Online Notary Course  for California

Part 2, Section 2
Making Journal Entries

All California notaries are required to maintain a journal of notarial acts with bound and numbered pages.  The journal must be sequential and must include all notarial acts performed by you.  Your journal entries must reflect the following information:

  • Date and time of every notarial act.
  • The type of notarial act (i.e., acknowledgment, jurat, etc.)
  • Type of document to be notarized, i.e., Deed of Trust, Affidavit, etc.
  • An indication as to how the signer was identified (i.e., type of identification document or by credible witness) along with the identification number, issuing agency, and expiration date.
  • The fee charged (if no fee is charged, write” -0-“ or “no fee”)
  • The signature of each person whose signature is being notarized.
  • If applicable, a right thumbprint of the signer

Normally, the notarial journal will have a space allotted for additional information.  It is always a good idea to make notes in this space that may come in handy at a later date.  You can note the number of pages of the document, if the notarial certificate was attached, the names and addresses of credible witnesses (if used), corrections made to the documents at the time of the notarial act, or any circumstances that are out of the ordinary.

If the document being notarized is a deed, a quitclaim deed, a deed of trust affecting real estate, or a power of attorney it is required that the signer place his or her right thumbprint in the journal.  If the signer is not physically able to provide a right thumbprint, then the notary shall have the signer place his or her left thumbprint, or any available fingerprint, and such situation must be noted in the journal.  If the signer is physically unable to provide a thumbprint or any fingerprint, this situation shall be noted in the journal along with an explanation of the physical condition which keeps the signer from leaving such print. 

Government Code § 8206(a)(2)(G)

Failure to make a journal entry for each notarial act can result in your commission being suspended or revoked, as well as civil penalties.

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All rights reserved. Revised: 07/14/09.