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Do I Need To Keep Copies Of Documents I Notarize?

New Hotline Resized 3

If the ID presented by signer does not have a picture, should I keep a copy of the documents being notarized? — M.H., New York

No. A Notary should never keep copies of a signer’s document. That’s what a Notary journal is for. While New York does not require a photograph to be on an identification presented, it is always a best practice to request an ID that has a photo and signature.

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, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Yukita Manuel

23 Dec 2019

I totally disagree with this and for the past 12 years me keeping a copy of the docs I notarize have saved me a jail sentence and fines. I keep them in a fire proof safe and only make copies of docs I have an uneasy feeling about. Especially loan closings where the person ask a whole heap of questions.


25 Oct 2020

Thank you for sharing. This information is helpful.

Chris Russell

06 Apr 2021

I am actually very concerned about a notary that decided to keep copies of a power of attorney that I had notarized. I don’t know how well he keeps it safe, when (if ever) he would dispose of it, and how securely he will dispose it if/when he does, but now there’s a critical document of mine in the wild uncontrolled that can be used for fraud. This shouldn’t be legal, and I may have to investigate legal actions.

Susan j Haseley

13 Dec 2022

Recently I was bullied into going to my husband's sister's friend who is a notary.My husband gave her a lot ,and so instead of finishing with her lawyer, she kept bullying me to go to her friend.Red flags,we signed the subdivision over to her .And her notary said he was keeping copies of the transaction.A notary is never to keep copies of any transactions,that is what his journal is for.I smell a rat.

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