Commissioner for West Virginia Practices and Procedures

Proper Practice: Protect Them, Protect Yourself

A commissioner for West Virginia holds an important public office and public trust. The commissioner serves the citizen or business by insuring the validity of signatures on documents and transactions. At the same time, the commissioner protects his or her own interests by avoiding liability for a financial loss which might result from improper practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit our Commissioner for West Virginia Practice FAQs to find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about commissioner practices.

Powers of Commissioners

Pursuant to West Virginia Code §39-4A-2:

  • Upon approval of a successful application, commissioners shall hold office for 10 years, unless removed by the Secretary of State under the grounds set forth in §39-4A-1(e) of this code.

  • When any oath may lawfully be administered, or affidavit or deposition taken, within the state, territory, or district for which any such commissioner is appointed, to be used in this state, it may be done by the commissioner.

  • Each commissioner shall have an official seal, which shall be a rubber stamp and shall contain:

    1. The words “Official Seal”;
    2. The words “Commissioner for West Virginia”;
    3. The commissioner’s name exactly as it is written as an official signature;
    4. The city and state of residence of the commissioner; and
    5. The words “My Commission Expires” and the date of expiration of the commission.

  • A stamped imprint of the seal, together with the official signature, shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.

  • Commissioners may take, within or any place out of the State of West Virginia, the acknowledgements of deeds and other writings to be admitted to the record in the State of West Virginia, but each acknowledgement shall reflect where the acknowledgement was taken, including, but not limited to, the state and county or territory.

  • Every certificate of the commissioner shall be authenticated by his or her signature and official seal.

Prohibited Acts

Commissioners shall refrain from the following prohibited activities, pursuant to West Virginia Code §39-4A-3:

  • Assisting persons in drafting legal records, giving legal advice, or otherwise practicing law;

  • Acting as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters; or

  • Representing a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship, or related matters.

  • No provision of this section shall be construed to prohibit the practice of law by a duly licensed attorney.

Contact the Notary Division for further assistance regarding Commissioners for West Virginia.


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