Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 6. Recordation of Documents
1/19/2022

Chapter 6. Recordation of Documents.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 55.1-600. When and where writings recorded.

Except when it is otherwise provided, the circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of any such court, or his duly qualified deputy, in his office, shall record any such writing as to any person whose name is signed thereto with an original signature, when it shall have been acknowledged by him, or proved by two witnesses as to him in such court, or before such clerk, or his duly qualified deputy, in his office, or the manner prescribed in Articles 2 (§ 55.1-612 et seq.), 3 (§ 55.1-616 et seq.), and 4 (§ 55.1-624 et seq.). When such writing is signed by a person acting on behalf of another, or in any representative capacity, the signature of such representative may be acknowledged or proved in the same manner.

Code 1919, § 5204; Code 1950, § 55-106; 1972, c. 130; 1994, c. 554; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-601. Recording and indexing of certain documents showing changes of names.

A duly authenticated copy of a marriage license with the certificate of the person celebrating the marriage or a duly authenticated copy of a final order of divorce showing a change of name of a woman shall be entitled to be recorded in the clerk's office in which deeds are recorded of the county or city in which any land, or an interest in any land, that is owned by such woman lies and shall be indexed by such clerk in the grantor and grantee indices in his office.

1958, c. 220, § 55-106.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-602. Presumption that recorded writings are in proper form.

A writing that is not properly notarized in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth shall not invalidate the underlying document; however, any such writing shall not be in proper form for recordation. All recorded writings shall be presumed to be in proper form for recording after having been recorded, and conclusively presumed to be in proper form for recording after having been recorded for a period of three years, except in cases of fraud.

1973, c. 161, § 55-106.2; 2008, cc. 117, 814; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-603. Deed of real estate investment trust.

Every deed that is to be recorded conveying property to or from a trust qualifying as a real estate investment trust shall include the complete address of the principal office of the trust. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall not invalidate any such deed.

1984, c. 474, § 55-106.4; 2002, c. 621; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-604. When clerk may refuse document to be recorded.

A clerk may refuse any document for recording in which the name of the person under which the document is to be indexed does not legibly appear or is not otherwise furnished.

1986, c. 277, § 55-106.5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-605. Power of attorney; where recorded.

A power of attorney may be recorded in any county or city.

Code 1919, § 5203; Code 1950, § 55-107; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-606. Standards for writings to be docketed or recorded.

Except as provided in Article 4.1 (§ 17.1-258.2 et seq.) of Title 17.1 and for electronically signed or electronically notarized documents described in § 17.1-223, all writings that are to be recorded or docketed in the clerk's office of courts of record shall be an original or first generation printed form, or legible copy thereof, pen and ink, or typed ribbon copy and shall meet the standards for instruments as adopted under §§ 17.1-227 and 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

If a writing that does not conform to the requirements of this section or the standards for instruments adopted under § 17.1-227 and under § 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.) is accepted for recordation, it shall be deemed validly recorded and the clerk shall have no liability for accepting such a writing that does not meet the enumerated criteria in all the particulars.

The clerk of the circuit court of any jurisdiction shall be immune from suit arising from any acts or omissions relating to recordation of paper copies of electronically notarized documents pursuant to this section unless the clerk was grossly negligent or engaged in willful misconduct.

1924, p. 144; Michie Code 1942, § 5210a; Code 1950, § 55-108; 1983, c. 291; 1986, c. 346; 2005, c. 744; 2019, c. 712; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 78.

§ 55.1-607. When original of writing once recorded is lost, how copy recorded elsewhere.

If it is proper for any writing that has been recorded in a court of any county or city to be recorded in the court of another county or city and such writing, before being so recorded in such other court, is lost or mislaid, on affidavit of this fact, such court or the clerk of such court may record a copy of such writing from the records of another court, certified by its clerk, and the copy so recorded shall have the same effect as if the original had been recorded at the time the copy was recorded.

Code 1919, § 5212; Code 1950, § 55-109; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-608. Certifications of recordation upon copies of certain instruments and subsequent recordation in other county or city.

Whenever a mortgage or deed of trust instrument upon real or personal property located in more than one county or city is recorded in one such county or city, the party by whom it is so presented may deliver to the clerk of such court any number of executed and acknowledged copies of such instrument. The clerk shall fix to each such copy his certificate of recordation, certifying thereby the payment of the recordation tax levied by the Commonwealth, and shall return to the party presenting all such instruments all such copies except one, which shall be retained by the clerk for recordation in his office. Such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the payment of the recordation tax indicated thereby, and the clerk in any other recording office in any other county or city shall accept for recordation in his office any such copy so certified.

