Become a West Virginia Notary
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
- Be a resident of West Virginia or a resident of another state who has a place of employment or business in West Virginia
- Be able to read and write English
- Have a high school diploma or its equivalent
- Not be disqualified to receive a commission under W. VA State Code §39-4-20(6)
- First, the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements.
- Next, the applicant must read §39-4 of the West Virginia Code and sign an oath that he or she has read and understood the requirements and will follow the notary laws.
- The completed, signed, and notarized notary application form must be submitted to the West Virginia Secretary of State with a $1,000 notary surety bond (or its equivalent assurance) and a $52 filing fee. Click here to download the application form--
- If the applicant is applying as a state or local government notary, his supervisor must provide a letter requesting the filing fee be waived. The letter must be included with the notary application. Federal employees are not eligible.
- Once approved, the notary will receive a commission letter with the exact information required for the official seal.
Bldg 1, Suite 157K
1900 Kanawha Blvd, East
Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0775
Toll Free: 1-866-767-8683
Type — rubber stamp seal
Ink color - any color as long as the seal can be reproduced under photographic methods.
Shape — rectangular
Dimensions — no larger than 1 inch high by 2 1/2 inches wide
Required elements — The rubber stamp seal must contain the following elements:
- Official Seal
- Notary Public
- State of West Virginia
- Notary’s official name
- Notary’s business or residence address
- Commission expiration date
A seal embosser is permitted, but may not be used without the rubber stamp seal. If the notary opts to use an embossed seal with the legal mandatory inked rubber stamp seal, the embossed seal must include the following:
- Notary Seal
- Notary Public
- State of West Virginia
- Notary’s name
- Acknowledgment - $5.00
- Oath or affirmation - $5.00
- Certifying a photocopy - $5.00
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Witness or attest signatures
- Protest instruments
- Certify copies of non-recordable documents
- Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents
- Perform acts that constitute the practice of law
- Claim to have powers, qualifications, rights or privileges that the office of notary public does not provide
- Use the phrase "notario" or "notario publico" to advertise notary services
- Solicit or accept compensation to prepare documents for or otherwise represent the interest of another in a judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship, or related matters
- Act as an immigration consultant
- Withhold access to or possession of an original record provided by a person who seeks performance of a notarial act
- Notarize his or her own signature
- Notarize a blank document
- Perform telephone notarizations or other electronic means as a substitute for the document signer appearing before the notary in person
- Notarize a document if the signer is not in the presence of the notary at the time of notarization
- Notarize a signature on a document without a notarial certificate
- Affix an official signature or seal on a notarial certificate that is incomplete
- Perform any official act with the intent to deceive or defraud
- Notarize a document if the notary is a signatory or is named in the document
- Notarize a document if the notary or spouse is named as a party to the transaction
- Notarize a document if the notary has a direct financial or beneficial interest in the document
- Notarize for immediate family if the notary receives money or property interest from the transaction
- Notarize for an incompetent document signer who does not have the capacity to sign the document
- Notarize a signature of a signer when it is not knowingly or voluntarily made
- Certify true copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates or court issued documents
- Overcharge for notary services
- A notary public who knowingly and willfully commits any official misconduct is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year or both.
- A notary public who recklessly or negligently commits any official misconduct is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $1,000.
- Any person who unlawfully possesses a notary’s official seal or any papers or copies relating to notarial acts is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $1,000.
Revised: September 2015