A notary public is a person appointed by a state agency to witness the signing of documents, such as property deeds in which one person sells a piece of property to another. For more on the duties of a notary public, see the National Notary Association’s What is a Notary Public?
In California, the California Secretary of State’s Notary Public Section is in charge of appointing notaries public.
A notary keeps a journal of documents that are notarized. The journal has a line for each transaction that includes a general description of the document being signed, the date it was notarized and the signatures of the parties to the transaction.
If a member of the public requests a copy of a transaction listed in a notary public’s journal, California law requires the notary to supply a photocopy of the line item in the journal within 15 business days.
The request must be made in writing and specify the names of the parties, the type of document and the month and year in which it was notarized. The notary can charge up to 30 cents per page for a copy.
About this Tutorial
This tutorial was originally written by Paul Grabowicz for students in his Computer Assisted Reporting class, and later modified for public use.
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