1962, c. 301, § 55-109.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-609. Correcting errors in deeds, deeds of trust, and mortgages; affidavit.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Attorney" means any person licensed as an attorney in Virginia by the Virginia State Bar.

"Corrective affidavit" means an affidavit of an attorney correcting an obvious description error.

"Obvious description error" means an error in a real property parcel description contained in a recorded deed, deed of trust, or mortgage where (i) such parcel is identified and shown as a separate parcel on a recorded subdivision plat; (ii) such error is apparent by reference to other information on the face of such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage or on an attachment to such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage or by reference to other instruments in the chain of title for the property conveyed thereby; and (iii) such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage recites elsewhere the parcel's correct address or tax map identification number. An "obvious description error" includes (a) an error transcribing courses and distances, including the omission of one or more lines of courses and distances or the omission of angles and compass directions; (b) an error incorporating an incorrect recorded plat or a deed reference; (c) an error in a lot number or designation; or (d) an omitted exhibit supplying the legal description of the real property thereby conveyed. An "obvious description error" does not include (1) missing or improper signatures or acknowledgments or (2) any designation of the type of tenancy by which the property is owned or whether or not a right of survivorship exists.

"Recorded subdivision plat" means a plat that has been prepared by a land surveyor licensed pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 and recorded in the clerk's office of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the property is located.

"Title insurance company" has the same meaning as set forth in § 38.2-4601, provided that the title insurance company issued a policy of title insurance for the transaction in which the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded.

B. Obvious description errors in a recorded deed, deed of trust, or mortgage purporting to convey or transfer an interest in real property may be corrected by recording an affidavit in the land records of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the property is located or where the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded. No correction of an obvious description error shall be inconsistent with the description of the property in any recorded subdivision plat.

C. Prior to recording a corrective affidavit, the attorney seeking to record the affidavit shall deliver a copy of the affidavit to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, including the current owner of the property; to the attorney who prepared the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, if known and if possible; and to the title insurance company, if known, and give notice of the intent to record the affidavit and of each party's right to object to the affidavit. For an affidavit to correct an obvious description error in a deed as described in clause (a) of the definition of "obvious description error" in subsection A, notice and a copy of the affidavit shall also be provided to any owner of property adjoining a line to be corrected. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be delivered by personal service, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered by a commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, to the last known address of each party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage to be corrected that (i) is contained in the land book maintained pursuant to § 58.1-3301 by the jurisdiction where the property is located and where the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded; (ii) is contained in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction; (iii) has been provided to the attorney as a forwarding address; or (iv) has been established with reasonable certainty by other means, and to all other persons and entities to whom notice is required to be given. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be sent to the property address for the real property conveyed by the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction. If a locality is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the county, city, or town attorney for the locality, if any, and if there is no such attorney, then to the chief executive for the locality. For the purposes of this section, the term "party" includes any locality that is a signatory. If the Commonwealth is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the Attorney General and to the director, chief executive officer, or head of the state agency or chairman of the board of the state entity in possession or that had possession of the property.

D. If, within 30 days after personal service or receiving confirmation of delivery of the notice and a copy of the affidavit (i) to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, including the current owner of the property; (ii) to the attorney who prepared the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, if known and if possible; (iii) to the title insurance company, if known; and (iv) to the adjoining property owners, if necessary, pursuant to subsection C, no written objection is received from any party disputing the facts recited in the affidavit or objecting to its recordation, the corrective affidavit may be recorded by the attorney, and all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage shall be bound by the terms of the affidavit. The corrective affidavit shall contain (a) a statement that no objection was received from any party within the period and (b) a copy of the notice sent to the parties. The notice shall contain the attorney's Virginia State Bar number. The corrective affidavit shall be notarized.

E. A corrective affidavit that is recorded pursuant to this section operates as a correction of the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage and relates back to the date of the original recordation of the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage as if the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage was correct when first recorded. A title insurance company, upon request, shall issue an endorsement to reflect the corrections made by the corrective affidavit and shall deliver a copy of the endorsement to all parties to the policy who can be found.

F. The clerk shall record the corrective affidavit in the deed book and, notwithstanding their designation in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction, index the affidavit in the names of the parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage as grantors and grantees as set forth in the affidavit. The costs associated with the recording of a corrective affidavit pursuant to this section shall be paid by the party that records the corrective affidavit. An affidavit recorded in compliance with this section shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in such affidavit. Any person who wrongfully or erroneously records a corrective affidavit is liable for actual damages sustained by any party due to such recordation, including reasonable attorney fees and costs.

G. The remedies under this section are not exclusive and do not abrogate any right or remedy under the laws of the Commonwealth other than this section.

