Notary Journal Entries: Why Are They Important?

pencil on top of a blank journal

When a signing is being performed, several signers are left annoyed when the notary public agent notes certain information from the document in his/her notary journal. What they don’t know is that nowadays, a single sign is not sufficient regardless of the number of documents that need notarization. The notary laws have drastically changed and notaries are now required to make at least one entry in their notary journal book for each individual paper or document that’s notarized.

The individuals signing the documents often demonstrate impatience and irritability because they get annoyed of repeating the same process over and over again. However, what they fail to acknowledge is that all these measures are taken to protect them only. Wondering why? Because if the authentication of a document is challenged in future, it would be a lot better to have an official journal of notarial acts where an entry is made against each notarized document or paper instead of having a single entry for all the documents that are notarized. Having more details is a safer approach for both involved parties.

Also, it should be taken into consideration that individuals are often asked by their attorneys to provide copies of their notary log book. For instance, consider the instance where a mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She’s concerned about the guardianship of her little ones. In these circumstances, the recommended approach is to have a notarized letter clearly stating all her wishes. She needs to hire a notary public agent to notarize the letter who also keeps a record of one notary journal entry against each document. Now, in the event of her death, if the children’s guardianship is challenged by her family, they won’t be able to carry out their intentions because of the letter she has signed. The details that can lead to the failure of her family are as follows.

  • The date and time when the notarization took place
  • The title/name of document
  • Total number of pages the document had
  • Attached acknowledgement from the notary public agent
  • Identification information of the trustworthy witnesses who positively identified the woman
  • Signatures of the trustworthy witnesses
  • The woman’s name and address
  • The woman’s signature
  • The woman’s right thumb print
  • The amount of money charged for notarization
  • The notes about the place where the process was carried out

Another example is that of an elderly woman who has to sign a power of attorney along with its certification. She knew exactly what she was doing when she signed the documents. However, after she died, her family demanded that proof be provided attesting to the authenticity of the documents since they were not nominated as the beneficiaries. Now since the notary public agent makes one entry against each document and includes all the necessary information regarding the identification, signatures, thumb print, time and place of notarization, the relatives can be satisfied with the proof. This ease is only because all the information was available on the document and since a notary public agent was involved, the authenticity of the document couldn’t be contested.

Some states require the notary public agent to keep a copy of the notarized document as part of a separate journal entry. This is done as it streamlines the process of entering and recording more detailed descriptions about each document. On top of it, this approach helps eliminate the risk of frauds and protect those individuals involved in the notarization process.

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