Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

How to handle requests for your Notary journal entries

NNA Notary journals, stamps and thumbprint.

Updated 4-1-24. Sometimes a customer will ask for a copy of Notary's journal entry, and new Notaries may not know how to respond to such requests.

People make these requests because your Notary journal entries provide valuable information about each notarization, which can be important later if a document’s validity is challenged. A request for copies of journal entries can come from just about anyone — your signer, other parties to the transaction, commissioning officials and even law enforcement agencies. However, because of the sensitive information recorded in a journal, you always need to take the proper steps to protect a signer’s privacy when someone asks to view or copy a journal entry.

  1. Follow your state Notary requirements
  2. Get the request in writing
  3. Protect the privacy of other unrelated Notary journal entries

Step 1: Follow your state Notary requirements

Whenever someone asks to review or copy one of your Notary journal entries, follow your state laws and guidelines.

For example, some Arizona Notaries are required to keep two separate journals — one for public notarizations and one for notarizations related to confidential transactions, such as those covered by the attorney-client privilege. If you are one of these Notaries, you may only provide copies from your public journal.

California allows any member of the public to request a copy of a journal entry, but the request must be in writing and include the name of the parties involved, the type of document, and the month and year the notarization took place. A California Notary who is an employee may be asked to provide copies of journal entries about work-related notarizations by an employer, provided the copying is done in the Notary's presence. An employer may not force a California Notary to provide copies of notarizations unrelated to the Notary's employment. 

Notaries in California who have been subpoenaed to provide copies of their journal entries must follow the directions of the subpoena for providing certified copies of entries in their journals.

If an attorney makes a request for journal entries separate from the subpoena, the attorney must comply with Government Code Section 8206(c), which states that a member of the public requesting a line item from a Notary’s journal must specify the names of the parties, the type of document and the month and year the document was notarized in a written request. If the attorney is able to meet the requirements, the Notary must provide a copy of the requested line item in their journal within 15 business days or acknowledge that no such line item exists (Government Code Section 8206.5).

Florida does not require a journal for traditional pen-and-paper notarizations, but does require journal entries for online notarizations. An online Notary Public must provide electronic copies of the pertinent entries in the electronic journal, and a remote online notarization service provider must provide access to the related audio-video communication recordings, or a copy thereof, to the following persons upon request:

  • The parties to an electronic record notarized by the online Notary Public;
  • The qualified custodian of an electronic will notarized by the online Notary Public;
  • The title agent, settlement agent, or title insurer who insured the electronic record or engaged the online Notary Public with regard to a real estate transaction;
  • Any person who is asked to accept a power of attorney that was notarized by the online Notary Public;
  • The Department of State pursuant to a Notary misconduct investigation;
  • Any other persons pursuant to a subpoena, court order, law enforcement investigation, or other lawful inspection demand”
  • With respect to audio-video communication recordings of an online notarization, the online Notary Public performing that notarization; and
  • With respect to electronic copies of pertinent entries, the RON service provider used for the online notarizations associated with those entries. ” (FS 117.255[2]). 

In Massachusetts, if a signer or witness tells you that they are a battered person, you must make a note in the journal that the person’s address shall not be subject to public inspection.

Nevada permits any person to openly inspect the Notary’s journal during the time the Notary would normally be at work, and entries in a Texas Notary’s journal must remain available for public inspection and examination at “all reasonable times.”

In Oregon, unless the Notary is a public official or public employee, or the journal is in the possession of the Secretary of State, the Notary is exempt from disclosing journal contents required under Oregon’s open public records law except when requested by the Secretary of State. If a customer needs to see or obtain a copy of the journal entry for their transaction, the Notary may provide the requested entry.

If you are served with a subpoena or court order, you should fully comply with the terms of the order.

Step 2: Get the request in writing

Unless you’re commissioned in a state that allows a journal to be inspected or copied without qualification or limitation, requests should be made in writing. This is required by law in California, where a request must include the names of the parties to the notarization, the type of document notarized and the month and year the notarization took place.

Some states have additional requirements: Mississippi, for example, requires a person asking to inspect a Notary's journal to be personally known to or provide satisfactory proof of identity to the Notary and sign the Notary's journal in a separate entry.

For states that do not have laws or rules regarding journal entry requests, The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends that the requester submit a written and signed request to the Notary specifying the month and year, the document type, and the principal or principals for the respective notarization, or a subpoena or other lawful written authorization.

