Mary Lou, a notary public in western Pennsylvania, always kept her register in her briefcase. One evening, she left the briefcase in her car, which was parked in the driveway of her home.
The next morning, Mary Lou discovered that her car had been broken into and her briefcase stolen.
Unfortunately, Mary Lou disregarded a cardinal rule for notaries. Section 15 (a) of the Pennsylvania Notary Public Law states, “Every notary public shall keep and maintain custody and control of an accurate chronological register of all official acts…”
Although your register is considered a public record, it is your responsibility to keep it from prying eyes. It’s always best to secure your register when not in use inside a file cabinet or desk drawer.
Always take reasonable care to safeguard your register.
- Never allow another individual, including another notary, to use or share the same drawer or cabinet.
- Never leave your register (or seal) in your vehicle, even if the vehicle is locked.
- Never allow another notary to use your register.
A register is your exclusive property—not your boss’s or the company you work for, no matter who paid for it.
Failure to secure the register or your seal may be cause for disciplinary action against you, which may include fines, suspension or revocation of your commission.