Document Rejection Questions

Each Virginia Notary Public has taken an oath of office, in part, stating they will follow a specific set of guidelines when notarizing documents. A Notary acknowledgement can be rejected for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • not having a proper acknowledgement on each document presented (notarial statement must reflect what is being notarized. i.e. – signature(s) or true copy of an original);
  • the State and city/county where the document is being executed is not indicated;
  • the notary’s registration number is either missing or incorrect;
  • the notary’s expiration date is either missing or incorrect;
  • the notary stamp or seal is either missing or incorrect;
  • the stamp/seal for the notary is not an exact match to their commissioned name. You can verify the commission information for your notary here Notary Commission Verification
  • the notary did not sign his/her name on notarized document;
  • notarization date on the document is more than 12 months old;
  • document is not dated;
  • the notary acknowledgement must be in English;
  • the entire notarization must be on the same page; or
  • required items for notarization must be listed as part of notarization and not just included in the document.
  • document is a photo copy of a notarization.

To avoid delay in processing, be sure to look over your documents before submitting them to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office to verify all information is accurate and present. 

Please review Types of Documents page for information on accepted documents.

A Vital Record document may be rejected for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • the document was not issued by the Virginia Department of Vital Records within the past 12 months. To obtain a new document, please visit the Vital Records website (Virginia Department of Vital Records), contact them by phone at 804-662-6200, or visit your local DMV;
  • the document is a photo copy of a Vital Record;
  • the document has been altered or tampered with;
  • the document has been notarized. By law, a Virginia Notary cannot notarize a Vital Record;
  • the document was issued outside of Virginia; or
  • the document was issued internationally

Please review Types of Documents page for information on accepted documents.

A Court document may be rejected for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • The document is older than 12 months;
  • the document does not contain a Certification of Official Record/Triple Seal;
  • the name of the court clerk/deputy clerk is not legible;
  • the document was issued by an out-of-state court;
  • the document was issued by a federal court;
  • the issue date of document is missing; or
  • the document is copy.

Please contact the court where your document was issued to obtain the correct document for international authentication. Virginia law prohibits notarization of vital record (original or certified copy.) 

Please review Types of Documents page for information on accepted documents.

Documents issued by a Court or Vital Records cannot be notarized. No exceptions. The documents are required to be issued within the past 12 months. 

Examples of those documents are:

Vital Records (birth, death, marriage, divorce, single status)

Marriage records issued by a Virginia Circuit Court. Circuit Court documents should contain a Certification of Official Record/Triple Seal. The date must be reflected on the document in addition to the signature and printed name of the (Deputy) Clerk of Court.

Virginia issued circuit court documents (divorce decree, name change, single status) 

In order for your notarized document to be authenticated, all seven items are required from the notary.

  • The name of the county or independent city in which the document is signed;
  • the date the document is notarized;
  • the notarial statement – what is being notarized (i.e. a signature, a true copy of an original, or an oath);
  • the notary’s signature;
  • the date that the notary’s commission expires (month, day, year);
  • the notary’s registration number;
  • the notary’s photographically reproducible notary seal/stamp with name matching our records exactly.

You can verify your notary’s name here. It must match our records exactly.

Documents in different languages are accepted but the notarization must be in English. 

No, we can only authenticate or certify those certificates issued by the Virginia Department of Vital Records.

No, we can only authenticate or certify documents signed by a Virginia Notary or Clerk of Court.