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What Do I Do If I Run Out Of Space In My Notary Journal?

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I ran out of my journal space and didn't have a spare book on hand. Someone told me that I could go online and print pages to add to my book; is this legal for a Notary to do in California? S.G., Victorville, California

The NNA contacted the Secretary of State’s office in 2013 to ask and this is the response they sent regarding loose journal pages:

“California Government Code section 8206(a)(1) requires that a California Notary Public maintain one active sequential journal under the Notary public’s direct and exclusive control, which means that the journal must be bound and continually contain all of its pages and every line item recorded. Loose separate pages removed or added at a later time are not in sequence and considered not an active journal. All of the information prescribed by California Government Code section 8206 must be completed in the journal sequentially, at the time each notarial act is completed, and all previous entries must be continuously maintained in one bound journal.

A California Notary Public cannot maintain multiple active journals. A California Notary may have access to a spare blank journal; however, once a notarial transaction is recorded in the spare journal, the Notary public cannot use the previous journal again.”

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

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Donna J R Conne

08 Jul 2015

"Sequential" = "of or pertaining to a particular order or sequence". No connection to "bound" or "looseleaf" or "taped in numerical order". The journal being under the exclusive control of the Notary is a given and is not part of the question. If I were unlucky enough to be caught in this situation and challenged over the legality of additional pages firmly taped in the back of a journal AND numbered sequentially with no break in page count, I imagine any attorney could challenge the word "bound" as belonging in the definition.


08 Jul 2015

What do you do with your old Notary Stamps? Are they to be sent to the state or what? Also, there is a two year gap in my journal. Is that a problem; do I have to start a new journal?

National Notary Association

13 Jul 2015

Hello. The process for disposing of stamps and maintaining journals varies depending on state rules. Can you tell us what state you are commissioned in, please?

Jason K

11 Jul 2015

Donna - You only defined "sequential", but it says "sequential journal". One definition I found of "journal" shows: a record book as a physical object consisting of a number of pages bound together. You way want to rethink that court date :)

23 Jan 2021

What is best practice for a journal when I retire? Do I safely store it or surrender it to the Secretary of State here in California? Thank you.

National Notary Association

26 Jan 2021

Hello. “If you want to resign your commission, send a letter of resignation to the Secretary of State’s office; within 30 days deliver all of your notarial journals, records, and papers to the county clerk in which your current oath of office is on file; and destroy the seal” (NPH; see also GC 8209).

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