Step 3: Protect the privacy of other unrelated journal entries

Unless your state allows journals to be openly inspected, a person asking to see or copy an item should only be allowed access to entries directly related to their request. To protect the privacy of other signers, always cover unrelated entries on the same page as the entry you are copying. This prevents people from flipping through your journal and looking at random entries to find information. However, this best practice would not apply in Nevada and Texas, where journal entries are considered public information and are available for open inspection. If a Texas Notary is asked for access to a journal entry made prior to 2009-2010, the Notary should cover any ID numbers or thumbprints in the entry because Texas Notaries are no longer permitted to record this information under state law. California and Mississippi grant law enforcement permission to inspect a Notary’s journal during an investigation.

David Thun is the Editorial Manager with the National Notary Association.

Desktop ad for NNA Membership

Mobile ad for NNA Membership

Related Articles:

A Notary's guide to completing journal entries

Does my journal need bound pages?

View All: Best Practices


Add your comment

kimberly hagan

20 Apr 2015

How can I download notarial certificates for Virginia when it doesn't contain wording

Christina M

15 May 2016

Hello. I have not been able to find such a product myself, but do you happen to know if some kind of "entry protector" or "entry viewer" cover up sheet is available to purchase anywhere? That, meaning a sheet with a slot cut into it wide enough to single out only one entry, and is able to be placed over any entry on a page. Does this sound familiar? I am thinking maybe I will have to make one, have not had to use one yet but it is always a thought in the back of my head... since the only other alternative I have would be to copy the page the first time, then place Black marker or white out over the first copy and copy a second time, that is a bit time consuming and what if I have to show an entry in person? How do I protect confidentiality of the entries? I am in California if that makes a difference.

Melinda J B Dupre

27 Jun 2016

How do you send e-notarization in the state of Maryland?

Phyllis A Raines

26 Sep 2016

Retrieving Notary entry data is very vague... I need an entry in Sep. 2007. I believe the notary was illegally copied and used for corruption purposes. Who do I ask for a specific entry in Sept 2007??

Karen Winther

08 May 2017


08 May 2017

Phyllis. Nobody. It has been too long. There is absolutely nothing you can do.

James W

08 May 2017

Notaries in FL are not required to keep a Journal. If I keep one for my own travel and tax records, is it subject to requests to examine an entries, by anyone?

National Notary Association

09 May 2017

Hello. While officials in Florida recommend keeping a journal, because it is not required by law, state statutes do not address the issue of providing journal entries to the public upon request.


08 May 2017

For entry covers, I use old paper folders with large binder clips to cover older entries. A little clumsy but works just fine.


15 May 2017

I'm in California and work for a government agency. 99.99% of my notarizations are for my work. If my boss wants to review my journal, does the request still need to be in writing with month, year, parties, etc.? Also, what do we do with the written requests once the task is completed. Do we keep them?

National Notary Association

15 May 2017

Hello. In California: "A Notary Public who is an employee shall permit inspection and copying of journal transactions by a duly designated auditor or agent of the Notary public’s employer, provided that the inspection and copying is done in the presence of the Notary Public and the transactions are directly associated with the business purposes of the employer. The Notary Public, upon the request of the employer, shall regularly provide copies of all transactions that are directly associated with the business purposes of the employer, but shall not be required to provide copies of any transaction that is unrelated to the employer’s business. Confidentiality and safekeeping of any copies of the journal provided to the employer shall be the responsibility of that employer" (GC 8206[d]).

Marie B

28 Jun 2017

If someone is requesting a journal entry from a journal I've already returned to my clerk recorder- who do I contact to get the entry for the request? The SOS does not respond in California

National Notary Association

29 Jun 2017

Hello. If the recorder's office has custody of the journal, the person making the request should be directed to that office.


01 Mar 2018

I am needing a notary entry which was done at AAA. I called and was told that the log book was now transferred to the city since it was in 2015. Shall I request this from the City Recorder's Office or is it the responsibility of AAA to get this for me if I provide the request in writing with all the information they need. This is for the State of California. Thank you

National Notary Association

02 Mar 2018

Hello. You should contact the Recorder's office to request access, since the journal is now in their custody.

Tauheedah Amatullah-Rahim

30 Apr 2018

Hey Everybody: Do you have to keep a journal if you are not accepting money for your notary services, such as your work place?

