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Notary Recordbook Requirements by State (Tangible/Paper)

ASN recommends that notaries in every state use a recordbook (also referred to as a register or journal) for their notarial acts, whether they are required by statute, administrative rule, or stongly recommended best practice.

Please check this web page periodically for any changes that may occur. If your state has enacted a recordbook requirement or changed its existing recordbook law, ASN will post the information on this web page.

*Not every requirement related to the notary’s recordbook is listed. Consult your state statutes or administrative rules for a complete review of all requirements.

Alabama - Not Required

Alaska - Not Required

Arizona - Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. The notary must keep only one paper journal at a time, unless some entries are public records and some are non public. In that case, two separate journals, one for each type of record, may be maintained. If electronic notary commission dates are different from the notary’s regular commission, then two separate journals must be used for paper and electronic notarial acts.
STATUTE: A.R.S. §41-319, and Arizona Administrative Code Sec. R2-12-1203
STATE INFO: https://azsos.gov/business/notary-public

Arkansas - Not Required

California - Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Only one active, sequential recordbook may be used and should be kept in a secure location under the direct control of the notary. Thumbprint of the signer is required for any instrument affecting real property, and powers of attorney.
STATUTE: Government Code 8206, 8209, 8228 
STATE INFO: https://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/

Colorado - Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Format may be paper or electronic. Paper recordbook must be a permanent, bound register (journal, recordbook) with numbered pages. Electronic recordbook must be in a permanent, tamper-evident format complying with any rules of the Secretary of State.
STATUTE: C.R.S. 24-21-519
STATE INFO: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/FAQ/seals.html

Connecticut - Not Required

Delaware - Not required, paper notarial acts. Recordbook required, electronic notarial acts.

District of Columbia - Recordbook required. May be paper or electronic, but if electronic the notary “should” save the ink-signature of the signer. Per DC Municipal Regulations, “No electronic signatures shall be accepted.”
STATE INFO: http://os.dc.gov/service/notary-commissions

Florida - Not Required

Georgia - Not Required

Hawaii - Recordbook required. Recordbook must be bound, soft-cover, consecutively numbered, and cannot exceed 11" high and 16.5" wide when fully opened. Inside cover area for notary information and other required information.
STATUTE: HAR §5-11-9
STATE INFO: http://ag.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/NEW-RULES-FOR-NOTARIES-PUBLIC.pdf

Idaho - Not Required

Illinois - Not required, Cook County Pilot Program effective until July 1, 2018: Requires notaries to create a “Notarial Record” including a thumbprint, for all notarial acts performed involving certain conveyances for residential property in Cook County. This is not a traditional recordbook/journal entry; a specific form for this purpose, and instructions, are provided on the web site of the Illinois Secretary of State.

Indiana - Not Required

Iowa - Not Required

Kansas - Not Required

Kentucky - Not required. All protests made by a notary for the non-acceptance or nonpayment of all bills of exchange, checks or promissory notes MUST be recorded in a well-bound journal.
STATUTE: KRS. 423.030
STATE INFO: https://www.sos.ky.gov/bus/businessrecords/notaries/Pages/default.aspx

Louisiana - Not Required

Maine - Not required. Notaries that perform any marriage ceremonies must keep a record of the transaction. If a recordbook is voluntarily used, some specifics apply including: bound; consecutively numbered pages; preprinted page numbers; inside cover area for notary information and other information. Collection of the signer’s thumbprint for any reason is prohibited.
STATUTE: MRSA 19-A, Section 654
STATE INFO: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notaries.html

Maryland - Recordbook required. State website suggests notaries retain all records for at least five years.
STATUTE: AC § 18-107
STATE INFO: https://sos.maryland.gov/Notary/Pages/default.aspx 

Massachusetts - Recordbook required. The issuance of a summons or subpoena or the administration of an oral oath is not required to be journaled.Only one active journal at a time. Chronological, permanently bound book with numbered pages or sequentially numbered entries. Attorney-Notaries who are admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction, or a notary that is employed by an attorney and perform notarial duties are exempt from the recordbook requirement. Notaries that work for a government entity are also not required to maintain a recordbook for notarial acts performed in the course of their employment.
COMMONWEALTH INFO: https://www.mass.gov/becoming-a-notary-public

Michigan - Not Required

Minnesota - Not Required

Mississippi - Recordbook required. Must be a chronological, permanently bound book with numbered pages. Notaries should only have one active recordbook at a time.
STATUTE: 1 Miss. Admin. Code Pt. 5, R. 5.15 and 5.16
STATE INFO: http://www.sos.ms.gov/BusinessServices/Pages/Notaries-Apostilles.aspx

Missouri - Recordbook required. The recordbook must be permanently bound and contain numbered pages.
STATUTE: RS §486.260
STATE INFO: https://s1.sos.mo.gov/business/Notary/

Montana - Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. A notary may keep more than one journal at a time. Both a permanently bound paper journal or a permanent, tamper-evident electronic journal are allowed. If a notarial act is performed utilizing audio/video technology as authorized by statute, the notary must electronically record the act and keep a copy of the recording.
STATUTE: MCA §1-5-618
STATE INFO: https://sosmt.gov/notary/

Nebraska - Not required, paper notarial acts. Recordbook required, electronic notarial acts.

Nevada - Recordbook required, paper notarial acts. Must be bound, contain sequential, preprinted page numbers and should be kept in a secure location under the direct control of the notary (paper and electronic notarial acts). Effective 07-01-2018: electronic journal required for recording of every electronic notarial act performed. Notarial acts performed using audio-video communications must be electronically, recorded, and the notary must inform participants that the electronic notarial act will be recorded.
STATUTE: NRS §240.120, NRS §240.201 
STATE INFO: https://www.nvsos.gov/sos/licensing/notary 

New Hampshire - Not Required

New Jersey - Not Required

New Mexico - Not Required

New York - Not Required

North Carolina - Not required, paper notarial acts. Secretary of State may require recordkeeping of electronic notarial acts. 

