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NC Secretary of State Releases Position Statement on Importance of Notary Journal

In an effort to ensure North Carolina Notaries Public are providing the highest level of protection for the public, the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office has revisited their long-held position on keeping a notary journal and has written a position statement to support that position by outlining the reasons notaries should voluntarily keep a journal of all their notary acts.

Very simply, notaries should keep a notary journal because it aids in protecting the public from fraud and forgery.  Protecting the public interest is a primary tenet of the notary law and each notary should consider how important it is for a journal to be used in protecting the public.  Please see the Secretary of State Position Statement on Notary Journals/Logbooks below: 

North Carolina General Statute 10B-2(1)(3) states that the Notary Act’s underlying purpose is “To promote, serve and protect the public interests” and  “To prevent fraud and forgery.”

In light of the robo-signing epidemic, identity theft and mortgage fraud related to the foreclosure crisis, the Office of the Secretary of State reasserts its long-held strong recommendation that notaries keep a record of their notary acts in a bound journal or log book.

Keeping a notary journal aids in both protecting the public interest and preventing fraud and forgery because it:

  • causes would-be criminals to think twice before presenting a forged signature to a notary knowing they will be asked to leave proof of their request in the form of their signature in a journal;

  • provides a level of protection for the notary in the event a signer later tries to disown a signature by providing clear evidence in the form of their signature that they did appear before a notary on a given date to request a notarization; and

  • provides valuable evidence to law enforcement officials investigating allegations of notary misconduct and criminal activity related to many forms of document fraud.

Seeing that the simple act of keeping a notary journal is clearly in keeping with the stated purpose of the Notary Public Act, in that it provides a level of protection to the public against document fraud, safeguards business transactions from those who would shamelessly refute entering into a contract to skirt their legal obligations, protects the notary from baseless allegations of notary misconduct, and provides valuable evidence to law enforcement agencies in aiding them in their investigations where fraud and forgery routinely occur, we call on every notary to voluntarily keep a journal of notarial acts as a best practice.

Notaries should keep a bound journal so that pages are not easily removed and should at a minimum record the date, type of document, signer’s name, type of identification presented along with the signer’s signature

August 2012



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