Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 47.1. Notaries and Out-of-State Commissioners
10/21/2019

Chapter 2. Appointment.

§ 47.1-3. Power of appointment.

The Governor may appoint in and for the Commonwealth as many notaries as to him shall seem proper. Any person who acts as a notary in the Commonwealth shall register with and be commissioned by the Secretary of the Commonwealth and otherwise be in compliance with the provisions of this title.

Code 1950, § 47-2; 1962, p. 287; 1972, c. 824; 1976, c. 559; 1979, c. 14; 1980, c. 580; 2007, cc. 269, 590.

§ 47.1-4. Qualification for appointment.

To be qualified to be commissioned as a notary in the Commonwealth, each such person (i) shall be at least 18 years of age, (ii) shall be a legal resident of the United States, (iii) shall be able to read and write the English language, (iv) shall never have been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the Commonwealth, or any other state, unless such person has been pardoned for such felony, has had his conviction vacated by the granting of a writ of actual innocence, or has had his rights restored, and (v) shall otherwise be in compliance with the provisions of this title. A nonresident of Virginia may register and be commissioned as a notary only if he is regularly employed in the Commonwealth and meets all of the requirements of this section. A member of the armed services of the United States shall be eligible to register and be commissioned as a notary notwithstanding the provisions of § 2.2-2800.

Code 1950, §§ 47-2, 47-3; 1972, c. 824; 1976, c. 559; 1979, c. 14; 1980, c. 580; 1983, c. 435; 1986, c. 561; 1989, c. 163; 2007, cc. 269, 590; 2013, c. 86.

§ 47.1-5. Application.

No person shall be commissioned as a notary public or electronic notary public pursuant to this title until he submits an application fee as set forth in § 2.2-409 and a complete and correct application to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, in a form prescribed by the Secretary, which shall include the oath of the applicant, signed and sworn before some officer authorized by law to administer oaths, that the answers to all questions on the application are true and complete to the best of his knowledge and that he is qualified to be appointed and commissioned as a notary public. The Secretary may accept applications by electronic means.

Any application fee shall be waived for an application filed by a clerk or deputy clerk of a circuit or district court.

Code 1950, § 47-2; 1962, p. 687; 1976, c. 559; 1979, c. 14; 1980, c. 580; 2001, c. 488; 2002, c. 832; 2007, cc. 269, 590; 2008, cc. 117, 814.

§ 47.1-5.1. Application for recommission.

Persons already commissioned as notaries public or electronic notaries public pursuant to this title and who are submitting application for recommission as a notary or electronic notary may submit applications to the Secretary in person, by first-class mail, or online, provided online applications contain electronic signatures, authorized by the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.), as confirmation that the application has been signed and sworn pursuant to § 47.1-5.

2011, cc. 123, 177; 2014, c. 703.

§ 47.1-6. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 47.1-6.1. Standards for electronic notarization.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall develop standards for electronic notarization and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency shall provide assistance to the Secretary of the Commonwealth relating to the equipment, security, and technological aspects of the electronic notarization standards. The process for developing and maintaining such standards shall be exempt from the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

2009, c. 160.

§ 47.1-7. Additional requirements for performing electronic notarial acts.

A. An applicant shall submit a registration form established by the Secretary for registering and being commissioned as an electronic notary public, which shall include:

1. The applicant's full legal and official notary names;

2. A general description of the technology or technologies the registrant will use to create an electronic signature in performing official acts;

3. Certification of compliance to the Secretary of the Commonwealth with electronic notary standards developed in accordance with § 47.1-6.1; and

4. The electronic mail address of the registrant.

B. The registration form shall (i) be signed by the applicant using the electronic signature described in the form; (ii) include any decrypting instructions, codes, keys, or software that allow the registration to be read; and (iii) be transmitted electronically to the Secretary.

C. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent an electronic notary from using updated technology or technologies during the term of the commission; however, the electronic notary shall notify the Secretary electronically within 90 days of installation or use of such updated technology or technologies and provide a brief description thereof.

2007, cc. 269, 590; 2009, c. 160; 2011, cc. 731, 834.

