Receiving an official notary seal to stamp on officially notarized documents is officially exciting! Even the action of pushing your seal down on paper next to your signature and admiring the fancy seal impression with YOUR name on it is a good feeling. While you’re admiring, you should also recognize the value of your seal. Strict California Notary safekeeping laws reveal that your seal must be in your exclusive control at all times. Your seal is extremely significant and valuable which is why every care should be taken to protect it. Established on January 1, 1992, Government code section 8214.1 states that failure to secure your seal could cause administrative action against you.
One of our students was involved in a court case because her seal was stolen. This was before the Notary seal safekeeping law was in effect, and it can still happen to anyone.  She was working at a busy real estate office where loan signings occurred on a regular basis. There was a client who was familiar with her signature and eventually stole her seal and used them on forged real estate documents. This happened not only because her signature was easy to duplicate, but because her seal was kept in an unlocked drawer. The damage amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars but luckily our student was able to prove her innocence and was not penalized. Despite this incident, she decided to renew her commission. I actually admired her courage and determination to continue her profession as a Notary.
We understand that keeping your seal safe may not always be convenient. If you are not accommodated at work with a locked and secured drawer, it can be a hassle to go out of your way to purchase one. But think of it this way, it is better to be safe than sorry. One of our students would keep her seal and journal in her locked briefcase which she would then handcuff to her desk. This may seem silly, but we advise to do whatever it takes to secure a plan that keeps your notary supplies from falling into the wrong hands.