Virginia Notary Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a new notary public? This is a list of our most frequently asked questions about becoming a notary
and what supplies you will need in the state of Virginia.

 

Virginia Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: verification of facts, certify affidavits, certify depositions, certify copies, acknowledgements, oaths and affirmations. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent.

How do I become a notary in Virginia?

You must complete the online Notary Application and answer all the interview questions. Your signature needs to be notarized by an official notary public on part 3 of the printed application before it can be mailed to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. There is a filing fee of $45.

When you have been approved and received your commission, you will have 60 days to take an oath of office and provide your commission certificate to the circuit clerk with a $10 fee. Additionally, you will need to supply the Secretary of the Commonwealth with your official signature.

Who can become a notary in Virginia?

  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Must be a legal resident of the U.S. that lives or works in Virginia
  • Must be able to read and write in English
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony unless you have been pardoned with full rights restored

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Virginia.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a sensible request and meets all the requirements for notarization. For Example: Must have proof of identity and be physically present.

What kind of training do I need?

No training or testing for notaries in Virginia.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

Bonds and insurance are not required for notaries in Virginia. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is optional, but recommended for your protection against any claims of negligence or damages that result from misconduct.

What are the upfront costs?

  • The application filing fee is $45
  • The price of the bonds and insurance will vary depending on the vendor
  • Prices on Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal stamps and embossers)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • Notary Seal Stamp or Embosser

Your notary seal will contain the following information: Name, Notary Public, Commonwealth of Virginia, Registration Number and Commission Expiration Date. If you choose to use an embosser, you will need to use seal impression inker to make the embossing visible when reproduced.

  • Notary Records Journal

Although not required, this is ideal for keeping all notarization in chronological order thanks to the durable, bound booklet with numbered paged and a glossary of terms and procedures.

Should I get business cards or marketing materials?

Although not a requirement, if you believe it is helpful for your business to have these, then it is a good idea. If you work for a company as a notary singing agent, then discuss with them if this would be necessary.

Is there legal risk?

Yes, since being a notary grants you certain permissions and responsibilities, there is also the need for insurance.

How much legal risk will I face?

Risk should be assessed on a case by case basis, but being a notary signing agent comes with the responsibility of fully understanding the risks involved. Having E&O Insurance can potentially reduce your exposure to risk.

How long does my commission last?

The commission of a Virginia notary is valid for four years.