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How to Become a Notary in the State of Virginia

by American Association of Notaries
Follow our step-by-step guide to become a Virginia notary.

To become an Virginia notary, a notary applicant must:

1. Be at least 18 years of age
2. Must be a legal resident of the United States
3. Must be able to read and write the English language
4. Live or work in the Commonwealth of Virginia
5. Never been found guilty of a felony under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, or in any other state. If convicted must have their 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 an 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 online notary application
3. Paying the $45.00 application fee
4. Printing out your receipt from the payment confirmation page
5. Having Part 3 of your notary application notarized by an active notary public
6. Mailing your completed notary application and receipt of your online payment to the Secretary of the Commonwealth
7. Waiting for your confirmation notice from the Secretary of the Commonwealth that your notary application has been approved
8. Contacting the Circuit Court to verify if they have received your Virginia notary public commission certificate and making arrangements to take the oath and be sworn in
9. 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 an Virginia notary?

To become a Virginia notary, please follow the instructions listed on the previous section on "How to become a Virginia notary". Click here for more information on how to become a Virginia notary, and read our Virginia law section. More information can found at the Virginia Secretary of State'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 they cannot have been expired for more than 30 days. Notaries with a notary commission that expires in January, February, or March should submit their application 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 an Virginia Notary?

To become an 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 also need an Virginia notary stamp or seal (prices vary on the item you select). Please visit http://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/virginia/ for notary stamps and supplies options.

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 at the city or county Circuit Court. Properly completed notary applications are approved in 2 1/2 to 3 weeks by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

How long is an Virginia notary commission for?

A Virginia notary term is for 4 years. To verify when your term begins and ends you'll have to take a look at the effective and expiration dates of your Virginia notary public commission certificate that was issued to you by the Clerk. To continue performing notarial acts as a an Virginia notary after your current expiration date you'll have to renew your commission before your notary term expires. Please Click Here https://commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/online-notary-application-renewal/ 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 commission.

Do I need to purchase an 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 http://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-bond-insurance/virginia/.

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

When becoming a Virginia notary, in order to perform notarial acts in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you need by 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 at the minimum the following requirements:

1. Needs to make a sharp, legible, permanent, and photographically reproducible impression
2. Must include the notary's name as it appears on their commission certificate
3. Must include the words "Notary Public" and "Commonwealth of Virginia"
4. Any information included on the notary stamp or seal must be accurate

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 is 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 in
6. The notary's registration number
7. The notary's photographically reproducible notary stamp or notary seal impression

How to order Virginia notary stamp and record book?

Please go to http://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/virginia/ to order your Virginia notary supplies. All of 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 https://commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/.

Click here to learn more about how to become a Virginia notary.
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Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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