National best practices strongly encourage that all Notaries Public utilize a stamp and a journal when performing notarial acts.
Notary Public stamps may be found at business supply retailers both online and in store. The stamp should produce a sharp, legible printed image that reproduces under photographic methods. The stamp should include the notary’s name exactly as it appears on their commission, the words “NOTARY PUBLIC” and “RHODE ISLAND.”
A notary’s stamp is the exclusive property of the notary and should not be used by any other individual. Every effort should be made to secure and protect the stamp from unauthorized use. Rhode Island General Law does not mandate that notaries obtain and use a stamp.
Journal of Notarial Acts
The journal should be a permanently bound book that creates and preserves a chronological record of performed notarial acts.
Rhode Island General Law does not mandate that notaries use a journal of notarial acts. Notaries electing to use a journal should as a matter of good practice, preserve the journal for seven years.
Sample Notarial Certificates
All notarial acts require a notarial certificate. A notarial certificate is legally required wording that is a part of or attached to the document that states the facts attested by the notary during a particular notarial act.
There are five general notarial acts:
Notaries public should not affix their official signature or stamp on a notarial certificate that is incomplete.
The sample notarial certificates offered above are not intended to replace or supersede the existing forms commonly used in conveyances of real estate or other legal documents within the State of Rhode Island, and in particular, those forms of certificates for notarial acts approved by any committee of the Rhode Island Bar Association.
A notary public is not required to use these notarial certificates if another certificate is printed on the form and it:
- Contains express prohibition against altering the form; or
- There is a notary certificate from another state and the document will be recorded in and governed by the laws of that state.