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No Need To Lock Up Your Gun - But You Must Lock Up Your Notary Journal

If you’re a notary in Washington state, effective July 1, 2018, you’ll have new requirements. The notary journal requirement, which is found in RCW 42.45.180 requires that notaries must now maintain a journal for all of their notarial acts, and the journal must be retained for ten years after the last notarial act listed in the journal.

The journal requirement also only allows for a single tangible journal and it “must be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages.” The new law also addresses an electronic notary journal; however, it doesn’t allow for it as the sole journal. It allows for the electronic records “which can be kept concurrently with the tangible journal.”

Each journal entry must contain the following information: (1) the date and time of the notarial act; (2) a description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act; (3) the full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed; and (4) any additional information as required by the director in rule.

But that’s not all. The notary is required to keep the journal in a “locked and secured area, under the direct and exclusive control of the notary public.”

A single exception exists for maintaining the notary journal. It’s for notary attorneys under certain circumstances. The exception provides that attorneys need not maintain a journal “if documentation of the notarial act is otherwise maintained by professional practice.”

At Northwest Corporate Counsel, we always work with our business clients to keep their costs down, to establish a budget, and to give them the best service without the billable hour quotas of larger law firms. If we can help your business, just let us know. Give us a call at 509-710-1914 or email us at and let us know how we can help.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is intended to convey general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. We do invite you to contact us; however, please do not send any confidential information until we have confirmed an attorney-client privilege has been established.

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