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What Would You Do Answers: The Case Of The Private Address

wwyd-address-resized.jpgLast week, we shared a real-life notarization scenario of a signer who became extremely alarmed when a Notary started writing her address in the journal entry. The signer said she did not want anyone having access to her address and demanded that the Notary remove the information from the journal.

We asked our Notary community how they would handle this awkward situation, and here are some of the recommendations our readers offered.

What Our Notaries Said

Andre Augustine said that he has often encountered this kind of situation when notarizing the signatures of law enforcement officers, and he reassures them that he will protect any private information in the Notary journal. “They don’t like giving out their home addresses for fear of the wrong people finding out where they live,” Augustine said. “I assure them that no one will see their information without a court order.”

Nikki Coleman said that she explains the reasons she must record a journal entry to each signer prior to notarizing. “If that person has an issue with any information I need to record, the notarization is not completed,” she said.

Other Notaries said their response would depend on their state’s journal laws. California Notary Leroy Casey said he would comply with the signer’s request because California does not require entering an address in the journal entry. “I would, however, write a comment about the signer’s request in my journal,” he added.

“In the state of Washington, the address of the signer is required in the journal,” said Karen Howard. Howard said that she carries a copy of her state’s Notary regulations with her and would show it to the signer to explain why she needs to record the address information.

Standards Of Notary Practice For Journal Privacy

In this situation, the correct response depends on your state’s laws regarding Notary journal entries. In states such as Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, the Notary is required to record the signer’s address and should not omit or redact that information from the journal entry. However, you can explain to the signer that all information in the journal will be kept secure and unauthorized persons will not be allowed access to it.

However, if you are commissioned in California or another state that does not require the signer’s address in the journal, or a state such as Florida that does not require Notaries to keep a journal, then you should comply with the signer’s request for privacy and omit the address from your Notary journal entry. Since the actual situation took place in California, the correct response was for the Notary to agree to the request and not record the signer’s address.

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

 

4 Comments

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Teresa Gyure

01 Apr 2019

I am from Pennsylvania and yes, we are required to record the address, but Specifically only City and State so clients don't seem to mind.

John Axt

01 Apr 2019

In Texas, the address is required as noted and notary journals are public record so you may have to give a copy of your entire journal when requested. The reality though is that most people wouldn’t know where to make requests like this. Attorneys do but I have never had a request in Texas it Florida.

Hugh

01 Apr 2019

'“In the state of Washington, the address of the signer is required in the journal,” said Karen Howard. Howard said that she carries a copy of her state’s Notary regulations with her and would show it to the signer to explain why she needs to record the address information.' This was inspiration to add copy of WA journal data requirements to back of my journal for similar reference.

Rashelle Rojas

04 Apr 2019

Thank you fpr sharing this is my firsy time being a notary .

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