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January 5, 2011

Comparing journal entries to fedex signatures

Believe it or not, most Notaries on 123notary do not fill in their journal correctly. It is not rocket science. The rule is:

One entry per person per document.
Two people each signing three documents = SIX journal entries.
But, won’t that take too much time and use too much of your journal? It will only take a few minutes.

Let’s say that Johnny is signing ten documents that are to be Notarized. You put the date, type of notarization(s), document names, document dates, name of signer, address, ID information, notary fee, etc. Next, you draw an ARROW down for the date which remains the same for all ten entries, the name, address, and ID. Then, the signer has to sign for all ten entries. That takes less than a minute. 123notary suggests thumbprinting whether it is required by your state or not as a security measure to help the FBI when they come a knocking. They are bothering one of our Notaires as we speak (or type) and confiscated her journal. So be prepared!

What most Notaries do is one entry per person. Then, they put all the names of the documents in the document section. They have the signer sign once. This is stupid.

If Fedex delivers five packages to you do you sign once? No, you sign once per package and there is a corresponding tracking number next to your signature so you know what you are signing for. If you have a signer sign once in your journal for multiple documents, they could accuse you of having added more documents after the fact and having used them for fraudulent purposes. You would have no way to contest their accusation as the signer did not sign for any particular document.

The bottom line is to have the signer sign once for each document. That way you have proof that your work was authorized and your journal will then be up to standards. And once again, it doesn’t take more than a few mintues and it’s not rocket science.



  1. Should be noted that this comment, though very comprehensive, applies to California notaries only – the \one entry per signature per document\ is a California requirement. Many states don’t require a journal, and then many of those that do do not have this requirement (Florida fitting into the previous two categories).

    Comment by Linda Hubbrell — September 7, 2017 @ 4:28 pm

  2. See my comment from a related blog post http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19391.

    Again, there is nothing in CA law that states one entry per signature per document, just an opinion from the CA Sect of State. As I have stated in the referenced comment, if a notary wanted to commit fraud with a single document/signature/journal entry, he could leave the document blank and fill in later with a different one or cross out the actual document name written in the journal and replace with another one.

    The analogy to Fedex is a non-sequitur. If there was a ‘tracking’ number next to a document and that was noted in the journal, then the analogy would make sense.

    Hey, I got it. Let’s use the blockchain to notarize documents and store journal entries. That would basically eliminate fraud, since the blockchain would contain an immutable record of the signing. I’ll even accept payment for notary services in Bitcoin. 🙂

    Comment by BobH — May 16, 2018 @ 6:56 pm

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