Notary Home Study Course

The journal should include the required information as listed below as well as any additional information the notary feels may benefit him or her should a notarial act be questioned in the future. For example, if a notary refuses to notarize a document, the notary may wish to record the details of that in their journal for later reference. 

The journal must contain the following information:

    • Date & time the document is notarized
    • The type of notary act performed (acknowledgment or jurat)
    • The character (almost always the name) of the document   notarized (such as Grant Deed)
    • A statement as to whether the person who acknowledged the signature was personally known to you or proved their identity to you.
    • Name of the identification document (such as driver’s  license) or an indication that credible witnesses were used and pertinent identification information about the credible witness when required (see chapter 5). If personal knowledge was used, the notary must indicate that in the journal.
    • Serial number of the identification document, i.e. driver’s license number
    • Date of issue or expiration of the identifying document
    • Signature of the person
    • Fees charged for notary services
    • Right thumbprint for Deeds (for example, Warranty Deeds, Quitclaim Deeds,  Grant Deeds) or  Deeds of Trust affecting real property. ***Please note that not all documents containg the word Deed in their title require a right thumbprint! For example, Thumbprints are not required for Deeds of Reconveyance or for a Trustee’s Deed if the Property is in foreclosure. (When a  property loan is paid in full, a Deed of Reconveyance is issued; a Trustee’s Deed is issued for transfer of property which has been placed into foreclosure.

If the right thumbprint is unavailable, use a left thumbprint or any available finger but be sure to indicate what was used. If the signer is unable to provide a print, the notary must document the inability and state an explanation as to why the fingerprint was unavailable.  Also note that addresses and birth dates are not required for journal entry.

See an example of a journal entry with instructions