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Notary Bulletin

When Does A CA Notary Need To Take A Thumbprint?

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When do I need to get a fingerprint for a document?B.W., California

California Notaries are required to obtain a thumbprint for a deed, quitclaim deed, deed of trust, and other documents affecting real property or any power of attorney document. (Government Code Section 8206[a][2][G]).

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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Zane Killebrew

09 Aug 2019

What year did start wanting a thumbprint in a notaries journal for deed transfers ? We believe that we may have found some understanding work from a notary

National Notary Association

12 Aug 2019

Hello. We apologize, but your question was not entirely clear to us. Could you please clarify what information you are looking for, please?

Annette Rayney

22 Aug 2019

I understand we are required to take a thumbprint affecting real property or any power of attorney document, but for all other documents where we are NOT required, I have a co-worker who is a notary who requires a thumbprint on EVERY notary she performs. Why would anyone want to do that? Would this cause any problem? And, can a person refuse to do so if it is not required by law?

National Notary Association

23 Aug 2019

Unless specifically required for a notarization by state law (such as for notarizations involving real property), a signer in California is not obligated to provide a thumbprint for a Notary's journal entry.

Zane Killebrew

25 Aug 2019

We have investigated and discovered that there is no signature or thumbprint in the notaries journal when our grandmother signed a quit claim deed. She had no idea what she was signing at the time. I have read it's a law that you must sign a notaries journal and give a thumbprint. Now we are going to court.


13 Jul 2020

Is a Thumbprint required or optional for: 1) Hazardous Substances Certificate and Indemnity Agreement 2) SNDA (Lease subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement) 3) Assignment of Rents Thank you for your help.

National Notary Association

14 Jul 2020

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.


02 Oct 2020

What year did it become required for a notary to obtain a thumbprint for powers of attorney?

National Notary Association

02 Oct 2020

Hello. That law took effect in 2008. Please see here for more information:

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