Notary Journal Inspection
In Colorado, if you receive a request for a notary journal inspection or to make a copy of a notary journal entry, be sure to protect the privacy of unrelated entries. Follow state laws and notary best practices.
Ask for a written request, including the name of the signer, the type of document and the month and year of the notarization. Always be present during a notary journal inspection and do not give control of your journal to another person.
During a notary journal inspection or when making a copy of a notary journal entry, cover up unrelated entries. Do not allow another person to flip thru or browse the pages of a notary journal.
You may make a certified copy of the requested journal entry or you may extract the information and use it to create a certificate of notary records, signed by the notary.
You may charge a nominal fee for the notary journal inspection, certified copy or record certificate.
Law Enforcement Request
If the request is from law enforcement, follow the same procedure. Do not give your notary journal to anyone, unless there is a court order. Ask if it is sufficient to make a copy of the specific entry, rather than releasing the entire journal.
The Secretary of State recommends that notaries take a thumbprint of the signer and any witness, along with the signature. This may be useful evidence for law enforcement if the transaction is involved in any criminal fraud investigation. You may also wish to record the phone numbers of the signers, in case you need to contact them.
Before you release the original journal under court order, scan the pages to make a backup copy of your journal. Make sure you get the original journal back. You need to turn in your journal to the Secretary of State at the end of your notary career.
Electronic Notary Journal
I do not recommend using an electronic notary journal or cloud storage due to the privacy and security risks of data theft or snooping from an unauthorized party. If cloud storage is used, the data must use encryption before transmission to the cloud, the cloud storage provider must store the data in encrypted form, not plain text form, and they must not have the encryption key. SpiderOak offers private, secure cloud storage with Trust No One (TNO) security. See our blog article on SpiderOak.