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Who Can Ask For A Copy Of My Notary Journal?

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Who may request a copy of an entry in my journal, and does the request need to be in writing? I have a customer wanting a copy of my Notary journal from 2011. F.D., California

Any member of the public may request a copy of an entry in a California Notary’s journal, but the request must be in writing and include the name of the parties, the type of document, and the month and year it was notarized (GC 8206[c]). Once you receive the request, you have 15 business days to either provide a photocopy of the requested line item or inform the requester that no such line item exists (GC 8206.5).

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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55 Comments

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Shaine P MaGuire

25 Jan 2016

What about in Iowa? As far as I know, Iowa does not require a journal to be kept, but is recommended; therefore, it would not be "public information". So, what if I were to be requested to provide information? Who can ask for this?

National Notary Association

26 Jan 2016

Hello Shaine. Since Iowa does not address the issue of journal entry requests in its Notary laws, we suggest asking for any requests to be made in writing to you and specify the details of the entry requested, such as the date and type of notarial act. When providing access to a journal entry or a photocopy of a journal entry, we recommend that other unrelated entries on the page be covered to protect the privacy of other signers. Also, we strongly recommend against letting signers leaf through a journal or being allowed to view entries unrelated to their request.

Marion Sylvester

08 Mar 2016

Is this a trick question? This one of the questions on the NSA renewal test. The answer given DOES NOT answer the question.

National Notary Association

14 Mar 2016

Hello.The answer specifically addresses a question from a California Notary. As stated in the article above, answers for other states may vary. We are happy to answer questions about other state rules and procedures if posted in the comments section.

Milly

08 Mar 2016

Is Texas exempt from this?

National Notary Association

08 Mar 2016

No. Entries in a Texas Notary’s book are “public records, open for public inspection and examination at all reasonable times” (CPRC 121.012[e]; see also GC 406.014[b]). Upon payment of the fees allowed by law, the Notary must provide a certified copy of any notarial record to any person requesting the copy (GC 406.014[c] and 1 TAC 87.42).

Sue Goodwin

08 Mar 2016

How about Pennsylvania? I keep a journal, but thought that it was private and for reference purposes only.

National Notary Association

08 Mar 2016

Hello. From the PA Department of State website: http://www.dos.pa.gov/OtherServices/Notaries/Resources/Documents/LAWS/Revised%20Notary%20Public%20Law%20Act%20151.pdf "Section 15. Register; Copies of Records. – (a) Every notary public shall keep and maintain custody and control of an accurate chronological register of all official acts by that notary done by virtue of that notary’s office, and shall, when thereunto required, give a certified copy of the register in the notary's office to any person applying for same."

Leah Archer

08 Mar 2016

How about New Jersey

National Notary Association

08 Mar 2016

Hello. New Jersey only requires Notaries to keep a record of protests they perform (NJSA 7:5-3). The New Jersey Notary Public Manual specifies what type of information must be recorded when performing a protest, but does not provide guidelines for requests for copies of protest records. For more information, please see here: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/geninfo/notarymanual.shtml#Protests For

James Thoreson

15 Mar 2016

If memory of my years as a notary in Califinia serves me correctly, not only the general public can request info from your journal, but your journal can also be subpoenaed and must be surrendered to a peace officer upon request of a judge or court.

sharon rainey

04 Apr 2016

what is required to receive a copy of a notary's journal in the state of maryland?

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2016

Hello. A Maryland Notary must provide a copy of a journal record to "any person applying for the record on payment of the usual fees for the certified copy by the person applying for it” (ACM St.Gov. 18-107). The fee for a photocopy of a journal entry is $1 per copy or $2 for a certified copy. (CMR 01.02.08.03C and CMR 01.02.08.03E)

Pat

28 Jul 2016

who is required to see your journal in the state of Virginia?

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2016

Hello. Currently, Notaries in Virginia are only required to keep a record of electronic notarial acts. "When not in use, the electronic record shall be kept under the exclusive control of the electronic notary, and shall not be used by any other electronic notary nor surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment. The electronic record is at all times the exclusive property of the notary and no employer or vendor of e-notary services may retain control of a notary’s electronic record for any reason. Exclusive control is achieved by ensuring that at least one method of authentication is required to verify the identity of the electronic notary requesting access to the electronic record” (VENAS 1.3).

