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Should I ask for a customer's signature in my Notary journal?

In Texas, are Notaries required to obtain the signer’s signature for the notary journal? —  D.M., Texas

No, obtaining the signer’s signature in your journal is not required by law but it is an important professional standard of practice that you may want to follow.  A journal signature protects the Notary against a later claim that a signer did not appear for a notarization.

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 consultants 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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11 Mar 2021

I always ask for a signature. If customer is hesitate, I indicate that it is for their protection also in case of fraud. My journal is not open to any and everybody that requests to look at it. Must have court order or some other legal document requesting to see it it by name, date done and then I make copy of the lines in question.


19 Apr 2021

Hello. I am in california. what happens if a signer refuses to sign my journal or refuses to give his thumbprint. What can a notary do in that case, since the notarization is already done and the signer just refuses to sign or thumbprint in my journal ?

National Notary Association

19 May 2021

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone so they can provide you with more in-depth help. 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.

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