The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is responsible for the commissioning of Notaries Public in Virginia, pursuant to Section 47.1-8 of the Code of Virginia. At any given time, approximately 120,000 Virginians are commissioned as a Notary Public.
How to become a notary or renew your commission:
Please read information carefully.
Notary Application Eligibility and Information
To be eligible to apply for a Virginia Notary Public Commission, you must be: (1) at least eighteen years old, (2) able to read and write the English language, (3) be a legal resident of the United States, (4) live or work in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and (5) have not been convicted of a felony. Any person who has ever been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States or this Commonwealth, or the laws of any other state, shall not qualify to be appointed and commissioned as a Virginia Notary Public unless such person has had his/her rights restored.
Non-residents of Virginia may be appointed as notaries if they are regularly employed in the state and perform notary services in connection with their employment. A non-resident notary who ceases to be regularly employed in Virginia must surrender his or her commission.
Virginia is a “self certifying state” and does not require classes or testing to qualify to become a notary public.
Click here if you are applying for a Virginia Notary Public commission for the first time
Click here if you are currently serving as a Virginia Notary Public, you have not changed your name, and you would like to renew your commission
Click here if more than 30 days has passed since your Virginia Notary Public commission has expired and/or your name has changed and you would like to reapply
How to become an electronic notary:
An eNotary is a Notary Public who notarizes documents electronically. In order to be an electronic notary, you must first be a commissioned Virginia notary public and then apply to become an electronic notary.
The links below contain important guidelines and instructions for becoming an eNotary.
- Electronic Notarization Assurance Standard
- Electronic Notary Application Instructions
- Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming an Electronic Notary
How to acquire contact information for a notary who notarized documents for me in the past:
Anyone may request the address and telephone number of a notary by submitting a letter of request stating the name of the notary, the notary’s registration number, the notary’s expiration date, and the reason for the request to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The request may be sent by email to email@example.com or by fax to 804-371-0017.
I would like to acquire formal verification of a notary:
Our office will provide a formal letter stating both the notary's commission date and expiration date. This information is provided for verification purposes only and cannot be added to a notarized document. Verification can be made on most active and expired commissions dating back ten years from the notary’s commission date. The request may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 804-371-0017.
How to file a complaint against a notary:
Anyone who wishes to make a formal complaint against a notary public for incorrectly performing a notorial act must submit in writing a brief description detailing the complaint and a copy of the notarized document in question. Once the complaint is received, the notary department will determine if a violation has been committed. If the complaint is deemed valid, the notary will receive a letter of warning to advise them of the improper notarization. The notary is also sent a letter of acknowledgement to sign and return to our office.
This office is not able to investigate any possible wrongdoings by a Virginia notary, nor are we able to determine a conflict of interest. Please contact an attorney or the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to obtain information for any possible Virginia Code violations or legal issues.
For more information contact:
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
P.O. Box 1795
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1795
(804) 371-0017 (fax)