Your Recordbook of Notarial Acts is a Valuable Tool.
• Many states require notaries to record each notarial act they perform in a well-bound recordbook (also called a notary journal) of notarial acts, with sequentially numbered pages and entries. • Your recordbook contains private, and possibly sensitive information about the people for whom you performed a notarial act—guard your recordbook carefully to protect the privacy of its contents. • Your recordbook belongs to you, and MUST remain under your control and safekeeping at all times. Your employer has NO rights to your recordbook, even if the employer paid for it. • Never share your recordbook with another notary.
NOTARY PUBLIC RECORDBOOK (Journal) REQUIREMENTS BY STATE* *The following requirements are general. Consult your state statutes or administrative rules for a complete review of all requirements, including information that must be entered into every journal entry.
Alabama- Not required
Alaska- Not required. Effective 1-1-21, recordbook (journal) required for Notaries Public performing remote online notarizations; additional requirements apply.
Arizona- Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. The Notary must keep one paper journal at a time, unless one or more entries are not public records. In that case, two separate journals, one for each type of record, must be maintained. If a Notary keeps only one journal, that journal is presumed to be a public record. Journals containing non-public records belong to the Notary’s employer and shall be retained by the employer. Journals containing only public records belong to the Notary. Notaries authorized to perform remote online notarizations must maintain records of those notarizations in one or more electronic journals (not paper) and must create/store an audio-video recording of those notarizations. The A-V recording cannot include images of any notarized electronic record. See Arizona Revised Statutes and Arizona Administrative Code for more details.
Arkansas- Not required
California- Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Only one active, sequential recordbook may be used and should be kept in a secure location under the direct control of the Notary. Thumbprint of the signer is required for any instrument affecting real property, and powers of attorney.
Colorado- Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Format may be paper or electronic. Paper recordbook must be permanently bound with numbered pages. Electronic recordbook must be in a permanent, tamper-evident format complying with any rules of the Secretary of State. Effective 12.31.20, a Remote Online Notary performing remote notarizations must record each such act in an electronic journal and must create an audio-video recording of each remote notarization communication session, subject to conditions specified in statutes (and any administrative rules).
Connecticut- Not required
Delaware- Paper notarial acts – not required. Electronic notarial acts – electronic recordbook required.
District of Columbia- Recordbook (journal) required, paper and electronic notarial acts. May be a tangible (paper) medium, or electronic. If tangible, must be a permanently bound register with numbered pages. If electronic, must be in a tamper-evident electronic format that complies with any rules of the Mayor. A Notary may maintain separate journals for tangible records and for electronic records. Journal entries must be made contemporaneously with (the same time as) performance of the notarial act.
Florida- Not required for paper or electronic notarial acts for physically present principals. Electronic journal required for use by an Online Notary Public. Online Notary shall retain an uninterrupted/unedited copy of the recording of the audio-video communication session for each online notarization performed.
Georgia- Not required
Hawaii- Recordbook Required. Recordbook must be bound, soft-cover, consecutively numbered, and cannot exceed 11" high and 16.5" wide when fully opened. Inside cover area for Notary information and other required information..
Idaho- Not required. A recording of the audio-video communication session for every remote online notarization performed must be retained. Effective 3-20-20, by administrative rule a Notary may elect to maintain one or more journals (tangible or electronic format) in which all notarial acts for remotely relocated individuals are chronicled.
Illinois- Not required
Indiana- Electronic recordbook (journal) required for use by a Remote Online Notary Public. Remote Notary must record each remote notarial act in the electronic journal. Remote Notary may maintain more than one electronic journal at a time. Remote notarial acts performed using audiovisual communication technology must be captured by an audiovisual recording regardless whether the remote notarial act is completed; remote Notary must inform all participating parties of the recording requirement before performing the remote notarial act. Electronic journal requirements also applicable to Notaries voluntarily using an electronic journal.
Iowa- Paper notarial acts - not required. Effective 7-1-20, a recording of the audio-video communication session for every remote online notarization performed must be retained. Also effective 7-1-20, the technology chosen by a Remote Online Notary for performance of remote online notarizations must provide an electronic journal that complies with Iowa's administrative rule requirements regarding documenting electronic notarial acts.
Kansas- Not required
Kentucky- Not required for paper notarial acts performed by a Notary Public. Electronic and Online Notaries Public must record all electronic notarizations in one or more electronic journals. A recording (or link to storage location) of the audio-video communication session for every remote online notarization performed must also be created and retained.
