Applying for Commissioner for West Virginia

The Secretary of State may appoint a qualified person residing within or without this state and within the United States, its territories, or possessions as a commissioner to acknowledge signatures performed in or out of this state by persons residing in or out of the state of West Virginia covering deeds, leases, and other writings pertaining to West Virginia property for recordation in the state of West Virginia.

See West Virginia Code §39-4A (Senate Bill 669) for the entire text of the law.


To be qualified for an appointment, a person:

  • Must be commissioned as a notary public pursuant to §39-4-20 of the West Virginia Code. See the complete list of notary public eligibility requirements.

  • Note: One of the requirements of the notary public law requires that the person must be a resident of West Virginia, or a resident of another state who works at an office address within West Virginia.

Before You Apply

The application process for commissioners involves several steps. It is not possible to appoint commissioners in just a few days, so please allow time before planning to begin performing notarial acts as a commissioner. Before you apply, check to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. When your current appointment is due to expire, apply early so there will be no break between your old and new appointments.

Application Steps

The applicant must complete the following steps before a person can lawfully begin to perform acts as a commissioner for West Virginia.

Read the “Out-of-State Commissioners” law as set forth in West Virginia Code §39-4A (Senate Bill 669) which governs commissioner practice. On the application, you will be signing an affirmation that you have read and understand the requirements and will follow the law. Select the link above to read the full text of the law.

  • Complete the Application for Appointment as a Commissioner for West Virginia (Form CWV-1) to apply for your initial appointment or to apply for recommission. Select the form number to download the application.

  • The nonrefundable filing fee is $500.00.

Deliver your completed application and nonrefundable $500.00 payment to one of the offices below:

West Virginia Secretary of State
Notary Division

1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-8381
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30a - 5p EST
North Central WV
Business Hub

200 West Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Phone: (304) 367-2775
Fax: (304) 627-2243
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9a - 5p EST
Eastern Panhandle
Business Hub

229 E. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 356-2654
Fax: (304) 260-4360
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9a - 5p EST

Note: Please allow approximately 10 business days for processing AFTER the application has been received by this office. Walk in customers may deliver the documents and pay the filing fee. However, please be aware the application process may take up to 10 business days to complete.

Wait to receive your appointment letter and check your seal for accuracy. Your appointment letter will provide the exact information you need on your seal. Check to ensure your Name, City, and State information are correct as they appear on your Official Seal. If any corrections are needed please contact the Notary Division at (304) 558-8000. You must have your stamp made with the information provided in the appointment letter. View an example of a commissioner appointment letter.

Order your rubber stamp seal. Search online or in the yellow pages for "Rubber Stamps" or "Office Supplies" to find a company that makes official seals. Provide the exact information given in your commission letter to the company making your seal. When you order, remind the vendor that the stamp must meet state specifications. Learn more information about the commissioner seal.

Receive your commission certificate, valid for ten (10) years. When you receive your commission certificate, you may begin performing acts as a Commissioner for West Virginia, but learn what to do before you begin acknowledging signatures on documents pertaining to West Virginia property for recordation in the state of West Virginia.

Review and print a copy of the West Virginia Code §39-4A (Senate Bill 669) and keep it handy for reference where you provide commissioner services. Remember, improper notarization means financial liability for the notary. Every notarization must include the proper commissioner stamp and signature.

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

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