H. An affidavit under this section may be made in the following form, or to the same effect:

Corrective Affidavit

This Affidavit, prepared pursuant to Virginia Code § 55.1-609, shall be indexed in the names of ________(grantor) and ________ (grantee), whose addresses are ________. The undersigned affiant, being first duly sworn, deposes and states as follows:

1. That the affiant is a Virginia attorney.

2. That the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was made in connection with a real estate transaction in which ________ purchased real estate from ________, as shown in a deed recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of ________, in Deed Book ____, Page ____, or as Instrument Number ____; or in which real estate was encumbered, as shown in a deed recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of ________, in Deed Book ____, Page ____, or as Instrument Number ____.

3. That the property description in the aforementioned deed, deed of trust, or mortgage contains an obvious description error.

4. That the property description containing the obvious description error reads:

________________

________________.

5. That the correct property description should read:

________________

________________.

6. That this affidavit is given pursuant to § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia to correct the property description in the aforementioned deed, deed of trust, or mortgage and such description shall be as stated in paragraph 5 above upon recordation of this affidavit in the Circuit Court of ________.

7. That notice of the intent to record this corrective affidavit and a copy of this affidavit was delivered to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage being corrected pursuant to § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia and that no objection to the recordation of this affidavit was received within the applicable period of time as set forth in § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia.

________________

(Name of attorney)

________________

(Signature of attorney)

________________

(Address of attorney)

________________

(Telephone number of attorney)

________________

(Bar number of attorney)

The foregoing affidavit was acknowledged before me

This ______ day of ______, 20__, by

________________

Notary Public

My Commission expires ________.

Notary Registration Number: ________.

I. Notice under this section may be made in the following form, or to the same effect:

Notice of Intent to Correct an Obvious Description Error

Notice is hereby given to you concerning the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage described in the corrective affidavit, a copy of which is attached to this notice, as follows:

1. The attorney identified below has discovered or has been advised of an obvious description error in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage recorded as part of your real estate settlement. The error is described in the attached affidavit.

2. The undersigned will record an affidavit to correct such error unless the undersigned receives a written objection disputing the facts recited in the affidavit or objecting to the recordation of the affidavit. Your objections must be sent within 30 days of receipt of this notice to the following address:

________________

(Address)

________________

(Name of attorney)

________________

(Signature of attorney)

________________

(Address of attorney)

________________

(Telephone number of attorney)

________________

(Bar number of attorney)

2014, c. 523, § 55-109.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-610. Recordation of copy of lost deed previously recorded in what is now West Virginia.

In any case when any deed was duly recorded before the formation of the state of West Virginia in any county or city now within the limits of West Virginia and such deed, after diligent search, cannot be found, upon affidavit of that fact by any party in interest, his agent, or his attorney, any court of the Commonwealth in which, or the clerk's office of which, the original might be recorded, or the clerk of any such court, may record a copy of such deed from the records of the court of West Virginia, or the clerk's office of such court in which such deed is recorded, duly certified by the clerk of such court, under the seal of the court, and the recordation of such copy shall have the same effect as the recordation of the original.

Code 1919, § 5212; Code 1950, § 55-110; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-611. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2019, c. 326, cl. 1 and c. 786, cl. 2.

Article 2. Acknowledgments Generally.

§ 55.1-612. Acknowledgment within the United States or its dependencies.

A circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of any such court, shall record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed to such writing, except that acknowledgment of contracts for the sale of real property shall require the seller or grantor of such real property to acknowledge his signature as provided in this section, except for contracts recorded after the death of the seller pursuant to § 64.2-523.

1. Upon the certificate of such clerk or his deputy, a notary public, a commissioner in chancery, or a clerk of any court of record within the United States or in Puerto Rico or any territory or other dependency or possession of the United States that such writing had been acknowledged before him by such person. Such certificate shall be written upon or attached to such writing and shall be substantially to the following effect:

I, ________, clerk (or deputy clerk or a commissioner in chancery) of the ________ court, (or a notary public) for the county (or city) aforesaid, in the state (or territory or district) of ________, do certify that E.F., or E.F. and G.H., and so forth, whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above (or hereto attached) bearing date on the ______ day of ____, has (or have) acknowledged the same before me in my county (or city) aforesaid.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ____.

2. Upon the certificate of acknowledgment of such person before any commissioner appointed by the Governor, within the United States, so written or attached, substantially to the following effect:

State (or territory or district) of ________:

I, __________, a commissioner appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for such state (or territory or district) of ________, do certify that E.F. (or E.F. and G.H., and so forth) whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above (or hereto attached) bearing date on the ______ day of ____ has (or have) acknowledged the same before me in my state (or territory or district) aforesaid.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ____.

