“Gosh, I don’t remember having to sign my name THAT many times the last time I did a refi!”
I get that a lot. As a Notary Signing Agent, I facilitate loan document signings with clients, and sometimes the number of times these signers have to sign their name in the notary journal can seem overwhelming. The California Secretary of State governs the rules that all California notaries must follow. The law states that for every time EACH signer needs his or her signature notarized, I must enter it on its own line in my notary journal. So for example, we have a 100-page stack of papers to go through. Most of the pages have a place to be signed, of those pages that were signed, let’s say 8 of them were pages that needed notarization for both a husband and wife. That’s 8 x 2 (for the two people), which means I will be completing 16 lines in my journal, which then means, both husband and wife will sign the journal 8 more times each.
Why you ask? Two reasons. The first reason is that the journal is supposed to be a chronological record of every notarial act. The law for this can be found in California Government Code Section 8206(a) and (A). The second reason is that the notary could be asked by a court, or even a member of the public, to provide a copy of a single line-item notarial act, and by law, that is what she must provide – a copy of that one, single notarial act. Also, the days of drawing a line down the page and letting the signer sign once across the line is gone. In fact, the Secretary of State puts out an annual Notary Newsletter, and in the January-2014 issue, there was a review section of what is needed to be entered into the notary journal. It stated (among others), “Are you recording every transaction in your journal?”, and “You cannot use hash marks, ditto marks, arrows, or other shortcuts.” The section also stated that a signature must be used for each notarial act, and a reminder that we could be asked for line-item copies. Source: http://notary.cdn.sos.ca.gov/forms/notary-newsletter-2014.pdf