National Notary Association

30 Apr 2018

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

Russell O'Brien

01 May 2018

What is the requirement in NY? If someone wants to see my journal, do I have the right to refuse? Am I allowed to make a photo copy of that specific entry if I decide to oblige?

National Notary Association

02 May 2018

Hello. Because New York Notaries Public are not required by law to keep a record of the notarial acts they perform, the state does not provide guidelines regarding access to journal entries. In situations where state law does not provide guidance, Article VIII-B-1 of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends asking signers who wish to examine your journal entries to provide you with a written request specifying the month, year, document type and name of signer involved in the journal entry the signer wishes to see. The signer should only be given access to the entries requested. Unrelated entries should be covered or otherwises concealed to protect the privacy of unrelated information in the journal.

Jeannette Espiritu

18 Oct 2018

This question is for a notarial act in the State of Hawaii. If a notary is notarizing 2 or more of the same document, do they have to make an entry for every single document? Ex: 5 sets of the same Mortgage document need to be notarized, would the notary create 5 entries in the journal for the person to sign? Or could they notate the Mortgage document on one journal entry and in "other information" specify that there were 5 sets?

National Notary Association

18 Oct 2018

Hello. Hawaii Notaries must record each notarial act, including notarizations of multiple copies of the same document, in the notary public’s record book, without exception.

Rosemary davidian

15 Jan 2019

My commission expires in March can you please send me notary book to review for the test and for continued notaries how much is renewal commission fees

National Notary Association

15 Jan 2019

Hello Rosemary. If you contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827, they can assist you with renewing your commission.

Gumaro Hernandez

12 Apr 2019

My old employer is requesting copies of my notary journal. I did notaries for people who just needed a doc. notarized. If the notarizations aren't company related am I obligated to give her copies of the journal? She is also requesting my journal and stamp be turned in to the county even though I am licensed until 2022, any feedback is appreciated, thank you!

National Notary Association

17 Apr 2019

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


13 May 2019

If a person in PA is running for office, and an opponent asks for validity of signatures, would that be a job for a notary or who, and if so, how would you record this

National Notary Association

15 May 2019

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

Shelly Flournoy

26 Sep 2019

I am in California & have sent a written request to see an entry from a Notaries journal the 15 days have past & she has not responded. What do I do next?

National Notary Association

27 Sep 2019

Hello. You can file a complaint with the CA Secretary of State here:

Kat B

08 Jun 2020

I am in CA. The SOS has requested information on a journal entry but they have also requested copies of 5 months worth of journal entries. Why would they be asking for all those other months?

National Notary Association

10 Jun 2020

Hello. You would need to speak to the Secretary of State's office directly to ask what their reasons are for requesting your journal entries.

Mary R.

13 Jan 2021

Can only a signer request to see the notary log entry for their own signature? Can someone else whose name appears on the document request to see the notary log for another person's signature? The example is that a person signed an affidavit of service (and had the jurat notarized) before the document was ever served. The person requesting to view he notary log is the person who was served, not the person who signed the affidavit. Both names appear on the affidavit of service. Thank you.

National Notary Association

15 Jan 2021

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

Loree J. Mahr

15 Mar 2021

I am commissioned in Texas where do I turn in my journal or do I? Also, do I note the payment in the journal? Thanks in advance!

National Notary Association

16 Mar 2021

Hello. Texas Notaries must turn in their journals to the office of the county clerk in the county where the Notary resides if the Notary's commission permanently ends or is permanently revoked (GC 406.022). Notaries must record the fee for any remote online notarization performed for a RON electronic journal entry (GC 406.108[a]). However, recording the fee for a traditional pen-and-paper notarization is not required for a traditional paper journal entry (GC 406.014[a] and CPRC 121.012[a] through [d]).

Manuela R Aguilera

04 Oct 2021

what can i do if the information that a person is requestiing from my journal is not on my journal ? and i don't remember ever had done that notarization

National Notary Association

06 Oct 2021

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.