3. Or upon the certificate of such clerk or his deputy, a notary public, a commissioner in chancery, or a clerk of any court of record within the United States or in Puerto Rico or any territory or other possession or dependency of the United States, or of a commissioner appointed by the Governor, within the United States, that such writing was proved as to such person, before him, by two subscribing witnesses thereto. Such certificate shall be written upon or attached to such writing and shall be substantially to the following effect:

State (or territory or district) of ________; county (or city) of ________: I, ________, clerk (or deputy clerk or a commissioner in chancery) of the ________ court, (or a notary public) for the county (or city) aforesaid, in the state (or territory or district) of ________ (or a commissioner appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia for such state (or territory or district) of ________), do certify that the execution of the writing above (or hereto attached) bearing date on the ______ day of ____, by A.B. (or A.B. and C.D., and so forth), whose name (or names) is (or are) signed thereto, was proved before me in my county (or city or state, territory, or district) aforesaid, by the evidence on oath of E.F. and G.H., subscribing witnesses to such writing.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ____.

When authority is given in § 55.1-600 or in this section to the clerk of a court in or outside of the Commonwealth, but within the United States, such authority may be exercised by his duly qualified deputy.

Code 1919, §§ 5205, 5207; 1922, p. 868; 1924, p. 474; Code 1950, § 55-113; 1968, c. 639; 1972, c. 130; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-613. Acknowledgments outside of the United States and its dependencies.

A circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of such court, shall also record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed thereto upon the certificate under the official seal of any ambassador, minister plenipotentiary, minister resident, charge d'affaires, consul-general, consul, vice-consul, or commercial agent appointed by the government of the United States to any foreign country, or of the proper officer of any court of record of such country or of the mayor or other chief magistrate of any city, town, or corporation therein, that such writing was acknowledged by such person or proved as to him by two witnesses before any person having such appointment or before such court, mayor, or chief magistrate.

Code 1919, § 5206; Code 1950, § 55-114; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-614. Acknowledgments by persons subject to Uniform Code of Military Justice; validation of certain acknowledgments.

A circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of such court, shall also record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed thereto and who at the time of such acknowledgment:

1. Was a member of any of the Armed Forces of the United States, wherever they may have been;

2. Was employed by, or accompanying such armed forces outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands; or

3. Was subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the United States outside of the United States, upon the certificate of any person authorized to take acknowledgments under 10 U.S.C. § 936(a), as amended.

Such certification shall be in substantially the same form as required by § 55.1-615.

Any acknowledgment taken before July 1, 1995, that is in substantial conformity with this section is hereby ratified, validated, and confirmed.

1964, c. 570, § 55-114.1; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-615. Acknowledgments taken before commissioned officers in military service.

A circuit court of any county or city, or clerk of such court, shall also record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed thereto who at the time of such acknowledgment was in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or as to the consort of such person, upon the certificate of any commissioned officer of the army, navy, marine corps, air force, coast guard, any state national guard that is federally recognized, or other branch of the service of which such person is a member, that such writing had been acknowledged before him by such person. Such certificate shall be written upon or attached to such writing and shall be substantially to the following effect:

In the army (or navy, etc.) of the United States.

I, ________, a commissioned officer of the army (or navy, marine corps, air force, coast guard, or other branch of service) of the United States with the rank of lieutenant (or ensign or other appropriate rank) whose home address is ________, do certify that E.F. (or E.F. and G.H., and so forth), whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above (or hereto attached), bearing date on the ______ day of ____, and who, or whose consort, is a private (corporal, seaman, captain, or other grade or rank) in the army (or navy, etc.) of the United States, and whose home address is ________, has (or have) acknowledged the same before me.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ______.

Such acknowledgment may be taken at any place where the officer taking the acknowledgment and the person whose name is signed to the writing may be. Such commissioned officer may take the acknowledgment of any person in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or the consort of such person.

Every acknowledgment executed prior to July 1, 1995, in substantial compliance with the provisions of this section is hereby validated, ratified, and confirmed, notwithstanding any error or omission with respect to any address, grade, or rank.

1942, p. 426; Michie Code 1942, § 5205a; 1944, p. 25; 1948, p. 393; Code 1950, § 55-115; 1964, c. 129; 1972, c. 458; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act.

§ 55.1-616. "Notarial acts" defined; who may perform notarial acts outside the Commonwealth for use in the Commonwealth.

A. For the purposes of this article, "notarial acts" means acts that the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth authorize notaries public of the Commonwealth to perform, including the administering of oaths and affirmations, taking proof of execution and acknowledgments of instruments, and attesting documents.

