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What Do I Do If I Have A Backlog Of Old Notary Journals?

New Hotline Resized 3I understand that after my death or end of my commission, my journals need to be turned into the County Clerk. But since I have been a notary for over 20 years, I have journals stacking up. What must/can I do with them? C.R., California

The journal(s) are your exclusive property and must be kept locked and secured until you resign your Notary commission, you are disqualified from being a Notary, your commission is revoked, or you allow your commission to expire without obtaining reappointment within 30 days (Government Code Section 8209[a]). At that time you would deposit the journals from all of your commission terms with the county clerk of the county in which your oath of office is on file.

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

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.


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Jacquelyn Melton

05 Feb 2018

Due to the privacy issues in Ca., should we cover the customer that was recorded last so the next one cannot see who we notarized?

National Notary Association

06 Feb 2018

Hello. Yes, this is a good practice to protect the privacy of your signers.

Deb A

05 Feb 2018

At $10 per journal in Los Angeles County! I too have a collection of them in my safe.

Donna J. R. Conne

07 Feb 2018

I am one of MANY California Notaries safekeeping Journals as old as or older than 10 years. We need this issue addressed to our Secretary of State! Storing so many journals makes an unreasonable demand on our resources. We need a time limit for relief! NNA could [and, in my opinion, should] plead for a time frame that would cover statutes of limitations re the document types in our journals, thus relieving us from unreasonable storage requirements. what about it, NNA?

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