§ 47.1-8. Commission to be issued, etc.

Upon receipt of a completed application and the correct fee, the Secretary, if satisfied the applicant is qualified to be registered and commissioned as a notary public or electronic notary public, shall prepare a notary commission for the applicant which shall include a registration number and forward the commission for a notary public or electronic notary public to the clerk of the circuit court in which the applicant shall elect to qualify. The Secretary shall thereupon notify the applicant that the commission has been granted and where and how it may be secured. An electronic notary public may act as a notary public in all respects upon being commissioned as an electronic notary public.

Code 1950, § 47-2; 1962, p. 687; 1976, c. 559; 1979, c. 14; 1980, c. 580; 2007, cc. 269, 590; 2008, cc. 117, 814.

§ 47.1-9. Oath of notary; duties of clerks.

Before receiving his commission, each person appointed a notary shall appear before the clerk of the circuit court to which his commission has been sent, present sufficient satisfaction of evidence of identity as defined in § 47.1-2, and make oath as follows:

"I,................, solemnly swear (or affirm) under penalty of perjury, that I have carefully read the notary laws of this Commonwealth, and am familiar with their provisions; that I will uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia; and that I will faithfully perform, to the best of my ability, the duties of the office of notary public."

Such oath shall be signed by the applicant and attested by the clerk. The clerk shall thereupon issue to the applicant his commission as notary public or electronic notary public. Within 14 days of such qualification, the clerk shall certify the fact of such qualification to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

No person shall be permitted to qualify who does not appear before the clerk within 60 days of his appointment. The clerk of each circuit court shall, at least once each month, return to the Secretary all commissions which have not been claimed within such 60-day period, and the Secretary shall forthwith cancel the same.

1980, c. 580; 2007, cc. 269, 590; 2008, cc. 117, 814; 2012, c. 566.

§ 47.1-10. Records of the Secretary.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall keep a record of the names of all notaries public and electronic notaries public and the dates of their registration and qualification. The Secretary shall also retain a specimen of the signature of each notary commissioned pursuant to this chapter. The specimen may be retained in photographic form.

The Secretary shall also be required to retain the completed applications of persons seeking appointment as notary public for a period of three months after their receipt; provided, however, that he shall retain the applications of persons refused appointment for not less than four years.

The Secretary may maintain these records in digital format.

Code 1950, § 47-2; 1962, p. 687; 1976, c. 559; 1979, c. 14; 1980, c. 580; 2007, cc. 269, 590.

§ 47.1-11. Reference materials.

The Secretary shall prepare, from time to time, reference materials for notaries public and electronic notaries public which shall contain the provisions of this title and such other information as the Secretary shall deem useful. Copies of the reference materials shall be made available to persons seeking appointment as notaries public and electronic notaries public as well as to other interested persons. The Secretary may make the materials available in digital format but shall provide written copies of the materials upon request.

1980, c. 580; 2007, cc. 269, 590.

§ 47.1-11.1. Evidence of authenticity of electronic notarial act.

A. Form of evidence of authority of electronic notarial act. On a notarized electronic document transmitted to another state or country outside of the United States, electronic evidence of the authenticity of the official signature and seal of an electronic notary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, if required, shall be attached to or logically associated with the document and shall be in the form of an electronic certificate of authority signed by the Secretary that is independently verifiable, will be invalidated if the underlying document is improperly modified, and is in conformance with any current and pertinent international treaties, agreements, and conventions subscribed to by the government of the United States.

B. Certificate of authority for electronic notarial act. An electronic certificate of authority evidencing the authenticity of the official signature and seal of an electronic notary of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall contain substantially the following words:

Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act

I,......… (name and title), certify that................… (name of
electronic notary), the person named as Electronic Notary Public in the
attached or associated electronic document, was commissioned as an Electronic
Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Virginia and authorized to act as such
at the time of the document's electronic notarization.

To verify this Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act, I
have included herewith my electronic signature this … day of............,
20.…

(Electronic signature and seal of commissioning official)

C. For issuing an electronic certificate of authority, the Secretary may charge a fee in an amount set by the Secretary.

2007, cc. 269, 590.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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