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In-Person Paper Notarizations

Am I required by law to maintain a notary journal in Alabama?

No, a notary public in the State of Alabama is not required to maintain a notary journal. However, if remote online notarizations are legal in the State of Alabama and the notary public is performing online notarizations, they may want to check any specific guidelines surrounding record keeping for remote online notarizations.

Summary of notary journal requirements in Alabama

Although the State of Alabama does not require a notary public to complete a notary journal by law, it is considered “best practice” to maintain a notary journal to protect the notary public from lawsuits and potential liabilities. 

The following pieces of information are considered “best practice” to collect in a notary journal

  1. Date and time of each notarial act

  2. A description of the document and type of notarial act (e.g., Deed of trust, Acknowledgment)

  3.  The printed full name, signature and address of each person for whom a notarial act is performed.

  4. A description of the identification document, its serial or identification number and its date of issuance or expiration

  5. The fee charged for the notarial service

It is important to remember that these “best practices” are just recommendations, and that a notary can include more or less information as long as they remain compliant with their State code. 

Remote Online Notarizations

Is Remote Online Notarization (RON) approved in the State of Alabama?

Yes, notaries in the State of Alabama are authorized to perform remote online notarizations

Do I have to record the Remote Online Notarization session?

Yes, pursuant to Ala. Code § 36-20-73.1(c)(2), you must adhere to the following guidelines

“The two-way audio-video communication must be recorded and maintained by the notary public for at least seven years. Ala. Code § 36-20-73.1(c)(2). The recording must contain:

  1. (1) The date and time of the remote notarial act.

  2. (2) A description of the documents to which the remote notarial act relates.

  3. (3) An attestation by the notary public of being physically located in this state.

  4. (4) A description of how the identification of the signatory was verified.

  5. (5) A clear image of any government issued identification, if applicable.

  6. (6) A clear image of the act of signing observed by the notary public. Ala. Code § 36-20-73.1(e).”

What is the retention period for RON recordings?

7 years

Do I have to log RON sessions in a journal?


Reference Links

Helpful resources for Alabama Notaries


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