B. Notarial acts may be performed outside the Commonwealth for use in the Commonwealth with the same effect as if performed by a notary public of the Commonwealth by the following persons authorized pursuant to the laws and regulations of other governments in addition to any other person authorized by the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth:

1. A notary public authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the notarial act is performed;

2. A judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of any court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed;

3. An officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the U.S. Department of State to perform notarial acts in the place in which the notarial act is performed;

4. A commissioned officer in active service with the Armed Forces of the United States and any other person authorized by regulation of the armed forces to perform notarial acts if the notarial act is performed for one of the following or his dependents: a merchant seaman of the United States, a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or any other person serving with or accompanying a member of the Armed Forces of the United States; or

5. Any other person authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the notarial act is performed.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-617. Proof of authority of person performing notarial act.

A. If the notarial act is performed by any of the persons described in subdivisions B 1 through 4 of § 55.1-616 other than a person authorized to perform notarial acts by the laws or regulations of a foreign country, the signature, rank, or title and serial number, if any, of the person are sufficient proof of the authority of a holder of that rank or title to perform the notarial act. Further proof of his authority is not required.

B. If the notarial act is performed by a person authorized by the laws or regulations of a foreign country to perform the notarial act, there is sufficient proof of the authority of that person to act if:

1. Either a foreign service officer of the United States resident in the country in which the notarial act is performed or a diplomatic or consular officer of the foreign country resident in the United States certifies that a person holding that office is authorized to perform the notarial act;

2. The official seal of the person performing the notarial act is affixed to the document; or

3. The title and indication of authority to perform notarial acts of the person appears either in a digest of foreign law or in a list customarily used as a source of such information.

C. If the notarial act is performed by a person other than one described in subsections A and B, there is sufficient proof of the authority of that person to act if the clerk of a court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed certifies to the official character of that person and to his authority to perform the notarial act.

D. The signature and title of the person performing the notarial act are prima facie evidence that he is a person with the designated title and that the signature is genuine.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-618. What person taking acknowledgment shall certify.

The person taking an acknowledgment shall certify that:

1. The person acknowledging appeared before him and acknowledged he executed the instrument; and

2. The person acknowledging was known to the person taking the acknowledgment or that the person taking the acknowledgment had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person described in and who executed the instrument.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-619. When form of certificate of acknowledgment accepted.

The form of a certificate of acknowledgment used by a person whose authority is recognized under § 55.1-616 shall be accepted in the Commonwealth if:

1. The certificate is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations of the Commonwealth;

2. The certificate is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations applicable in the place in which the acknowledgment is taken; or

3. The certificate contains the words "acknowledged before me" or their substantial equivalent.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.4; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-620. Meaning of "acknowledged before me.".

For the purposes of this article, "acknowledged before me" means:

1. That the person acknowledging appeared before the person taking the acknowledgment;

2. That the person acknowledging acknowledged he executed the instrument;

3. That, in the case of:

a. A natural person acknowledging, he executed the instrument for the purposes stated in the instrument;

b. A corporation, the officer or agent acknowledged he held the position or title set forth in the instrument and certificate, he signed the instrument on behalf of the corporation by proper authority, and the instrument was the act of the corporation for the purpose stated in the instrument;

c. A partnership, the partner or agent acknowledged he signed the instrument on behalf of the partnership by proper authority and he executed the instrument as the act of the partnership for the purposes stated in the instrument;

d. A person acknowledging as principal by an attorney-in-fact, he executed the instrument by proper authority as the act of the principal for the purposes stated in the instrument; or

e. A person acknowledging as a public officer, trustee, administrator, guardian, conservator, or other representative, he signed the instrument by proper authority and he executed the instrument in the capacity and for the purposes stated in the instrument; and

4. That the person taking the acknowledgment either knew or had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person named in the instrument or certificate.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.5; 1997, c. 801; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-621. Statutory short forms of acknowledgment.

The forms of acknowledgment set forth in this section may be used and are sufficient for their respective purposes under any law of the Commonwealth. The following forms shall be known as "Statutory Short Forms of Acknowledgment" and may be referred to by that name. The authorization of the forms in this section does not preclude the use of other forms.

1. For an individual acting in his own right:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of person acknowledged).

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

2. For a corporation:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of officer or agent, title of officer or agent) of (name of corporation acknowledging) a (state or place of incorporation) corporation, on behalf of the corporation.

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

3. For a partnership:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of acknowledging partner or agent), partner (or agent) on behalf of (name of partnership), a partnership.

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

4. For an individual acting as principal by an attorney-in-fact:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of attorney-in-fact) as attorney-in-fact on behalf of (name of principal).