18 Nov 2021

Hi, what happens if I am trying to validate/look for a real estate transaction from a notary's journal whose commission has been revoked/suspended but has not turn in their journal to the county clerk? I wanted to confirm whether the notary's seal & signature on a Grant Deed document was forged as the signature of the notary on the Grant Deed doesn't match the signature of the notary on their bond document. I believe the person who supposedly had notarized the Grant Deed to be the same as the person noted in the bond document as there seemed to be no other bond issued to any other persons with the same name. What am I to do in this situation? If I locate the notary whose commission is no longer valid how would I request if a journal entry took place or are they able to provide me a written statement if such an entry doesn't exist or if they could validate whether the signature is that of theirs on the document? I am located in California. Thanks

National Notary Association

19 Nov 2021

Hello. “Upon written request of any member of the public, which request shall include the name of the parties, the type of document, and the month and year in which notarized, the notary shall supply a photostatic copy of the line item representing the requested transaction at a cost of not more than thirty cents ($0.30) per page” (GC 8206[c]). If you have submitted a request to inspect a journal entry and the CA Notary has failed to keep a journal as required by law, please contact the CA Secretary of State's Notary Public Section at 1-916-653-3595 to report the situation and ask if they can provide you with guidance what to do next.


20 Nov 2021

Thanks for your reply. The notary whose comission has been revoked worked for a UPS store. Would I address the letter to that location and what happens if the person no longer works at there? What happens if a journal cpuld not be located? Thanks

National Notary Association

07 Dec 2021

Hello. If the Notary no longer works at the location you have contact information for, you would have to ask the store if they have any updated contact information for the Notary, or contact the Secretary of State's office as mentioned above to see if they have any information on the Notary available.

Terri Decker

01 Apr 2022

In Colorado, if a notary record is attached to a financial instruction and a request for a journal entry is made and subsequently denied due to breach of confidentiality, how can that still be the case if the person for whom the motorization was done is deceased?

National Notary Association

07 Apr 2022

Hello. You would need to contact the financial institution directly for any clarifications for their reasons for refusing the request.


12 May 2022

I am a notary in Maryland and job wants a copy of my journal pages each month to audit them. Can they ask for this?

National Notary Association

18 May 2022

Hello. You may provide your employer with copies of journal entries that relate to notarizations performed for your employer. However, for privacy reasons you cannot provide copies of journal entries that do not relate to your employer.


03 Nov 2022

I am a notary for the state of Missouri and my employer is wanting to get copies of my journal for a audit each quarter. Do I have to give it to them, since some of my notaries I do are not job related?

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2022

Hello. In Missouri, “The notary journal is the exclusive property of the notary” (MNH). If requested, you may provide your employer with copies of journal entries for notarizations related to your employment. However, you should not provide your employer with access to journal entries for notarizations that are not job-related, as that could be a potential breach of privacy for signers outside your workplace. “1. A notary shall safeguard his or her journal and all other notarial records and surrender or destroy them only by court order or at the direction of the secretary. “2. If not in use, the journal shall be kept in a secure area under the exclusive control of the notary and shall not be used by any other notary, nor surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment” (RSMo 486.715.1-.2).

Frieda Jellema

08 Nov 2022

I was a notary in the state of Florida and effective April 16, 2013, I tendered my resignation, which was accepted by then Governor Rick Scott. The Journal of Notarial Acts is still in my possession and request disposition or transfer of this Journal. It does have signatures and thumb prints which are sensitive information. Please advise.

National Notary Association

10 Nov 2022

Hello. Only remote online Notaries in Florida are required to keep an electronic journal-Florida does not require traditional Notaries to keep a physical journal and does not provide rules for their disposal. “If you have a log book, it is at your discretion if you would like to keep it for personal records (recommended), destroy it, or include it with the letter for our office” (Executive Office of the Governor's website, “How to Resign Your Notary Public Commission”). In the absence of official state rules for disposal of a journal, The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends safeguarding and storing each journal for at least 10 years from the date of the last entry in the journal.

David Henry

17 Apr 2023

I think a good way to prepare to respond to requests for journal entry copies is cover both the to have journal entries on every other line this way it will allow you to effective cover the above and below lines which will allow you tomake the copy requested without compromising any other information.


18 Apr 2023

Just a comment. I purchase a style of Notary Journal (f. Amazon) that has one signer per page (as many as two documents can be recorded per single page). Of course, this means more journals used, but I have complete confidence that signer information is not unintentionally disclosed. I have had my own documents notarized and have been APPALLED at how casual some Notaries are about confidentiality, penmanship, and the completeness of their journals. ps...NNA is a priceless resource, even if you only ever read info materials shared in bulletins and updates.


22 Apr 2023

How would I request a copy of a notary journal that has already been turned into the county by the Notary? Placer county, California

National Notary Association

24 Apr 2023

Hello. You would need to contact the recording office where the journal is being kept.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.