist you. Thanks!

Bobbie Suzanne Fitz

03 Jan 2021

Should I use a new journal for the new year? I am a Missouri notary.

National Notary Association

04 Jan 2021

Hello. Missouri Notaries performing paper notarizations may maintain only one active permanently bound journal at the same time (RSMo 486.700.1). The journal must be a permanently bound journal with numbered pages. Entries in the journal must be chronological (RSMo 486.700.1-.2). “A notary shall keep the permanently bound journal for a period of no less than ten years from the date of the last entry” (RSMo 486.700.3).

Cindy

05 Jul 2021

If I renew my commission, do I continue using the same journal for my new commission or must I begin a new journal? I am in California

National Notary Association

03 Aug 2021

Yes, you can continue to use the same journal when notarizing under a new commission.

GARY S MARTINEZ

15 Jan 2022

If a lost journal is returned, should I continue to use the returned journal, or should I use the new journal?

National Notary Association

20 Jan 2022

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Guadalupe Liliana Arreguin Villa

22 Jun 2022

Hi, my commission expires 6/23/22, I am waiting on my documents to order the new stamp. I understand I can keep using my same journal, is that correct?

National Notary Association

24 Jun 2022

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

garreguin28@gmail.com

24 Jun 2022

I am in the State of California

National Notary Association

24 Jun 2022

Hello. Yes, you may continue to use your current journal as long as it has room for you to record new journal entries.

Nicole

03 Aug 2022

Must I use a new notary journal for each commission or may I continue using the current journal until all spaces have been utilized. I am commissioned in Hawaii.

National Notary Association

19 Aug 2022

“A notary public shall maintain a journal in which the notary public chronicles all notarial acts that the notary public performs” (HRS 456-15[a]); see also HAR 5-11-9[a]). “A notary public shall maintain only one tangible journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts performed regarding tangible documents and one electronic journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts performed regarding electronic documents” (HRS 456-15[b]).

Judith

08 Aug 2022

I have a Journal that was given to me when I became a Notary for a bank I was working for. I no longer work for the bank and my journal only has one entry that I made after leaving the bank. This journal has such bank name as an option for the location. Am I able to start a new journal if I already made one entry? Or do I have to keep using the bank issued one? I am Commissioned in the state of California.

National Notary Association

06 Sep 2022

You can stop using a journal you already started and start using a new journal. However, once you stop using a journal, you have to file it away in a safe place and you cannot use it for future notarizations.

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