This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  mharmon 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #13982

    CaSdnotary
    Participant

    I work in a litigation department where we have to notarize a large amount of affidavits per employee on a regular basis. In CA the record in our journal is quite lengthly and time consuming for us to complete the line for every affidavit (up in the hundreds per day). Does anyone have any tips on how to stream line the record? For instance we were thinking of taking identification and signature and date per session and then just entering the name and account number associated with the affidavit that was notarized in that session. Does anyone have any experience notarizing for a large company and having to process large amounts of certificates in Ca?

    #14355

    mharmon
    Participant

    Well, there really is no way around it… and if you’re dealing with litigation issues, you’d think you want to absolutely SURE the your notary records are properly maintained. Some notaries have different interpretations of what the law means in our handbooks, but I (as well as many others here) will tell you… you need to complete the the entire line entry for each and every signature notarized. There are no shortcuts.

    There was an Education Vendor’s meeting that took place on 10/23/2009. This comes right from the Secretary of State. All CA Notary education vendors got this… the link I’m posting here is to another company that has the file posted and available.

    https://www.notaryrotary.com/library/10-23-09-vendors-meeting-minutes-final.pdf

    The NNA also had this same information, as a result of that meeting, and in February 2010, they published an article referencing it:

    https://www.nationalnotary.org/bulletin/bulletin_articles/for_california_notaries_a_signature_on_every_line.html
    (I’m not a huge fan of the NNA personally, but I’m posting this just as a matter of reference.)

    What you want to read is the top of page 4 of the PDF linked above. It’s part of a long section of Q&A clarifications from teachers:

    “Q, When multiple notarial acts are performed, is it acceptable for a diagonal line to be drawn from the first document to the last document in the notary public journal with a single signature covering all transactions? In addition, can ditto (“) marks be used in the journal?

    A. Government Code section 8206 requires that the notary public’s journal include all the information for “each official act.” Therefore, each act would include the date, time, type of each official act, character of the instrument, signature, type of identification, fee, and thumbprint (if applicable) on a separate line for each act.”

    That’s pretty clear to me, and it *is* in the handbook, too. See page 9 and 27. It’s pretty clear that this information needs to be recorded for “each official act” — which means that if you’ve got 5 official acts, you’ve got 5 entries that include the date, time, type of act, signature, etc. as written above.

    The reasoning is kind of obvious, if you think about it. If you’re asked to provide a line item for a POA that was done with multiple other documents, you can’t just provide a copy of the line items for everything unless each of those specific documents were requested, too. Let’s say an auditor from the SOS’s office calls and asks for just that one line. If you used dittos or a diagonal, you won’t have all of the information recorded on that single line. And, if you put multiple acts in a single entry, for instance, you haven’t recorded a signature for each official act.

    (To Be Continued…)

    #14356

    mharmon
    Participant

    (Continued….)

    Now, the downside to what I said above is, of course, is that this document (the meeting notes) wasn’t published to all the notaries, not on the SOS’s website that I can find, nor is it expressly clarified in the handbook beyond the code itself (which I, personally, think is self explanatory.) It’s just a memo of meeting minutes for those who teach CA notaries.

    However, in the 2012 sample workbook, which is an approved educational workbook, published by the Secretary of State and covers everything on the exam… this *is* specifically stated and is freely available for download from the SOS’s website:

    https://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/forms/notary-education-sample-workbook-2012.pdf

    And is found on this page:
    https://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/become-a-vendor.htm

    See pages 24-26, specifically it says:

    “A separate line must be used for each document. For example, if a notary public completes an acknowledgment certificate on a deed of trust and an acknowledgment certificate on a promissory note, the notary public must record on separate lines in the journal that a “deed of trust” and “promissory note” were the character of the instruments with notarized signatures, completing each line of the journal, in full. The notary public cannot simply state that “loan docs” or “closing documents” were acknowledged. (California Government Code section 8206(a)(2)(B).)”