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

5. By any public officer, trustee, or personal representative:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name and title of position).

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.6; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-622. Application of article; article cumulative.

A notarial act performed prior to June 26, 1970, is not affected by this article. This article provides an additional method of proving notarial acts. Nothing in this article diminishes or invalidates the recognition accorded to notarial acts by other laws or regulations of the Commonwealth.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.7; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-623. Uniform interpretation.

This article shall be so interpreted as to make uniform the laws of those states that enact it.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.8; 2019, c. 712.

Article 4. Deeds and Acknowledgments of Corporations.

§ 55.1-624. Deeds of corporations; how to be executed and acknowledged.

All deeds made by corporations shall be signed in the name of the corporation by the president or acting president, or any vice-president, or by such other person as may be authorized to do so by the board of directors of such corporation, and, if such deed is to be recorded, the person signing the name of the corporation shall acknowledge such authority in the manner provided by § 55.1-625.

Code 1919, § 5208; 1920, p. 586; Code 1950, § 55-119; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 41; 1975, c. 500; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-625. Acknowledgments on behalf of corporations and others.

When any writing purports to have been signed on behalf or by authority of any person or corporation, or in any representative capacity whatsoever, the certificate of the acknowledgment by the person so signing the writing shall be sufficient for the purposes of this and §§ 55.1-600, 55.1-612, 55.1-613, and 55.1-615, and for the recordation of such writing as to the person or corporation on whose behalf it is signed, or as to the representative character of the person so signing the writing, as the case may be, without expressing that such acknowledgment was on behalf or by authority of such other person or corporation or was in a representative capacity. In the case of a writing signed on behalf or by authority of any person or corporation or in any representative capacity, a certificate to the following effect shall be sufficient:

State (or territory or district) of ________, county (or city) of ________,: I, ________, a ________ (here insert the official title of the person certifying the acknowledgment) in and for the state (or territory or district) and county (or city) aforesaid, do certify that ________ (here insert the name or names of the persons signing the writing on behalf of the person or corporation, or the name of the person signing the writing in a representative capacity), whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above, bearing date on the ____ day of ____, has (or have) acknowledged the same before me in my county (or city) aforesaid. Given under my hand this ____ day of ____.

Code 1919, § 5207; Code 1950, § 55-120; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-626. Corporate acknowledgment taken before officer or stockholder.

Any notary or other officer duly authorized to take acknowledgments may take the acknowledgment to any deed or other writing executed by a company or to a company or for the benefit of a company, although he may be a stockholder, an officer, or both, in such company, provided that he is not otherwise interested in the property conveyed or disposed of by such deed or other writing, and nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any officer to take an acknowledgment to any deed or other writing executed by such company by and through him as an officer or stockholder of such company, or to him for the benefit of such company.

Code 1919, § 5209; 1926, p. 340; Code 1950, § 55-121; 2019, c. 712.

Article 5. Validating Certain Acts, Deeds, and Acknowledgments.

§ 55.1-627. Acts of notaries public, etc., who have held certain other offices.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings, taken and certified by notaries public and commissioners in chancery, and all depositions taken, accounts and reports made, and decrees executed by any notary public, commissioner in chancery, or commissioner of accounts, who, since January 1, 1989, may have held the office of county treasurer, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth, county clerk, commissioner of the revenue, superintendent of the poor, county surveyor, or supervisor shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid and effective according to the law then in force.

1920, p. 340; Michie Code 1942, § 5209c; Code 1950, § 55-122; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-628. Validation of acknowledgments when seal not affixed.

When a certificate of acknowledgment was made prior to July 1, 1995, to any instrument in writing required by this chapter to be acknowledged and the notary or other official whether of this or some other state taking such acknowledgment failed to affix his official seal to such certificate of acknowledgment when a seal was necessary, the certificate of acknowledgment shall be as valid for all purposes as if such seal had been affixed, and the deed shall be, and shall since such date have been, notice to all persons as effectually as if such seal had been affixed, provided that such acknowledgment was in other respects sufficient.

1924, p. 359; Michie Code 1942, § 5207a; Code 1950, § 55-123; 1964, c. 57; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-629. Acknowledgment taken by trustee in deed of trust.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds of trust made and certified prior to March 23, 1936, by persons being trustees in such deeds shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, and each such deed of trust that has been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such a certificate shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

Nothing in this section shall affect or diminish the rights or remedies of any person who intervened after the recordation of any such deed of trust but prior to March 23, 1936.

1936, p. 371; 1940, p. 129; Michie Code 1942, § 5207b; Code 1950, § 55-124; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-630. Acknowledgment taken by trustee in deed of trust; later date.