Dee W

22 Aug 2016

Greetings. Are Washington, DC notaries required to provide records to the public if asked?

National Notary Association

22 Aug 2016

Hello. DC Notary statutes state the following: “Each notary public shall keep a fair record of all his official acts, except such as are mentioned in Section 1-1210, and when required, shall give a certified copy of any record in his office to any person upon payment of the fees therefor” (CDC 1-1211).

Ardel

26 Aug 2016

What about Arkansas?

National Notary Association

26 Aug 2016

Hello. Arkansas law does not require its Notaries to keep a journal, though the state Notary Public Handbook recommends it. Arkansas law does not specify who may request a journal entry or set specific procedures for requesting journal entry access, though the Handbook states, "...The notary’s records and official papers are admissible as evidence in all Arkansas courts."

Dina

08 Sep 2016

Hi, in North Dakota, notaries are not required to have notary journals, but is recommended. If you are asked by a law enforcer to provide a copy of the journal and refuse to due to it being non public information, can they send a subpoena to get the journal? If so are notaries supposed to provide the journal or just the line item copy?

National Notary Association

14 Sep 2016

Hello. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, North Dakota does not have a journal requirement and does not specify instructions how to respond to journal requests in its Notary laws. In cases where state law is not specific, we recommend following the guidelines in Article VIII-B-1 of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility: “VIII-B-1: Limiting Access to Journal. The Notary shall show or provide a copy of any entry in the journal of notarial acts to any person identified by the Notary who presents a written and signed request specifying the month and year, the document type, and the name of the signer(s) for that notarization.”

Uretha Smith

09 Jan 2017

What about Tennessee?

National Notary Association

09 Jan 2017

Hello. Opinion No. 14-89 (September 14, 2014) of the Tennessee Attorney General clarifies that the records of a Notary Public are public records: “The Tennessee Supreme Court has held that, when the act of keeping a book of record is performed by a notary public, ‘it shall have the effect of an act performed by a public officer, under his official oath.’ Wheeler v. State, 56 Tenn. 393, 396 (1872)…. The record kept of a notary public’s official acts is therefore a public record.” Elsewhere in that Opinion(see “Electronic Records,” below), the Attorney General also clarifies that a Notary’s records must be available for public inspection.

Margaret Drayden

08 May 2017

What is the law in Florida on providing Journal entries to people who request them?

National Notary Association

09 May 2017

Hello. Since Florida law does not require Notaries to keep a journal, providing journal entries on request is not addressed in state statute.

wendy cottrell

01 Jun 2017

Hello. What about Maryland? Are there time frames in which a request has to be made?

National Notary Association

01 Jun 2017

“A notary public shall keep a fair register of all protests and other official acts done by the notary in virtue of the notary’s office and shall, when required, give a certified copy of any record in the notary’s office to any person applying for the record on payment of the usual fees for the certified copy by the person applying for it” (ACM St. Gov. 18-107). According to the Maryland Secretary of State's website, (http://www.sos.state.md.us/notary/Notary.aspx) a register must be retained by the Notary for at least five years.

Patty

24 Jul 2017

Colorado?

National Notary Association

25 Jul 2017

Hello. Colorado does not provide specific guidelines for handling requests to view or receive a copy of a Notary's journal entries. However, the state Notary Handbook says on page 21: " If the notary cannot produce a copy of the originally notarized document, and has failed to maintain a personal journal, the notary may be liable if the court holds for the complainant."

ewabstracts@aol.com

25 Aug 2017

What are the rules for the District of Columbia?

National Notary Association

25 Aug 2017

“Each notary public shall keep a fair record of all his official acts, except such as are mentioned in Section 1-1210, and when required, shall give a certified copy of any record in his office to any person upon payment of the fees therefor” (CDC 1-1211). (NOTE: Mentioned in Section 1-1210 are: acknowledgments and proofs, depositions, oaths and affirmations and affidavits to be used before any court, judge or officer within the District.)

DLancaster149@gmail.com

07 Oct 2017

What about Kentucky?

