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Applying for a Notary Public Commission

Important Notice: Effective June 3, 2018, the revised notary law, West Virginia Code §39-4-20 (House Bill 4207), enacts changes to the notary registration by:

  • authorizing an online electronic application process to apply to receive a commission to act as a notary public (Coming Soon!);

  • removing the oath of office and requiring an applicant to swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that answers to questions in the application are true and if appointed, the applicant will perform faithfully all notarial acts in accordance with the law; and

  • eliminating the $1000 bond requirement.

See West Virginia Code §39-4 "Revised Uniform Law On Notarial Acts." For the entire text of the law.

Before You Apply

The application process for notaries involves several steps. It is not possible to obtain a notary commission in just a few days, so please allow time before planning to begin notarizing documents. Before you apply, check to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements for becoming a notary public. If your current commission is due to expire, apply early so there will be no break between your old and new commissions.

Eligibility

The eligibility requirements for appointment as a notary public in West Virginia require a person must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;

  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;

  • Be a resident of West Virginia, or a resident of another state who works at an office address within West Virginia;

  • Be able to read and write English;

  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent;

  • Not be disqualified to receive a commission pursuant to West Virginia Code §39-4-21

    .

Application Steps

The following steps must be completed before a person can lawfully begin to notarize documents.

Read the “Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.” West Virginia Code §39-4 which governs notary practice. On the application, you will be signing an oath that you have read and understand the requirements and will follow the law. Select the link above to read the text of the law.

  • Complete the Application for Appointment as a Notary Public (Form N-1) to apply for your initial appointment or to apply for recommission. Select the form number to download the application. The filing fee is $52.

Note:
  • e-Notarization
    If you plan on performing electronic notarial acts (e-notarization), per West Virginia Code §39-4-19, you must also complete and submit the application for E-Notarization Authorization (Form N-2). There is no fee to file the E-Notarization Authorization application.

  • State or local government notary: If you are applying as a state or local government notary for the official duties of a state or local governmental entity (see West Virginia Code §39-4-31), your supervisor must provide a letter requesting your appointment for the fee to be waived. This letter must be included with your application. Federal employees are not eligible.

  • Recommission: If you are applying for a recommission and your current commission end date is on or after June 3, 2018, you must use the new notary application with the revision date “Rev. 6/2018” in the upper left box of the application.

Deliver your completed application, or applications, if applying for e-Notarization, and $52 payment (fee waived for government notaries; see Ordering and Payment) to:


West Virginia Secretary of State
Notary Division
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
Charleston, WV 25305

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 commission letter and check your seal for accuracy. Your commission letter will provide the exact information you need on your seal. Check to ensure your Name and Address 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 commission letter. View a notary public commission letter example.

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 notary seal.

Receive your commission certificate, valid for five (5) years, and your notary handbook. When you receive your commission certificate, you may begin notarizing documents, but learn what to do before you begin notarizing documents.

Review the notary handbook and keep it handy where you provide notary services. Remember, improper notarization means financial liability for the notary. Every notarization must include the proper acknowledgement form. View the online West Virginia Notary Handbook.

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

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