    #14357

    CaSdnotary
    Participant

    Fantastic! Thank you for your quick reply. I must’ve gotten that tip by word of mouth but now after checking with the SOS and here on the forum I can properly inform my company that we just have to do it longhand and that we’re gonna need way more notaries to divvy this up! Greatly appreciated and good luck in your business!

    #14358

    mharmon
    Participant

    The other thing to remember is that if you’re doing affidavits (sworn statements) that the affiant must be there, in front of the notary for each and every act. The affiant has to sign the statement in front of the notary, who issues the oath.

    No getting around that, either — state law.

    #14360

    CaSdnotary
    Participant

    We got that one down thanks. Just a matter of filling in the rest. You have any idea if we can make our own journals? As in creating a spreadsheet with all the required info and space for signing, printing the pages and binding them? That way we could type in the info (saving our wrists) and have our signers just sign.

    #14361

    mharmon
    Participant

    That’s a good idea. State law only says that our journals be sequential. There is absolutely no requirement that says we have to use any particular format… just that we record certain information.

    I imagine keeping them in a binder where you add new pages would be just fine.

    I know that I’ve been working on designing a journal for my own use to suit my journaling habits. I haven’t finalized it yet. I’m just not entirely happy with any of the commercially available ones for the way I do things.

    I don’t see anything wrong with taking an excel file to create a journal page where you pre-fill all of the repetitive data, then print it and obtain the signatures and thumbprints (if needed). Then, adding those sheets to your sequential journal. I can see keeping a binder and then having it permanently bound at regular intervals.

    Another option might be to look at an electronic journal. They are perfectly okay to use provided you obtain the required information. I’ve considered doing that, but because I’m mobile, I didn’t want to carry around all that equipment. GemTrust is one solution I’ve seen for that. The NNA has Enjoa. I beleive they were actually designed to help with the type of situation you describe.

    I’m speaking strictly about electronic journals, here.

    I keep hoping a decent notary journal is developed for the ipad… that would make my journaling life amazingly simple. Actually, they do make one…. it’s called iNotary, but it doesn’t work for CA notaries yet because it doesn’t support thumb printing. It’s got potential, though. Plus, I’m not sure that their “cloud” model satisfies CA’s requirement of keeping the data under our exclusive control.

    #14362

    mharmon
    Participant

    Let me also add something about journal formats… we can use ANYTHING we want as a journal so long as our records are sequential and we record all of the required information. This is for California, of course.

    I know of one man, and I’ve mentioned this before, who hates those big, bound journals. He carries a little moleskin notebook with blank pages and writes everything out by hand. He doesn’t notarize terribly often anymore, so his solution works great for his needs.

    I think an Excel file that you printed would work just fine, honestly. I know some people might snub their nose at the idea, but I don’t see how it would be an issue as long as your journal and journal keeping practices followed state law.

    #14359

    notaris91
    Participant

    @mharmon wrote:

    (Continued….)

    Now, the downside to what I said above is, of course, is that this document (the meeting notes) wasn’t published to all the notaries, not on the SOS’s website that I can find, nor is it expressly clarified in the handbook beyond the code itself (which I, personally, think is self explanatory.) It’s just a memo of meeting minutes for those who teach CA notaries.

    However, in the 2012 sample workbook, which is an approved educational workbook, published by the Secretary of State and covers everything on the exam… this *is* specifically stated and is freely available for download from the SOS’s website:

    https://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/forms/notary-education-sample-workbook-2012.pdf

    And is found on this page:
    https://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/become-a-vendor.htm

    See pages 24-26, specifically it says:

    “A separate line must be used for each document. For example, if a notary public completes an acknowledgment certificate on a deed of trust and an acknowledgment certificate on a promissory note, the notary public must record on separate lines in the journal that a “deed of trust” and “promissory note” were the character of the instruments with notarized signatures, completing each line of the journal, in full. The notary public cannot simply state that “loan docs” or “closing documents” were acknowledged. (California Government Code section 8206(a)(2)(B).)”

    Great info…. thank you so much 🙂

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