National Notary Association

09 Oct 2017

Hello. Kentucky does not require Notaries to keep a journal, so the state does not provide guidelines for persons requesting a copy of a journal entry.

NANCY A BURRELL

08 Nov 2017

Who is permitted to view all entries in the Notary Signing Agent notary journal

National Notary Association

09 Nov 2017

Hello Nancy. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in and what kind of request you've had to view your journal?

Robert

13 Feb 2018

Our City Clerk (I live in California) is a notary whose training and license is paid for by taxpayers. Can I ask to see a copy of all of her journal entries that were related to government business for 2017?

National Notary Association

13 Feb 2018

Hello. No, any request to review a Notary's records must be submitted in writing and the request must include the name of the parties in the notarization, the type of document notarized, and the month and year in which the notarization took place. (GC 8206[c])

Kenny

30 May 2018

In California, can your employer ask for a copy of your notary book for reimbursement purpose?

National Notary Association

30 May 2018

Hello. Can you please clarify what you mean by "reimbursement purpose?"

Cheryl

20 Aug 2018

Can the public or what is required to receive a copy of a notary's journal in the state of Alabama?

National Notary Association

21 Aug 2018

Hello. Alabama does not require Notaries to keep a journal, so there are no statutory guidelines for handling journal entry copies in the state.

Denise Millon

20 Sep 2018

That whole NNA test is a joke! IF these questions are based on California Notarial procedures then how in God's green Earth would the rest of the country know the correct answer?! Absolutely absurd!

KAREN CLARKE

07 Oct 2018

What about Idaho?

National Notary Association

08 Oct 2018

Hello. Idaho does not provide statutory guidelines for providing copies of journal entries to the public. In situations where state law does not provide guidance, Article VIII-B-1 of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends asking anyone seeking a copy of a journal entry to first submit a written, signed request specifying the month, year, document type and name of any signers for the journal entry in question.

Zaheer Ahmed

25 Oct 2018

You did not respond to Denise Millon‘s question. So is the NNA Certification exam based on California law? I have been a Certified Notary since last 20 years, but every year I struggle to pass the exam. The exam is indeed a joke. Even the most experienced NSA cannot pass in first attempt. Any plans to modify the exam so reasonablely intelligent notaries can pass without wasting time struggling with needless tricky questions?

National Notary Association

26 Oct 2018

Hello. No, the NSA Certification exam is not based solely on California law.

Kelli B Mozdziak

28 Oct 2018

I am NY notary and it addresses the question of who can view my journal entries so how do I respond since I'm not required to keep one

National Notary Association

30 Oct 2018

You would have to inform the person making the request that you do not keep a journal since it is not required by your state's law.

Katrina

01 Apr 2019

I am in CA and I have been asked by a District Attorney to surrender my journal for an investigation. What procedures do I need to follow to protect myself?

National Notary Association

01 Apr 2019

Hello. If you received the request through a court order or subpoena: “The notary public shall provide the journal for examination and copying in the presence of the notary public upon receipt of a subpoena duces tecum or a court order, and shall certify those copies if requested” (GC 8206[e]).

Zane

20 Aug 2019

We are trying to request information from a notary's journal in California but ate not being successful. We did everything in writing just how the state of California outlined

John Dell

12 Sep 2019

For California. Let's say a member of the public follows the necessary steps to request a journal entry, how should they receive the copy? Will the Notary provide a stamped paper stating that it is an official copy? Thank you.

National Notary Association

13 Sep 2019

Hello. California Notary law requires the Notary to provide a "photostatic copy" to a member of the public within 15 business days of receiving a written request that includes the name of the parties, the type of document, and the month and year of the notarization (GC 8206[c] and (GC 8206.5). California Notaries are normally only required to certify copies of their journal entries if the copies have been requested through a subpoena, a court order or a written request by the Secretary of State's office (GC 8206[e] and GC 8205[b][2]).

Joseph Smith

13 Sep 2019

In California, if someone requests a copy of a journal entry, is the notary required to record the requestor in their notary journal? Thank you.

National Notary Association

23 Sep 2019

Hello. Providing a photocopy of a journal entry is a notarial act in California and should be recorded in your journal entry.

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