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In-Person Paper Notarizations

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

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

Recommended best practices for notary journals

Although the State of Iowa 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 Iowa?

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

Do I have to record the Remote Online Notarization session?


"c. The notary public, or a person acting on behalf of the notary public, creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act." (§9B.14A, NOTARIAL ACTS)

What is the retention period for RON recordings?

10 years

"A notary public, a guardian, conservator, or agent of a notary public, or a personal representative of a deceased notary public shall retain the audio-visual recording created under subsection 3, paragraph “c”, or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording. Unless a different period is required by rule adopted under subsection 8, paragraph “d”, the recording must be retained for a period of at least ten years after the recording is made." (§9B.14A, NOTARIAL ACTS)

Do I have to log RON sessions in a journal?

No, Iowa law does not specify any requirements to journal a RON session outside of the audio-video recording

Reference Links

Helpful resources for Iowa Notaries

  1. Iowa State Code 2022 Chapter 9B pertaining to notaries

  2. “A Notary’s Guide to Completing Journal Entries”


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