Any certificate of acknowledgment of any deed of trust, taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a person named as trustee therein who was, at the time of taking the acknowledgment, an officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments of deeds, is declared to be as valid and of the same force and effect as if such person had not been a trustee in the deed of trust. Subject to the provisions of § 55.1-602, however, this section shall not affect any right or remedy of any third party that accrued after the recordation of the deed of trust and before July 1, 1995.

1948, p. 392; Michie Suppl. 1948, § 5207b1; Code 1950, § 55-125; 1952, c. 109; 1956, c. 706; 1958, c. 218; 1962, c. 367; 1966, cc. 137, 492; 1968, c. 4; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1980, c. 143; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-631. Certain acknowledgments taken and certified before July 1, 1995.

All certificates of acknowledgments to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by commissioners of deeds of states other than the Commonwealth, appointed or commissioned by the governor of such state, and by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor of the Commonwealth, or appointed or commissioned under the laws of any state other than the Commonwealth, or any other officer authorized under this chapter to take and certify acknowledgments of deeds and other writings, that omit the citation of the date of the deed or certificate where it is clear from the content of the entire certificate and the instrument that has been acknowledged that the identity of the instrument or the certificate is the same, or if it can reasonably be inferred from the certificate of the person recording the instrument or other writing that the certificate refers to the same instrument, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, or otherwise appear valid upon their face, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1968, c. 297, § 55-125.1; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-632. Acknowledgments taken by certain justices of the peace, mayors, etc.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by justices of the peace, mayors of cities or towns, police justices, and civil and police justices who by virtue of their offices had the powers and authority of justices of the peace, when such justices of the peace, mayors, police justices, or civil and police justices are designated in the certificates of acknowledgments as mayors, police justices, or civil and police justices shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1920, p. 405; 1936, p. 466; Michie Code 1942, §§ 5207c, 5209b; Code 1950, § 55-126; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-633. Acknowledgments taken by officers after expiration of terms.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by commissioners of deeds of states other than the Commonwealth, appointed or commissioned by the governor of such state, and by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor of the Commonwealth, or appointed or commissioned under the laws of any state other than the Commonwealth, or any other officer authorized under this chapter to take and certify acknowledgments to deeds and other writings who took and certified such acknowledgments after their term of office had expired, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force or appear to be valid upon their face, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1924, p. 57; 1926, p. 102; 1928, p. 996; Michie Code 1942, § 5209d; Code 1950, § 55-127; 1964, c. 384; 1966, c. 492; 1968, c. 4; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-634. Acknowledgments taken by notaries in service during World War I.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified in the Commonwealth prior to June 18, 1920, by notaries public who served in the army, navy, or marine corps of the United States during World War I shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1920, p. 69; Michie Code 1942, § 5209a; Code 1950, § 55-128; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-635. Acknowledgments before foreign officials who failed to affix seals.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings made and certified prior to July 1, 1995, before officials in any foreign country authorized by law to take and certify such acknowledgments, to which such officials failed to affix their official seals, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1918, p. 108; Michie Code 1942, § 5209f; Code 1950, § 55-129; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-636. Acknowledgments taken by notaries in foreign countries.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by notaries public residing in foreign countries shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1918, p. 506; 1936, p. 101; Michie Code 1942, §§ 5209e, 5209k; Code 1950, § 55-130; 1960, c. 285; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-637. Acknowledgments taken by officer who was spouse of grantee.

Any certificate of acknowledgment to a deed or other writings taken prior to July 1, 1995, by a notary public or other officer duly authorized to take acknowledgments who at the time of taking such acknowledgment was the spouse of the grantee in the deed or other instrument shall be held and is hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force. All acknowledgments of conveyances to a fiduciary taken before an officer who is the husband or wife of such officer and who has no beneficial or monetary interest other than possible commissions or legal fees shall be conclusively presumed valid.

1926, p. 747; Michie Code 1942, § 5209g; Code 1950, § 55-131; 1952, c. 244; 1966, c. 137; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-638. Acknowledgment when notary certifies erroneously as to expiration of commission.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a notary public appointed or commissioned by the Governor, or appointed or commissioned under the laws of any state other than the Commonwealth, who mistakenly or by error certified that his commission had expired at the time he made such certificate, when in fact his commission had not at that time expired, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law of the Commonwealth then in force, and the date and life of the notary's commission may be proved aliunde his certificate in any proceeding in which the capacity or authority of such notary is or shall be questioned, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1928, p. 996; Michie Code 1942, § 5209h; Code 1950, § 55-132; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-639. Acknowledgments before officer of city or county consolidating, etc., prior to expiration date of commission.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified by a notary public or other officer originally duly authorized to take acknowledgments in any city or county that consolidated with other political subdivisions or became a city, as the case may be, prior to the normal expiration date of the commission of such notary public or other officer are hereby declared to be valid to the same extent they would have been valid as if such notary public or other officer had been commissioned for such consolidated political subdivision or city to which any such county was transformed.

