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.
RECORDBOOK REQUIREMENTS BY STATE* *Not every requirement related to the notary’s recordbook is listed. Consult your state statutes or administrative rules for a complete review of all requirements.
Alabama- Not Required
Alaska- Not Required
Arizona- Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. The notary must keep only one paper journal at a time, unless some entries are public records and some are non public. In that case, two separate journals, one for each type of record, may be maintained. If electronic notary commission dates are different from the notary’sregular commission, then two separate journals must be used for paper and electronic notarial acts. See Arizona Revised Statutes Sec. 41-319, and Arizona Administrative Code Sec. R2-12-1203, for more details.
Arkansas- Not Required
California- Recordbook Required. 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 a permanent, bound register (journal, recordbook) with numbered pages. Electronic recordbook must be in a permanent, tamper-evident format complying with any rules of the Secretary of State.
District of Columbia- Recordbook Required. May be paper or electronic, but if electronic the notary “should” save the ink-signature of the signer. Per DC Municipal Regulations, “No electronic signatures shall be accepted.”
Florida- Not Required
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
Illinois- Not Required, Cook County Pilot Program effective until 7/01/2018: Requires notaries to create a “Notarial Record” including a thumbprint, for all notarial acts performed involving certain conveyances for residential property in Cook County. This is not a traditional recordbook entry; a specific form for this purpose, and instructions, are provided on the web site of the Illinois Secretary of State.
Indiana- Not Required
Iowa- Not Required
Kansas- Not Required
Kentucky- Not Required. All protests made by a notary for the non-acceptance or nonpayment of all bills of exchange, checks or promissory notes MUST be recorded in a well-bound journal.
Louisiana- Not Required.
Maine- Not Required. Notaries that perform any marriage ceremonies must keep a record of the transaction. 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 Required
Massachusetts- Recordbook Required. Only one active journal at a time. Chronological, permanently bound book with numbered pages or sequentially numbered entries.
Michigan- Not Required
Minnesota- Not Required
Mississippi- Recordbook Required. Must be a chronological, permanently bound book with numbered pages. Notaries should only have one active recordbook at a time.
Missouri- Recordbook Required. The recordbook must be permanently bound and contain numbered pages.
Montana- Recordbook Required. A notary may keep more than one journal at a time. Both a permanently bound paper journal or a permanent, tamper-evident electronic journal are allowed. If a notarial act is performed utilizing audio/video technology as authorized by statute, the notary must electronically record the act and keep a copy of the recording.
Nevada- Recordbook required, paper notarial acts. Must be bound, contain sequential, preprinted page numbers and should be kept in a secure location under the direct control of the notary (paper and electronic notarial acts). Effective 7-1-18: electronic journal required for recording of every electronic notarial act performed. 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- Not Required
Ohio- Recordbook required only for recording protests.
Oklahoma- Not Required. Notaries public are required to 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 may be left in possession of the bank.
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
Tennessee- Recordbook 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.
Texas- Recordbook required. Applicable to both paper and electronic notarial acts. Book, computer or other storage device allowed. “Secure electronic records” required, online notary public. Additional required data to be recorded in a record of an online notarization is specified. Online notary public must also make a recording of, and retain, any audio-visual communications session in the performance of an online notarial act.
U.S. Virgin Islands- Recordbook Required
Utah- Not Required. If a notary maintains a journal, it must be chronological, permanently bound, with numbered pages.
Vermont- Not Required
Virginia- Paper Notarial Acts–Not Required. Electronic Notarial Acts–Electronic Record Required. Must be chronological. 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, concurrently with the single tangible journal. Electronic journal must have capacity to record information required to be captured in tangible journal; be password-protected or have another secure means of user authentication; be tamper-evident; be able to create a backup; be capable of providing tangible and electronic copies of entries.
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- Not Required. If a notary maintains a journal, some regulations concerning disposition of the records upon the notary’s death apply.