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How Many Times Must A Customer Sign My Notary Journal?

New Hotline Resized 3If I am notarizing two different documents for the same individual, does he need to sign my journal twice? Or is it just one signature noting two different documents. — R.A., Maryland

You have two options. You can create two full journal entries and have the signer sign each entry. If, however, both documents are notarized at the same time, you may use acceptable shortcuts to record both journal entries. If you are using the NNA’s Official Journal of Notarial Acts, you would create a full journal entry for the first document and use ditto marks in the entry immediately below for the information that is the same for both documents. In the signature columns, you may insert a diagonal line between both columns and have the signer sign along the diagonal line.

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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Marlene Diaz

02 Apr 2018

Is this true in California?

National Notary Association

02 Apr 2018

Hello. CA Notaries may not use ditto marks for duplicated information in their journal entries, according to the CA Secretary of State's office.

Leslie Greer

02 Apr 2018

California can not use ditto marks but can the individual sign once along the diagonal?

Leslie Greer

03 Apr 2018

Hello. No, CA Notaries may not use a diagonal line across multiple journal entries for a journal signature.

Leta Kliewer

04 Apr 2018

This article should list California as an exception as we cannot use ditto marks or have a client sign diagonally across multiple lines in our journals.


12 May 2018

Hello, can MO use ditto marks in their journals?

National Notary Association

15 May 2018

Hello. Missouri requires Notaries to enter the following information for every journal entry: (RSMo 486.260): 1. The month, day and year of notarization; 2. The type of notarization (e.g., acknowledgment or jurat); 3. The type of document notarized; 4. The name, signature and address of the signer; 5. The identification used to identify the signer; 6. The fee charged for the notarization.

Julie Barnes

12 Jun 2018

Get the modernized journal. It list most docs we notarize. The state of Ca states a signature, with character of each instrument sworn, and THE signature of each person being notarized. Read it on page 9 Ca Notary Handbook. The NNA tries to tell you different. The state gets our journals when we’re die or stop. There are over 100k notaries in CA. Think about it. The only one profiting is the NNA getting you $$$ for journals. I’ve debated this for 6 yrs. the handbook states nothing about a signature for each doc being notarized. It the NNA’s interperation. The State is our boss and makes our rules. Just saying....what’s right is right.

National Notary Association

13 Jun 2018

Hello Julie. You are correct that California requires each person whose signature is notarized to sign in the Notary's journal. However, just for clarification, please be aware that the Hotline question being answered above was asked by a Maryland Notary, and so the answer provided applies to Maryland only. That's why we always include the disclaimer that Hotline answers are always based on the laws in the state where the question originated. Notaries are always welcome to post questions in the Comments section about how a hotline tip situation would apply in a different state.

Taylor Mckenzie

22 Aug 2019

In MS if a customer has 12 of the same documents can we just fill out one line?

National Notary Association

22 Aug 2019

Hello. No, Mississippi law requires a journal entry for each notarization performed: “A. For every notarial act, the notary shall record in the journal at the time of notarization at least the following: “1. the date and time of day of the notarial act; “2. the type of notarial act; “3. the type, title, or a description of the document or proceeding; “4. the printed name and address of each principal; “5. the fee, if any, charged for the notarial act; “6. the address where the notarization was performed if not the notary’s business address; and B. If the principal is not personally known ... the notary may require the signature of the principal and the evidence of identity of each principal, in the form of either [sic]: a notation of the type of identification document, its issuing agency, its serial or identification number, and its date of issuance or expiration” (1 MAC Pt. 5, R. 050.5.16).

Andrea Saxton

10 May 2020

Hello, what about WA State journal entries? If I'm doing a buyer package that requires 7 - 8 notaries throughout the package, is the signer required to sign 7 - 8 journal entries?

National Notary Association

11 May 2020

Hello. In Washington, “If a notary public performs notarial acts involving different statements or documents for the same individual on the same date, the notary public may record a single entry in the journal for all of the statements or documents. The entry shall include the number of statements or documents notarized and shall otherwise conform to RCW 42.45.180 and these rules” (WAC 308-30-190[2]).


02 Sep 2020

Hello, Can ditto marks and the diagonal signature line be used in Georgia? Thank you.

National Notary Association

03 Sep 2020

Hello. Georgia does not have a journal requirement for Notaries.

Tony Gleicher

19 Jan 2022

I had a neighbor who had to take state 3 times then told me he would make $75 from realtors. This is true only if there are more than 7 documents CA law is $10 per signature.

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