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.
I would like:
- A copy of the Virginia Notary Handbook - PDF (424k) | Word (105k)
- To request the registration number and/or expiration date for my commission - PDF (102kb) | Word (70kb)
- allow 3-5 business days for response
- To request a change of contact information - PDF (112kb) | Word (81kb)
Please read information carefully. Application link is found at the bottom of this section. New and renewing notaries complete the same application process.
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.
To complete the notary application process, you must do the following:
- Answer the interview questions found on the Notary Application Wizard. All questions must be complete for processing. Click here to launch the portal →Notary Application Wizard (if you are unable to use the Notary Application Wizard, please click here)
- Print the pdf application generated at the end of the Online Portal. You will be given the opportunity to pay by credit card at the end of the interview process. Be sure you are able to open and print the pdf application before paying online. The barcode number on your printed application must match the invoice number found on your receipt to ensure proper payment on your account. If you do not pay by credit card, you may pay the application fee by check or money order.
- Have your signature properly notarized by a Virginia Notary on Part 3 of your printed application. This must be done prior to mailing your application to our office for processing.
- Mail the completed, notarized application along with application fee - paymentreceipt or check/money order payment of $45 (payable to Treasurer of Virginia) to the notary office. This is an application fee and is not refundable, transferable, and cannot be applied to another application. The processing of an application by our office cannot begin until we receive a completed, notarized paper application in our office.
- Contact the Circuit Court to take your oath and be sworn in. Our office will send out a notification letter to the preferred mailing address (home, business, email) selected by you on your application to let you know your application has been approved. At that time, you will need to contact the Circuit Court to verify they have received your commission and to make arrangements to take the oath. There is a $10 fee paid at that time to the court.
- General turnaround time for processing of a completed application is about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. Please be sure to contact our office at (804)692-2536 or by email email@example.com to check the status if 3 1/2 weeks have passed and you haven’t received your notification. By law, you must claim your commission within 60 days after it is issued. If you fail to do so you must submit a new application and a new fee to become a Notary. Sometimes notices are lost in the mail or email. Failure to receive a notice will not permit you to receive a commission after the 60-day period has expired.
- Please note, if you are a notary whose commission expires in first few months of the calendar year (January, February, March), you should submit your application in January. Applications received prior to January will result in the commission expiring one year earlier than anticipated
Notary Public Application - Click here to launch the portal →Notary Application Wizard
If you have paid online and were unable to print your application, you will need to contact our office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to have the pdf form emailed to you. When emailing our office, you will need to include the seven digit invoice number found on the email receipt as the subject line of your email request. The invoice number from the payment receipt must match the barcode provided on the printed application to ensure proper payment on your account. A response to your request should be sent to you within 1-2 business days.
An eNotary is a Notary Public who notarizes documents electronically. There are important guidelines that must be followed in order to become an eNotary. Please review the Electronic Notary Application Instructions prior to applying to become an eNotary.
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 request to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
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.
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 advising 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.
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
P.O. Box 1795
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1795
(804) 371-0017 – fax
or use our Inquiry Form