How to Become a Notary in the State of Virginia

Follow our step-by-step guide to become a Virginia notary.

To become a Virginia notary, a notary applicant must:

1. Be at least 18 years of age.
2. Be a legal resident of the United States.
3. Be able to read and write the English language.
4. Live or work in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
5. Never have been found guilty of a felony under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States, or any other state. If convicted, must have had his or her rights restored, been pardoned, or had the conviction vacated by the granting of a writ of actual innocence.

If you meet the above qualifications you can apply to become a Virginia notary by:

1. Becoming thoroughly familiar with everything contained in the Virginia Handbook for Notaries.
2. Starting an online application on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website and selecting the city or county circuit court where you would like to take the oath of office and be sworn in.
3. Printing out the PDF file of the online notary application.
4. Paying the $45.00 application fee.
5. Printing out your receipt from the payment confirmation page.
6. Having Part 3 of your notary application notarized by an active notary public.
7. Mailing your completed notary application and receipt of your online payment to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
8. Waiting for your confirmation notice from the Secretary of the Commonwealth that your notary application has been approved.
9. Contacting the circuit court to verify if they have received your Virginia notary public commission certificate and making arranging to take the oath and be sworn in.
10. Paying the clerk a $10.00 fee, taking your oath of office, and being sworn in.

How can I start the Virginia notary application process to become a Virginia notary?

To become a Virginia notary, please follow the instructions listed in the previous section. Click here for more information on how to become a Virginia notary, and read our Virginia law section. More information can be found on the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia's website.

How do I renew my Virginia notary commission?

Renewing your Virginia notary commission requires you to take the same steps as applying for a Virginia notary commission for the first time. If you created a Notary Management account before starting your online notary renewal application you will be able to electronically sign and electronically submit the notary application. This will keep you from having to print out the notary application and having it notarized. A renewal application should be started before the notary's expiration date to ensure an uninterrupted authority.

When can I renew my Virginia notary commission?

The Secretary of the Commonwealth's Notary Division recommends starting an application for your renewal within one to two months before your commission expiration date. In order for a notary to be eligible to renew his or her notary commission, that commission cannot have been expired for more than thirty days. Notaries with notary commissions that expire in January, February, or March should submit their applications after the new year. Renewal notary applications approved before January will result in the notary's commission expiring a year earlier than expected.

How much does it cost to become a Virginia notary?

To become a Virginia notary you must pay a $45.00 application fee to have your notary application processed. A notarization fee might be required from a notary public to have Part 3 of the notary application completed. To finalize the notary application process you'll have to pay a $10.00 fee to the clerk. You will also need a Virginia notary stamp or seal (prices will vary depending on the items you select). Please visit for notary stamps and supplies.

How long does it take to become a Virginia notary public?

The time it takes to become a Virginia notary varies from applicant to applicant. To be issued your Virginia notary public commission certificate you must become thoroughly familiar with everything contained in the Virginia Handbook for Notaries, complete a notary application, have the application notarized, mail the application and receipt for the application fee to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and (after being approved) take the notary oath and get sworn in at the city or county circuit court. Properly completed notary applications are approved in two-and-a-half to three weeks by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

How long is a Virginia notary commission ?

A Virginia notary term last for four years. To verify when your term begins and ends, you'll have to take a look at the effective and expiration dates on the Virginia notary public commission certificate that was issued to you by your clerk. To continue performing notarial acts as a Virginia notary after your current expiration date, you'll have to renew your commission before your notary term expires. Please Click Vist to renew your commission.

Do I need a Virginia notary bond?

The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth doesn't require applicants to post a bond in order to obtain their commissions.

Do I need to purchase a Virginia notary errors and omissions (E&O) policy?

The Virginia notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional but highly recommended. It will cover any unintentional errors or omissions made by the notary. It is very affordable and covers you even if a claim is invalid. We offer E&O policies at

Do I need to purchase a Virginia notary stamp? What notary supplies do I need when I become a Virginia notary?

In order to perform notarial acts in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Virginia notary, you will need, at a minimum, a Virginia notary stamp or a notary seal. A notary record book, sometimes called a journal, is recommended by the Secretary of the Commonwealth but not required. A Virginia notary stamp or seal must meet the following requirements:

1. Make a sharp, legible, permanent, and photographically reproducible impression.
2. Include the notary's name as it appears on his or her commission certificate.
3. Include the words "Notary Public" and "Commonwealth of Virginia."
4. Contain accurate information.

Please note each notarized document must include:

1. The name of the county or independent city where the document is being signed.
2. The date the document was signed.
3. The notarial statement that is being notarized.
4. The notary's signature.
5. The month, day, and year that the notary's commission expires.
6. The notary's registration number.
7. The notary's photographically reproducible notary stamp or notary seal impression.

How do I order a Virginia notary stamp and record book?

Please go to to order your Virginia notary supplies. All our notary stamps and notary supplies come with a life-time replacement guarantee, are made in house, and are shipped in one business day.

How can I train to become a Virginia notary?

The Secretary of the Commonwealth's website has a Virginia Notary Handbook and a list of important guidelines for Virginia notaries available for download at

Click here to learn more about how to become a Virginia notary.

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information. However, it is important to note that the information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.