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What To Do If Your Notary Seal Or Journal Goes Missing

New-seal-journal-resized.jpgUpdated 9-4-19. A lost Notary stamp or journal can be used to create fraudulent documents. If your seal or Notary journal is stolen or goes missing, it’s crucial to take immediate action.

Report Lost Notary Tools

Report lost or stolen Notary tools to your local police department as soon as possible, and retain a photocopy of the report. Unless officials know someone has taken your tools, you could potentially be blamed if another person uses them to commit fraud.

You should also report any missing tools to your state’s Notary regulating agency as soon as possible — in California and Florida this is required by state law. Florida requires a lost seal to be reported to the Department of State in writing. California requires a lost, misplaced, stolen, destroyed or damaged journal notification to include the Notary’s commission number, expiration date, the time period covered by the journal and a photocopy of any relevant police report. 

California Notaries must report a lost, misplaced, stolen, destroyed or damaged seal, too. Negligently failing to notify the Secretary of State of a lost seal could result in a hefty fine; willful failure to report a lost journal could result in the Notary’s commission being suspended or revoked.

Texas instructs Notaries whose seals or journals are lost to send a letter to the Secretary of State's office detailing the circumstances in which the materials went missing, the last time the Notary used them, and any other relevant information. If the Notary's tools were stolen, Texas Notaries are instructed to file a police report and enclose a copy of the report with the letter sent to the Secretary of State's office.

Replacing A Lost Notary Seal Or Lost Notary Journal

Once you’ve reported your tools missing, you should replace them as soon as possible. If your seal was lost or stolen, be sure to follow all steps required by your state if you need to replace it. Nevada requires its Notaries to file a new Certificate of Appointment and request a replacement seal within 10 days after a seal is lost. Washington requires a replacement to differ in some way from the seal that was lost or stolen — for example, the new seal may feature a different border around the seal impression. If you need to change the format of a replacement seal, contact your state Notary regulating agency to confirm what type of change is acceptable.

Preventing Loss Of Your Notary Tools

Replacing your journal or seal can be frustrating. While it’s not a foolproof solution, taking steps to protect your seal and journal now can go a long way toward keeping them safe. Never leave your seal and journal unattended, don’t leave them visible in your vehicle, and store them in a locked and secured area when they aren’t being used. A pinch of prevention is definitely better than a pound of cure when it comes to keeping your tools safe.

David Thun is an Associate Editor with the National Notary Association.

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Add your comment

Charles T Spancer #6033812

24 Oct 2016

Over 6 two years ago my car was broken in and all my notary equipment was stolen! it was in my briefcase. I reported it to the Police and hand delivered a copy to the notary board,I never heard from the board. it was confirmed it was there,


24 Oct 2016

This is very good info to know. I recommend you copy and keep it handy so you will know what to do if you loose your STAMP OR JOURNAL.


03 Nov 2016

What is one supposed to do with the all of the "stuff" if one is not a notary any longer? I always wondered this.

National Notary Association

03 Nov 2016

Hello D. Different states have different rules regarding disposal of Notary seals and journals when the Notary's commission ends. If you have a question regarding a specific state, please let us know which one and we'll be happy to provide more information.

Suzanne Serratoe

23 May 2017

In the state of Florida what do you do if you lose your journal. It's not clear if Florida requires you keep a journal, although I do.

National Notary Association

24 May 2017

Hello. Since Florida Notaries are not required by law to keep a journal, the state does not provide rules regarding what steps to take if your journal is lost or stolen. We would suggest contacting your local law enforcement office and asking if you can file a report about the missing journal, so you have a record that it was lost.

Cindy Kindle

10 Oct 2017

I am a victim of hurricane Harvey and my home flooded and my notary stamp and book was totally ruined. I have reordered my stamp and book but have no records of previous notary events. Will this be issues

National Notary Association

12 Oct 2017

Hello Cindy. Are you commissioned in Texas, or a different state?

Guadalupe Torrez

19 Oct 2017

i have two seals that I need to get rid. What can i do?

National Notary Association

19 Oct 2017

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

27 Oct 2017

Lost stamp I'm a notary in Illinois. I need to replace my stamp. Please advise

National Notary Association

31 Oct 2017

Hello. Page 28 of the Illinois Notary Public Handbook recommends that you report the theft to the police. If for any reason you lose possession of your seal, it is recommended that you resign your commission.

Lelia A Davis Melton

08 May 2018

I misplaced my notary stamp. How do I go about getting another one?

National Notary Association

09 May 2018

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


11 Jun 2018

I am a notary in California and I lost my seal with my book in Starbucks I have already get a police report what is next?

National Notary Association

12 Jun 2018

“Any notary whose official seal is lost, misplaced, destroyed, broken, damaged, or is rendered otherwise unworkable shall immediately mail or deliver written notice of that fact to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State, within five working days after receipt of the notice, if requested by a notary, shall issue a Certificate of Authorization which a notary may use to obtain a replacement seal” (GC8207.3[e]). “If a sequential journal of official acts performed by a notary public is stolen, lost, misplaced, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable as a record of notarial acts and information, the notary public shall immediately notify the Secretary of State by certified or registered mail. The notification shall include the period of the journal entries, the notary public commission number, and the expiration date of the commission, and when applicable, a photocopy of any police report that specifies the theft of the sequential journal of official acts” (GC 8206[b]).

