No Journal Shortcuts for Notary Publics in California – Full Entries Required



California Notaries must complete full entry in the official journal for each notarial act performed. Use of “shortcuts” is no longer allowed, including affixing ditto marks to indicate repeated information or having the principal sign once along a diagonal line for multiple entries

“Government Code Section8206 requires that the notary public’s journal include all the information for ‘each official act.’ Therefore, each act would include the date, time, type of official act, character of Instrument, signature, type of identification, fee and thumbprint (if applicable) on a separate line for each act” (California Secretary of State Interpretation, Nov. 13, 2009).

 * published in the 2010-2011 Supplement to the U.S. Notary Reference Manual by the National Notary Association.

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17 Comments

  • Jodi Nutt says:

    So this means that some of these loan packages with 10 different items to notarize (many of the duplicates of themselves (2 different name affidavits, or 2 compliance agreements), all have to have an individual line and individual signature…..the borrowers are going to love that one. Someone in the sales of journals must have bent and ear at the Sect of States office for this one.

  • Lisa says:

    Actually, for as long as I can remember (been a notary for 23 years), the legal requirement has been that each notarial act for each person required a separate entry. If you have two borrowers and three documents being notarized, six entries must be made in your journal. No grouping of multiple documents on one line. The only thing that has recently changed is that no “ditto” marks for duplicate information on subsequent entries or one signature across a diagonal line are no longer allowed. Each entry for each document and person must list all information in it’s entirety.

  • Kathy says:

    I was using the “excuse” that it was one set of loan documents and listing all the notarial acts, last year when the rule was
    clarified I started using one line per act, last night did a loan with two people 18 entry lines!

  • Beth says:

    What is the reasoning behind this requirement? Does anyone know?

    • Lisa says:

      Per the Secretary of State, this is so a copy of a line item can be supplied if requested. The copy should only contain the information for the single act being requested.

  • Dan S says:

    I agree Lisa, I have been a notary for 29 yrs and have always made a single line entry for each doc for each borrower. I list the address where it was signed and the address on the license. They sign for all docs individually but will start having them thumbprint all the lines now too. I was only getting one print for each signer. I also document the agents names present at signing and who they are if the borrower calls them and what it was about. I refuse to speak to agents before or during a signing because I feel that it violates my being impartial to the signing and fear that it could be construed at a later date that I colluded with the agent on something. I have always written copious notes in the additional comments section and all things I think are pertinent.

    • Lisa says:

      Any information or notes that are added to your entry could always be helpful, however a thumbprint is only required when notarizing a Deed and/or a Deed of Trust affecting real property and for a Power of Attorney.

      .

  • Lisa says:

    The law does say that a separate, complete entry for each act is required. More can be found at http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/ or contact the Califonria Secretary of State’s Notary Public Division at (916) 653-3595.

  • State of California law regarding the notary journal is as follows:

    “8206. (a) (1) A notary public shall keep one active sequential journal at a time, of all official acts performed as a notary public.”

    The law also states other details required, but does not state that “each document notarized must be entered as a separate act.” So, the question remains — is the journal provided by Notary Rotary legal for the State of California. I have spoken with the office of SOS for CA and am awaiting a response as to requirements of each entry.

    I have used the NNA journal for many years — but, if this journal provided by Notary Rotary is legal, it is only $10.00 as opposed to $11.95 and saves a great deal of time, especially with more than 2-3 docs to be notarized. Also, I sometimes use a full page for two people on a loan signing, perhaps more. With this NR journal, you can fit EIGHT names — fewer journals to purchase each year.

    • Lisa says:

      “Government Code Section8206 requires that the notary public’s journal include all the information for ‘each official act.’ Therefore, each act would include the date, time, type of official act, character of Instrument, signature, type of identification, fee and thumbprint (if applicable) on a separate line for each act” (California Secretary of State Interpretation, Nov. 13, 2009).

      It is very clear that each document signed and notarized is a separate act and each act must be on a separate line, therefore the book from Notary Rotary will save you time in writing the description of the documents being notarized however it will not save you pages nor reduce your number of entries or signatures.

  • Teri says:

    So, the Notary duties I perform for my employer as part of my job, often include notarizing a corporate officer’s signature on 25-30 copies of the same document to distribute to multiple . the corporate officer now has to sign the 25 documents, plus 25 lines in my Journal as well?

  • Kevolyn White says:

    Can I Please get clarification on this. If my boss asks for me to notarize a stack of docs (all the same type – just different recipients) I need to have her Sign and Tumbprint for each document? She cannot sign just once for the stack with ditto marks for the document? I was going to be using the handbook requirements – this has all changed? I am suppose to start notarizing for her this week. These are leins on property. Many thanks for any help.

    • Lisa says:

      Yes you have to make separate entries for each documents you notarize, so the “stack” must be listed one by one on a separate line in your journal. As time consuming as it is, yes she must also sign and give a thumbprint for each one. Even if it’s the same document being notarized in duplicate, it is considered each a saparate act, therefore requires a separate line entry.

  • Maria says:

    Who still sells the journals with the one line item per entry other than NNA?

    • Lisa says:

      We order all ours from the NNA. They have plenty of room on their lines to write any extra information needed, especially when you are using a credible witness in CA. Also, there are extra lines for writing the description of the document being notarized, etc. I am sure there are others out there if you do a search online. Please let us know what you find out.

  • Tina says:

    Does anyone know if we can use date stamps and address stamps in our journal?

  • Catherine says:

    I have been using the Notary Rotary journal for the last 10 yrs and getting only 1 signature and thumbprint. Thanks for the clairification and will make the adjustment to doing line by line on my next signing appt.

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