North Dakota - Not Required, paper notarial acts. Effective 8-1-2019 – journal for remote online notarial acts required. 
STATUTE: ND Century Code Sec. 44-06.1

Ohio - Recordbook required only for recording protests (Effective until 9-20-2019). Effective 9-9-2019 – electronic journal required, remote online notarial acts.
STATUTE: RC 147.04, RC 147.65
STATE INFO: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/147

Oklahoma - Not Required. Notaries public are required to 1.) maintain records (“a log”) of all absentee ballot affidavits notarized, for at least two years after the date of the election; and 2.) maintain records (“a register”) of all protests noted for banks. Records of protests for a bank may be left in possession of the bank.
STATE INFO: https://www.sos.ok.gov/notary/default.aspx 

Oregon - Recordbook required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Tangible book shall be bound, chronological journal, consecutively numbered pages. Page numbers must be preprinted. Line numbers must be preprinted as well. Must include inside cover area for notary information and other information. More than one active journal at a time is allowed. Electronic journals must be permanent, tamper-evident and comply with the Secretary of State’s administrative rules.
STATUTE: OAR 160-100-0200 AND ORS 194.300  
STATE INFO: https://sos.oregon.gov/business/Pages/resources-aids-notarization.aspx

Pennsylvania - Recordbook (journal) required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Journal may be paper or electronic. Notary may maintain a single journal (paper or electronic) in which to record notarial acts performed on both tangible (paper) and electronic documents; or one journal for tangible documents notarized and one journal for electronic notarizations. Paper journal must be bound, with preprinted, consecutive page numbers and preprinted, consecutively numbered entry lines or entry blocks. Electronic journal must be tamper-evident and meet requirements specified in statutes and Department regulations.
COMMONWEALTH INFO: https://www.dos.pa.gov/OtherServices/Notaries/General%20Information%20and%20Equipment/Pages/Notary-Public-Equipment.aspx
STATUTE: 57 Pa.C.S. Sec. 319

Rhode Island - Not Required

South Carolina - Not Required

South Dakota - Not Required

Tennessee - Recordbook required IF the notary OR the notary's employer demands and receives a fee, the notary shall keep a record, either in a well-bound book or in an "appropriate" electronic form, of each of the notary's acts, attestations, protestations, and other instruments of publication.
STATE INFO: https://sos.tn.gov/notary-commissions

Texas - Recordbook required. Applicable to both paper and electronic notarial acts. Book, computer or other storage device allowed. “Secure electronic records” required, online notary public. Additional required data to be recorded in a record of an online notarization is specified. Online notary public must also make a recording of, and retain, any audio-visual communications session in the performance of an online notarial act.
STATUTE: Tex. Gov’t. Code §406.014; Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §121.012; 1 TAC §87.40
STATE INFO: https://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml

Utah - Not Required. If a notary maintains a journal, it must be chronological, permanently bound, with numbered pages.
STATUTE: UCA §46-1-13.
STATE INFO: https://notary.utah.gov/faqs/

Vermont - Not Required

Virginia - Paper notarial acts, not required. Electronic notarial acts, Electronic record required. Must be chronological. If an electronic notarial act is performed utilizing audio/video technology authorized under §47.1-2, the notary must electronically record the act and keep a copy of the recording.
STATUTE: Electronic Notarial Acts § 47.114
COMMONWEALTH INFO: https://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/

Virgin Islands (U.S.) - Recordbook Required
USVI LT. GOVERNORS OFFICE: https://ltg.gov.vi/departments/notary-public/

WashingtonRecordbook (journal) required, paper and electronic notarial acts. Only one tangible journal at a time for recording both paper and electronic notarial acts. Permanent, bound register, numbered pages. Electronic records notary may also maintain a journal in electronic format, concurrently with the single tangible journal. Electronic journal must have capacity to record information required to be captured in tangible journal; be password-protected or have another secure means of user authentication; be tamper-evident; be able to create a backup; be capable of providing tangible and electronic copies of entries.
STATUTE: RCW 42.45.180, WAC 308-30-190, WAC 308-30-200
STATE INFO: https://www.dol.wa.gov/business/notary/index.html

West Virginia - Not Required

Wisconsin - Not required. If a notary maintains a journal, some regulations concerning disposition of the records upon the notary’s death apply.
STATUTE: 137.01(7)
STATE INFO: http://www.wdfi.org/Apostilles_Notary_Public_and_Trademarks/statutes.htm

Wyoming - Not Required

NOTE: Information above was updated JUNE 2019.

The recordbook entry not only allows recording of the facts of each notarial act, but also serves as a checklist for proper notary procedure. Filling in each blank in the recordbook entry helps assure that the steps to an expert notarial act are being performed. The recordbook will have the original signature of the signer as well as his printed name, address and phone number. The notary will document the method of identification of the signer. The recordbook entry will also contain a description of the document and its date. It will also indicate the notarial act that was performed and the date and time it was performed. There is also a space for the notary to enter the amount of the fee that was charged.

Remember that a notary faces unlimited liability for any errors or omissions he/she makes in the performance of a notarial act. Just one claim of an incomplete or improper notarial act against the notary can cause catastrophic financial damage. Your recordbook entries can help you reconstruct your notarial acts if you are ever called into court. If your state’s notary laws do not address every detail of performing a notarial act, the recordbook can show that you followed the dictates of good notarial procedure.

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