Allison Taylor

20 Jun 2018

I lost my notary stamp in Mass what can I do?

National Notary Association

20 Jun 2018

Hi Allison. Please contact the Governor's Notary Public office at 1-617-725-4030 to ask for instructions.

Norma Aguilar

01 Aug 2018

Someone broke in my car & took my Office Supply Bag with my Notary Seal & Book in it. I already reported it to the Police in Dallas TX what do I need to do next?

National Notary Association

02 Aug 2018

Hello Norma, we're sorry to hear that happened. You will need to send a letter to the Texas Secretary of State's office detailing when and how your tools went missing and the last time you used them, as well as a copy of your police report. You can mail the letter and copy of the report to: Notary Public Unit, P.O. Box 13375, Austin, Texas 78711-3375

Elizabeth D Ledbetter

24 Sep 2018

I am a victim of Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, TX and our office was blown away & also taking my desk, notary journal, stamp and framed copy of my commission. HELP!

National Notary Association

25 Sep 2018

Hello Elizabeth. You will need to send a letter or email to the TX Secretary of State's office detailing the circumstances that your seal and journal went missing, the date you last used your tools and any other relevant information. You can contact them by email at and if you wish to mail a letter, the mailing address is Notary Public Unit, P.O. Box 13375, Austin, Texas 78711-3375. You can submit a request for a replacement Notary commission online here: Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Ashley Hall

01 Nov 2018

I am Florida notary and I need to replace my lost stamp how do I go about doing this?? My former employer says that they can not find my stamp and it was there with the rest of my belongings that I have picked up from them. How can I check to see if they have been using it without my knowledge? It makes no sense that they had all of my things and not my stamp that was in the same place my last day of employment.

National Notary Association

01 Nov 2018

“A notary public whose official seal is lost, stolen, or believed to be in the possession of another person shall immediately notify the Department of State in writing” (FS 117.05[3][c]). “Any person who unlawfully possesses a notary public official seal or any papers or copies relating to notarial acts is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree ...” (FS 117.05[3][d]).

Phil U

29 May 2019

I have misplaced my stamp commissioned in Florida. I don’t know when exactly it went missing or where. Local sheriff told me I can’t file a report if I don’t suspect it was stolen or where it went missing. I can’t seem to find means to notify the State Department specific to this issue. Please advise.

National Notary Association

30 May 2019

“A notary public whose official seal is lost, stolen, or believed to be in the possession of another person shall immediately notify the Department of State in writing” (FS 117.05[3][c]).


05 Jun 2019

Hi, I am commissioned in Florida and I have lost my journal between moving things from storage. But I have my official seal. Can anyone give me advice on what I need to do or if I need to contact anyone and who. Thank you in andvance

National Notary Association

06 Jun 2019

Hello. Florida does not require Notaries to keep a journal, so state Notary laws do not provide instructions for reporting a lost journal.

Christy Hayes

10 Sep 2019

If the Notary is in a rental situation, and they suspect that they may be a target for a future theft--then move ASAP. We had a sketch maintenance man pull every stunt in the book on us in an "luxury apartment complex' we rented in. This guy was a narcissistic stalker and haunted us for years.

Gala Patricia Dominguez

09 Dec 2019

I work in a Company 28 years- my Boss lost his Company & Brothers took over. They kept all of our belongings including my notary register book. They won't give it back. I'm in El Paso, Tx- To whom should I report my notary book in someone's else possesion? Thank you.

National Notary Association

11 Dec 2019

Hello. Send a letter to the Notary Public Unit, P.O. Box 13375, Austin, Texas 78711-3375 detailing the circumstances in which the materials went missing, the last time you used it, and any other relevant information. You should also file a police report and attach it to the letter.

Rick Wooten

19 Apr 2020

I still have my stamp, but it is damaged and no longer works. Nothing to report stolen. How can I get a replacement stamp?

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. You can order a replacement stamp from the NNA by calling 1-800-876-6827.

18 Aug 2020

I misplace my stamp, I am from Florida.. what is address to mail the letter?

National Notary Association

20 Aug 2020

Hello. A Florida Notary may send the written notification required by law via regular mail to the Division of Corporations, ATTN: Notary Section, P.O. Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314.


16 Sep 2020

My notary breifcase got stolen in Massachusetts i've filed a police report already what is the next thing i need to do

National Notary Association

17 Sep 2020

Hello. Contact the Notary Public Office at the Office of the Governor to request instructions: Office of the Governor Notary Public Office, Rm. 184 – Mail notarial questions with SASE. Legal Counsel, Rm. 271 State House Boston, MA 02133 Phone notarial questions at 1-617-725-4030. Website:

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