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The Notary Seal

Specifications for the Required Rubber Stamp Seal

  • Size: The size must be a rectangle no larger than 1 inch high by 2 1/2 inches wide.
  • Border: The seal must have a border.
  • Contents: Most notary stamp seals have the West Virginia State Seal on the left, however, this is optional. Every seal must contain the words 'Official Seal', 'Notary Public', 'State of West Virginia' and your name, address and commission expiration date.

Please note that this is an oversized example!

Usage: A notary must use the rubber stamp seal on every notarization, usually under the acknowledgement, and the seal must be placed on the document so that the information is legible.

Ordering the Rubber Stamp Seal

You may search online or in the telephone book yellow pages for a list of companies that make rubber stamp seals under "Rubber Stamps" or "Office Supplies." When you contact the company, ask if they are familiar with the specifications for West Virginia notary public seals.

When you order, send a photocopy of your commission letter, which will include the exact information which is to be included on the seal, and the order form specifications from this office. That way, if there is an error, the company should remake it at no extra charge.

  • The name and address must be exactly as you were commissioned, and you must sign all notarizations with that name.
  • Seals are available in plain and self-inking types. The color of the ink is optional.
  • The seal you purchase must make a clear impression so that all the words can be easily read. If it does not, please return it and ask for a replacement.

Embossed or Impression Seals

The embossed seal is permitted by West Virginia law, but not required. Also, it is not acceptable as a substitute for a rubber stamp seal. If you want to use an embossed seal in addition to the rubber stamp seal, you may have one made by one of the specialty companies that manufacture them. If you do obtain an embossed seal, it must include the words:

  • Notary Seal
  • Your Name
  • Notary Public
  • State of West Virginia

Replacing Your Rubber Stamp Seal

  • Change of Name and/or Address: If you change your legal name or move to a new address, you must file the appropriate change with Secretary of State within thirty (30) days of the change and have a new seal made reflecting those changes. See Making Changes to Your Notary Public Commission for more information.

  • Loss or Theft: The security of the seal is liability protection for a notary public. Keep the seal in a safe place, where it cannot be used or taken by anyone. The notary public or the notary public's personal representative or guardian must report the loss or theft of the seal in writing to the Secretary of State within thirty (30) days after loss or theft. See Making Changes to Your Notary Public Commission for more information.

Destroying an Old Seal

West Virginia Code §39-4-18(a) requires that, on resignation from, or on the expiration of, the notary public's commission, or on the date set forth in the stamping device, the notary public shall disable the stamping device by destroying, defacing, damaging, erasing or securing it against use in a manner that renders it unusable.

If resigning from your commission, see Making Changes to Your Notary Public Commission for more information.

It is a good idea to destroy an old seal as soon as it is no longer legally useful. This happens when your five (5) year term ends, or your name and/or address changes and you obtain a new seal with the new information. Destroying an old seal protects you against possible theft and fraudulent use.

Contact the Notary Division for further assistance regarding Notary Public commission.


If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.8000   toll free 866.767.8683  email:   Notary@wvsos.gov