Louisiana- Recordbook (journal) required, notarial acts performed on specified instruments involving immovable property and required to be filed/recorded into public records (see R.S. §35:199). Once remote online notarization is operative in Louisiana, an Online Notary Public must maintain electronic records ("copies") of all online notarizations performed, including a recording of each online notarization's audio-video communication session.
Maine- Not required. Notaries that perform any marriage ceremonies must keep a record of the transaction. Maine's Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics recommends that a Notary also keep a copy of the signed marriage license, but this is not required by required by law. If a recordbook is voluntarily used, some specifics apply including: bound; consecutively numbered pages; preprinted page numbers; inside cover area for Notary information and other information. Collection of the signer’s thumbprint for any reason is prohibited.
Maryland- Recordbook (“fair register”) required. Recordbook requirements expand effective 10-1-20; see Maryland Gov't Code Sec. 18-219, Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. Effective 10-1-20, a Remote Online Notary or person acting on behalf and at the direction of the Notary must create and retain an audio-visual recording of every performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual.
Massachusetts- Recordbook (journal) required. Only one active journal at a time. Chronological, permanently bound book with numbered pages or sequentially numbered entries. Exempted are attorney-Notaries Public admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction; and Notaries who are employed by an attorney and who perform notarizations “by virtue” of such employment; and government-employee Notaries (for the notarial acts performed in the government-employee Notary’s course of employment).
Michigan- Recordbook (journal) required for recording of every remote online notarization performed by a Remote Online Notary Public. Journal may be tangible (paper) or electronic; only one active journal at a time. Tangible journal must be a permanently bound register; electronic journal must be in a tamper-evident, permanent electronic format. Remote Online Notary must retain an audio or visual recording of a remote electronic notarial act, subject to disclosure of the recording to the principal and the principal’s consent. Journal entry may reference but not itself contain the recording.
Minnesota- Electronic recordbook (journal) required for use by a Remote Online Notary Public. One or more electronic journals allowed. Must be “secure.” Each remote online notarization must be recorded in the Notary’s journal. Remote Online Notary must create an audio-video copy of each remote notarization.
Mississippi- Recordbook (journal) required. Must be a chronological, permanently bound book with numbered pages. Only one active recordbook at a time.
Missouri- Until 8.28.20: Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. The recordbook must be permanently bound and contain numbered pages. Effective 8.28.20: Recordbook (journal) required for recording of all paper and electronic notarial acts (including electronic acts performed for remotely located individuals). Only one active, permanently bound journal may be maintained at one time, in which all notarial acts performed (for physically present or remotely located individuals, if applicable) must be recorded. Electronic and Remote Online Notaries shall, in addition to one active permanently bound journal, keep an electronic journal of electronic notarial acts performed.
Montana- Recordbook (journal) required, traditional and technology-based notarial acts. One or more journals at a time allowed; may be permanently bound paper journals and/or permanent, tamper-evident electronic journals. If a notarial act is performed utilizing audio/video technology as authorized by statute, the Notary must electronically record the entire communication and keep a copy of the recording.
Nebraska- Electronic recordbook required (journal, “secure electronic record”), Electronic Notaries and Online Notaries Public. Online Notaries must also make and retain a recording of every online notarial act’s audio-video communication session.
Nevada- Recordbook (journal) required, paper and electronic notarial acts. A tangible (paper) journal for recording only paper notarial acts must be a bound volume with preprinted page numbers. Electronic journal required for recording all electronic notarial acts; more than one electronic journal may be maintained. Electronic journal must enable access by a password or other secure means of authentication; may not include the audio-video recording of a remote online notarial act. Notarial acts performed using audio-video communications must be electronically recorded, and the Notary must inform participants that the electronic notarial act will be recorded.
New Hampshire- Not required
New Jersey- Not required
New Mexico- Not required
New York- Not required
North Carolina- Not required, paper notarial acts. Secretary of State may require recordkeeping of electronic notarial acts.
North Dakota- Recordbook (journal) required for recording of all notarial acts performed using communication technology for a remotely located individual, electronic and tangible records. Journal may be tangible medium (paper) or electronic. Tangible journals must be permanent, bound register with numbered pages. Electronic journals must be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with rules of the Secretary of State. Only one journal (tangible or electronic) at a time may be used to record notarial acts regarding tangible records. One or more journals allowed for recording notarial acts regarding electronic records. Notary or person acting on Notary's behalf must create an audiovisual recording of every notarization performed using communication technology for a remotely located individual.
