Maine Notary Journals

Does Maine require a notary journal?

No. Maine does not require a notary journal.

Source: Maine Notary Public Handbook.

Effective July 14, 1994, pursuant to 4 MRSA Section 955-B, Notaries Public commissioned in and for the State of Maine were no longer required to maintain or keep records of all acts they performed while acting in their capacity as Notaries Public. However, a Notary Public shall make and keep a record of every marriage performed (see 19-A MRSA Section 654). Additionally, the Notary Public must keep a log of petitions for which they administered the circulator’s oath, listing the title of the petition, the name of the circulator taking the oath, the date of the oath and the number of petition forms signed and verified by the circulator that day. (see 21-A, section 902)

The Secretary of State strongly recommends that Notaries Public maintain a record of all notarial acts. Not only is it a good way to keep track of individual acts; it also provides protection for both the Notary Public and the person requesting the notarial service. Additionally, a detailed record of the notarial transaction is useful in the event a Notary Public may be asked to provide documentation to a competent authority (a court of law for example) or testify in or provide a certified copy of the record to some legal proceeding. If the Notary Public decides to maintain records, these records are to remain in the exclusive custody of the Notary Public. The Notary Public may not surrender the records to another Notary Public or to an employer. The records may be inspected in the presence of the Notary Public by any individual whose identity is personally known to the Notary Public (or is proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence) and who specifies the notarial act to be examined.

The Secretary of State strongly believes that record keeping is the best way to ensure the proper conduct of notaries public, both to help protect them and to prevent fraud. A notary public is protected when a record book is maintained. By keeping basic information about the acts that they perform, a notary public is able to defend his or her actions. If the notary public is ever asked to provide evidence of an act performed in or out of court, the notary public can simply refer to the record book. The notary public will have clear and concise documentation that proper procedures were followed when the transaction was completed. Accurate record keeping is especially important when a number of years have lapsed since the notarial act was performed. If the notary public did not maintain a record of a particular act or acts, a claim against the notary public’s actions would be strengthened. An independent record of a notarial act is protection from a variety of issues relating to loss, wrongdoing on the part of the notary public or the signer of the document, or possible law suits.