Notaries may choose a notary journal from several sources, including a local office supply store, or on the website of a notary association, or an online notary supply store. Some notary instructors sell notary journals in the notary training class.
The comparison chart below helps notaries choose a journal that best suits their needs. A notary journal must comply with state notary laws, so be sure to read your laws before your purchase.
State Laws on Keeping a Notary Journal
Some states require notaries to keep a journal, some do not. Even if a journal is not required in your state, it is wise to keep a notary journal. It provides evidence that the notary is using reasonable care for each transaction. It provides useful information in case there are future questions about a transaction.
A notary journal is not expensive, and it holds hundreds of transactions, so cost is not a burden or excuse for not keeping a journal.
A notary journal should be tamper resistant to prevent pages from being added or removed. Loose pages kept in a 3-ring binder or a spiral notebook is not a secure notary journal. Sequential page numbering and sequential transaction numbering are useful security features. A thumbprint is a useful security feature, where allowed by state law.
Acid-free archival grade paper should be used for long-term storage and preservation of paper records. Archived journals should be stored in a controlled environment, protected from high temperature, high humidity, light, water, contamination, pets and pests, following best practices for paper records used by archives and museums.
The notary journal should be kept secure at all times. Some states require that notary journals must be delivered to the state notary regulator when the notary’s career is over. Before turning in your journal, make a copy to keep for your records, in case a question arises.
Colorado Notary Journal Requirements
Colorado notary law CRS 12-55-111 requires the follow information to be recorded in the notary journal, at the time of notarization:
date of notarial act
type of act (oath, affirmation, acknowledgment, certified copy)
title or type of document
document date, if different from date of notarization
name and address of signer
signature of signer
name and address of any witnesses
signature of any witnesses
any other information the notary considers appropriate
The Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) recommends taking a thumbprint in the journal for all signers, as a best practice to prevent fraud. To prevent identity theft, do not record the full ID number of the signer in the journal. Only record the last 4 digits.
Notary Journal Comparison Table
|Notary Journal Comparison|
|American Association of Notaries||Dome Publishing||National Notary Association||Notary Law Institute||Notary Rotary|
|Cover Title||Notary Public Record Book, National Edition||Notary Public Record Book||Official Journal of Notarial Acts||Journal of Notary Public Services||Modern Journal of Notarial Events|
|Size, width x height x thickness||11 x8-1/2 x1/4||10-1/2 x8-1/4 x3/16||10-7/8 x8-1/4 x5/16||8-1/4 x10-7/8 x3/16||11 x8-1/2 x5/16|
|Weight||12.2 oz||6.7 oz||12.8 oz||7.8 oz||15.2 oz|
|Binding Type||perfect||sewn||sewn||sewn perfect||sewn|
|Transaction entry pages||104||58||122||62||122|
|Entry page span||2||2||2||1||2|
|Entries per page||14||18||8||5||8|
|Total transaction entries||728||522||488||310||488|
|Cost per entry||0.022||0.033||0.035||0.048||0.033|
|Type of Notarization||x||x||x||x||x2|
|Address where performed||-||-||x||-||-|
|Signer ID Type||x||x||x||x||x|
|batch entries, for signing agents||-||-||-||-||x4|
|sequential entry numbers||x||-||-||x||-|
|sequentially numbered pages||x||x||x||x||x|
|notary name, contact info||x||x||x||x||x|
|instructions for notary's death||-||-||x||-||x|
|other notary notes||-||-||x||-||x|
|instructions for making entries||x||x||x||x||x|
|x1 shared box for document description/additional information|
|x2 check box for notarization type, Acknowledgement, Jurat, Certified Copy|
|x3 check box for document type, compliance agmt, correction agmt, DOT/mortgage, Deed-G/QC/W, E&O, Occ Aff, Own Aff, POA- L/D, Proof of ID Aff, Sig/Name Aff, Survey Aff, Adv Health Dir, Trust- Irr/Living, Will- LWT/Living, SDB Verification, Vehicle- O+VIN/TT, Other|
|x4 journal is designed with check boxes to indicate multiple documents per entry line, designed for real estate signing agents, some states do not allow multiple documents per entry, a separate line is required for each document, check your state laws|
Which Notary Journal Do You Use?
Readers: Please leave a comment stating which notary journal you use and why.
Notary Journal Comparison
Notary Journal Comparison