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4. Notarial register

a. FORM OF NOTARIAL REGISTER

A notary public shall keep, maintain, protect and provide for lawful inspection as provided in these Rules, a chronological official notarial register of notarial acts consisting of a permanently bound book with numbered pages. (Section 1[a], Rule VI, Ibid.)

The register shall be kept in books to be furnished by the Solicitor General to any notary public upon request and upon payment of the cost thereof. The register shall be duly paged, and on the first page, the Solicitor General shall certify the number of pages of which the book consists. (Ibid.)

For purposes of this provision, a Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding may be entered into by the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of the Court Administrator. (Ibid.)

A notary public shall keep only one active notarial register at any given time. (Section 1[b], Rule VI, Ibid.)

b. ENTRIES IN THE NOTARIAL REGISTER

For every notarial act, the notary shall record in the notarial register at the time of notarization the following: (1) the entry number and page number; (2) the date and time of day of the notarial act; (3) the type of notarial act; (4) the title or description of the instrument, document or proceeding; (5) the name and address of each principal; (6) the competent evidence of identity as defined by these Rules if the signatory is not  personally known to the notary; (7) the name and address of each credible witness swearing to or affirming the person’s identity; (8) the fee charged for the notarial act; (9) the address where the notarization was performed if not in the notary’s regular place of work or business; and (10)  any other circumstance the notary public may deem of significance or relevance. (Section 2[a], Rule VI, Ibid.)

A notary public shall record in the notarial register the reasons and circumstances for not completing a notarial act. (Section 2[b], Rule VI, Ibid.)

A notary public shall record in the notarial register the circumstances of any request to inspect or copy an entry in the notarial register, including the requester’s name, address, signature, thumbmark or other recognized identifier, and evidence of identity. The reasons for refusal to allow inspection or copying of a journal entry shall also be recorded. (Section 2[c], Rule VI, Ibid.)

When the instrument or document is a contract, the notary public shall keep an original copy thereof as part of his records and enter in said records a brief description of the substance thereof and shall give to each entry a consecutive number, beginning with number one in each calendar year. He shall also retain a duplicate original copy for the Clerk of Court. (Section 2[d], Rule VI, Ibid.)

The notary public shall give to each instrument or document executed, sworn to, or acknowledged before him a number corresponding to the one in his register, and shall also state on the instrument or document the page/s of his register on which the same is recorded. No blank line shall be left between entries. (Section 2[e], Rule VI, Ibid.)

In case of a protest of any draft, bill of exchange or promissory note, the notary public shall make a full and true record of all proceedings in relation thereto and shall note therein whether the demand for the sum of money was made, by whom, when, and where; whether he presented such draft, bill or note; whether notices were given, to whom and in what manner; where the same was made, when and to whom and where directed; and of every other fact touching the same. (Section 2[f], Rule VI, Ibid.)

At the end of each week, the notary public shall certify in his notarial register the number of instruments or documents executed, sworn to, acknowledged, or protested before him; or if none, this certificate shall show this fact. (Section 2[g], Rule VI, Ibid.)

A certified copy of each month’s entries and a duplicate original copy of any instrument acknowledged before the notary public shall, within the first ten (10) days of the month following, be forwarded to the Clerk of Court and shall be under the responsibility of such officer. If there is no entry to certify for the month, the notary shall forward a statement to this effect in lieu of certified copies herein required. (Section 2[h], Rule VI, Ibid.)

c. SIGNATURES AND THUMBMARKS

At the time of notarization, the notary’s notarial register shall be signed or a thumb or other mark affixed by each: (a) principal; (b) credible witness swearing or affirming to the identity of a principal; and (c) witness to a signature by thumb or other mark, or to a signing by the notary public on behalf of a person physically unable to sign. (Section 3, Rule VI, Ibid.)

d. INSPECTION, COPYING AND DISPOSAL

In the notary’s presence, any person may inspect an entry in the notarial register, during regular business hours, provided; (1) the person’s identity is personally known to the notary public or proven through competent evidence of identity as defined in these Rules; (2) the person affixes a signature and thumb or other mark or other recognized identifier, in the notarial register in a separate, dated entry; (3) the person specifies the month, year, type of instrument or document, and name of the principal in the notarial act or acts sought; and (4) the person is shown only the entry or entries specified by him. (Section 4[a], Rule VI, Ibid.)

The notarial register may be examined by a law enforcement officer in the course of an official investigation or by virtue of a court order. (Section 4[b], Rule VI, Ibid.)

If the notary public has a reasonable ground to believe that a person has a criminal intent or wrongful motive in requesting information from the notarial register, the notary shall deny access to any entry or entries therein. (Section 4[c], Rule VI, Ibid.)

e. LOSS, DESTRUCTION OR DAMAGE OF NOTARIAL REGISTER

In case the notarial register is stolen, lost, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable or illegible as a record of notarial acts, the notary public shall, within ten (10) days after informing the appropriate law enforcement agency in the case of theft or vandalism, notify the Executive Judge by any means providing a proper receipt or acknowledgment, including registered mail and also provide a copy or number of any pertinent police report. . (Section 5[a], Rule VI, Ibid.)

Upon revocation or expiration of a notarial commission, or death of the notary public, the notarial register and notarial records shall immediately be delivered to the office of the Executive Judge. (Section 5[b], Rule VI, Ibid.)

f. ISSUANCE OF CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES

The notary public shall supply a certified true copy of the notarial record, or any part thereof, to any person applying for such copy upon payment of the legal fees. (Section 6, Rule VI, Ibid.)

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