A notary public is a state official who is authorized to witness the signing of important documents, administer oaths, certify copies of certain documents and exercise other powers as provided by law.
Each notary public is appointed by the governor for a term of four years. To be appointed as a notary public, you must be at least 18 years old, live or work in Virginia and read and write English.
The Application for Appointment as Notary Public has four parts:
- Part 1 requires basic information such as name, social security number and address. For question 12, be sure to indicate that you wish to take the oath of office at the Circuit Court of the County of Accomack (or your locality). Part 1 also requests information on your age, criminal history, citizenship and previous service as a notary public in Virginia.
- Part 2 requires that you acknowledge your understanding of the proper procedures to be followed in performing the duties of a notary public.
- Part 3 requires that your application be acknowledged and sworn to before a notary public.
After completing your application, mail it to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia at the address on the form. Include a check or money order for $45 made payable to "Treasurer of Virginia."
In less than four weeks, you should receive a letter from the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth advising you that the governor has approved your application for appointment. Your letter will be attached to a handbook summarizing the laws governing notaries public in Virginia. If there was a problem with your application, it will be explained in the letter.
If your application is approved, wait three days and call (757) 787-5776 to make sure your commission has been mailed to the Office of the Clerk of Circuit. When your commission arrives, come to the Clerk of Circuit Court's office to take the oath of office before a deputy clerk and receive your commission. There is a $10 fee, payable by cash, personal check, certified check, money order or a VISA or MASTER CARD credit/debit card for the deputy clerk to administer the oath and prepare your commission. Effective July 1, 2012, the following service fees apply if using a VISA or MASTERCARD credit/debit card. The service fee will be assessed at 4% of charge. Checks or money orders should be made payable to "Clerk of Circuit Court."
Please bring your letter from the notary commission containing your six (6) digit identification number when you come to our office to pick up your notary certificate.
Commissions are not renewable. When your four year term is close to expiring, you must complete a new application for a new four year term.
For questions about notaries public in Virginia, contact the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth at (804) 786-2441. General information about notaries public is available from the National Notary Association.