Do notary journals need to be kept under lock and key?
Notary rules differ from state to state. Many states don’t even require a notary to have a journal, or notary seal. However, California requires the use of both a notary journal and seal, and both must be kept under lock and key. However, there is a catch. The currently used journal must be locked up and access must exclusive to the notary public that it belongs to. Co-workers and bosses can not look at the journal without the notary being present. USED journals that have been filled out to their completion can be stored at the notary’s home, office, etc., but don’t need to be locked up.
When a notary’s commission is over, they must return all journals (California notary journals) (current and completed) to the county clerk’s office or whatever agency the notary division in their state appoints for them.
California notary journal rules might not apply to other states, but you should be careful with your journal and seal in any case as it contains really important information. Additionally your California notary seal, or seal from another state could be used for fraud, so you need to prevent that from happening if possible.
You might also like:
Notary Public 101 — Journals
This is a more comprehensive guide to understanding using Notary journals although we do have supplemental reading as well.
Index of posts about journals
A detective seizes a journal and complains about a blurry thumbprint