Ohio- Electronic recordbook (journal) required for use by an Online Notary Public. Online Notary shall maintain one or more electronic journals in which the Online Notary chronologically records all online notarizations performed. Online Notary must maintain a separate electronic journal for each renewed term of the Notary’s authorization to notarize electronically, with entries beginning on the date the renewed authorization is effective. Online Notary must create and maintain a complete recording of the audio-video communication that is the basis for identifying the principal in a remote online notarization.
Oklahoma- Notaries Public must: 1) maintain records (“a log”) of all absentee ballot affidavits notarized, for at least two years after the date of the election; and 2) maintain records (“a register”) of all protests noted for banks. Records of protests for a bank shall be left in possession of the bank. Otherwise, journaling of notarizations performed for physically present principals is not required. Electronic journal and recording/retention of the audio-visual communications session for every remote online notarization are required, Remote Online Notaries.
Oregon- Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Tangible book shall be bound, chronological journal, consecutively numbered pages. Page numbers must be preprinted. Line numbers must be preprinted as well. Must include inside cover area for Notary information and other information. More than one active journal at a time is allowed. Electronic journals must be permanent, tamper-evident and comply with the Secretary of State’s administrative rules.
Pennsylvania- Recordbook (journal) required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Journal may be paper or electronic. Notary may maintain a single journal (paper or electronic) in which to record notarial acts performed on both tangible (paper) and electronic documents; or one journal for tangible documents notarized and one journal for electronic notarizations. Paper journal must be bound, with preprinted, consecutive page numbers and preprinted, consecutively numbered entry lines or entry blocks. Electronic journal must be tamper-evident and meet requirements specified in statutes and Department regulations. .
Rhode Island- Not required
South Carolina- Not required
South Dakota- Not required for traditional (physical presence) paper notarial acts, or for notarization of a tangible (paper) document with the principal appearing before the Notary by means of communication technology.
Tennessee- Recordbook (for paper notarial acts) required IF the Notary OR the Notary’s employer demands and receives fees for notarial services. All notarial acts must be recorded. The Notary’s records may be maintained in a well-bound book or in an “appropriate” electronic form. Electronic recordbook (journal) required, electronic notarial acts performed by an Online Notary. One or more electronic journals may be used by the Online Notary. Electronic journal record must contain a recording of any video and audio conference that is the basis for identifying the principal in a remote online notarization.
Texas- Recordbook required. Applicable to both paper and electronic notarial acts. Tangible journal, computer or other storage device allowed. “Secure electronic records” required, Online Notary Public. Online notarization records must be maintained electronically in computers or other storage devices capable of recording the information required by statute, which includes a recording of any video and audio conference that is the basis for identifying the principal in a remote online notarization. Additional required data to be recorded in a record of an online notarization is specified.
U.S. Virgin Islands- Recordbook required
Utah- Not required (paper notarial acts). If a Notary maintains a journal for paper notarial acts, it must be chronological, permanently bound, with numbered pages. A Remote Online Notary shall keep a secure electronic journal of each remote notarization performed, shall record the information specified in statutes, and shall “include with” the electronic journal an audio and video recording of every remote notarization performed (such recording is neither a public record nor a part of the Remote Online Notary’s journal).
Vermont- Not required
Virginia- Paper notarial acts – not required. Electronic notarial acts – electronic record required. Must be chronological and provide for a backup. See Code of Virginia Sec. 47.1-14(c) for specifications. If an electronic notarial act is performed utilizing audio/video technology authorized under §47.1-2, the Notary must electronically record the act and keep a copy of the recording.
Washington- Recordbook (journal) required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Only one tangible journal at a time for recording both paper and electronic notarial acts. Permanent, bound register, numbered pages. Electronic records Notary may also maintain a journal in electronic format, but only in addition to the single tangible journal. Review statutes and any administrative rules for detailed journal specifications. Effective 10-1-20, a Remote Online Notary (electronic records notary) must also create and retain an audio-visual recording of every online notarization performed.
West Virginia- Not required. If an electronic journal is voluntarily used, its attributes must comply with the Secretary of State’s administrative rule(s).
Wisconsin- Paper notarial acts - not required. If a Notary maintains a journal, some regulations concerning disposition of such “official records” upon the Notary’s death apply. Recording/retention of the audio-visual communications session for every remote online notarization is required, Remote Online Notaries.