All California notaries are required to keep a journal of each and every notarial act they perform. Notary Signing Agents are required by the NSA Code of Conduct, to keep a journal for all loan signing notarial acts performed. When a notarial act is performed for real property it is required that the borrower or seller offer their signature and fingerprint for each notarization within the journal.
The journal is an important tool that provides a written record of the Notary’s official acts. It contains details of the transaction in the event a notarized document is lost, altered, or if facts concerning the notarization are challenged in court. Information in Notary journals have also helped investigators locate and arrest dishonest signers who attempt to commit fraud or forgeries.
In Califoria, a notary public journal should be full and complete and must include the following items...
Date and Time (this indicates the date and time the signer appeared before the notary)
Type of notarization (acknowledgement, jurat, oath/affirmation, etc.)
Location where the notarization took place (actual address of where the notary was performed)
Type of document notarized and the date of the document (title of the document; ie deed of trust, power of attorney, affidavit of identity)
The signature of each signer notarized
How the signer was identified (State ID, Passport; must be current, have a photo, serial number, expiration date
The fee charged, if any
The signer's thumbprint if the document notarized is a power of attorney or any document affecting real property (deed, quitclaim deed, deed of trust). I will generally ask for the thumbprint for all notarial acts to be safe; however, the signer may choose to decline to provide a thumbprint if it is not a power of attorney or a document affecting real property.
A Journal entry should be recorded while the signer is present and before the notary completes the notarization. This way the notary may obtain all necessary information needed for the journal entry, such as signatures and thumbprints.