1952, Ex. Sess., c. 14, § 55-132.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-640. Acknowledgments taken before notary whose commission has expired.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to March 22, 1930, by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor who took and certified such acknowledgments after their term of office had expired shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1930, p. 572; Michie Code 1942, § 5209i; Code 1950, § 55-133; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-641. Acknowledgments taken before notary whose commission has expired; later date; intervening vested rights saved.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor who took and certified such acknowledgments after their term of office had expired shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force; however, nothing in this section shall be so construed as to affect any intervening vested rights.

1934, p. 258; Michie Code 1942, § 5209j; Code 1950, § 55-134; 1952, c. 244; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-642. Acknowledgments taken before notary who was appointed but failed to qualify; vested rights saved.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a person who was appointed as a notary public by the Governor but who failed to qualify as provided by law shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to law; however, nothing in this section shall be so construed as to affect any intervening vested rights.

1956, c. 713, § 55-134.1; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 92; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-643. Acknowledgments taken before a notary at large who failed to cite the jurisdiction in which the acknowledgment was taken; vested rights saved.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a person who was appointed a notary public for the Commonwealth at large by the Governor but who failed to include in such certificates of acknowledgment the county or city in which the notarial act was performed shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to law; however, nothing in this section shall be so construed as to affect any intervening vested rights.

1984, c. 35, § 55-134.2; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-644. Deeds defectively executed by corporation.

Any deed of conveyance of real estate executed in the Commonwealth prior to July 1, 1995, by a corporation of the Commonwealth, when the certificate of acknowledgment of such deed fails to state the representative capacity of the party signing such deed for the corporation, shall be held and is hereby declared a valid and effective conveyance in every respect if otherwise valid according to the law in force at the time the deed was executed if such corporation, since making such conveyance, has been dissolved or otherwise gone out of existence.

1936, p. 328; Michie Code 1942, § 5208a; Code 1950, § 55-135; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-645. Deeds to which corporate seal not affixed or not attested.

Any deed of conveyance of real estate executed within or outside of the Commonwealth by a corporation of the Commonwealth or any other state to which deed the seal of the corporation was not affixed, or to which the seal was affixed but was not attested to by the secretary or by some other authorized officer of the corporation, shall be held to be valid and is hereby declared a valid and effective conveyance in every respect if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1942, c. 698; Michie Code 1942, § 5208b; Code 1950, § 55-136; 1956, c. 18; 1962, c. 238; 1964, Ex. Sess., c. 20; 1966, c. 492; 1968, c. 4; 1972, c. 631; 1974, c. 130; 1975, c. 500; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-646. Acknowledgments of corporations taken by officers or stockholders.

No acknowledgment heretofore taken to any deed or any writing executed by a company, or for the benefit of a company, shall be held to be invalid by reason of the acknowledgment having been taken by a notary or other officer duly authorized to take acknowledgments who, at the time of taking the acknowledgment, was a stockholder, an officer, or both, in the company that executed the deed or writing, or for the benefit of which the deed or writing was executed, but who was not otherwise interested in the property conveyed or disposed of by such deed or writing, and such deed or other writing, and the recordation of such deed or other writing, shall be valid in all respects as if this section had been in force when it was executed.

Code 1919, § 5209; 1926, p. 340; Code 1950, § 55-137; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-647. Recordation certificate not signed by clerk.

A. All deeds, orders of probate, fiduciary accounts, and all other papers and writings received prior to July 1, 1995, by any clerk of any court of the Commonwealth and transcribed, or purported to be transcribed, in the proper book in such clerk's office provided by law for the transcribing and recordation of such deeds, orders of probate, fiduciary accounts, or other papers and writings, the certificate of receipt and of recordation of which had not received the attesting signature of such clerk on the date aforesaid, and which had not on such date been verified as required by law, shall prima facie be, and be deemed to be, as truly received, recorded, and verified as if the same had been so attested by the signature of such clerk.

B. Every clerk of any court of the Commonwealth in whose office any such deed, order of probate, fiduciary account, or other paper or writing as is mentioned in subsection A has been transcribed upon the proper book in such office, provided by law therefor, and which transcription has not received the attesting signature of the clerk who recorded the same, upon production before such clerk of the original of such deed, order of probate, fiduciary account, or paper or writing shall verify the accuracy of such transcription by a careful examination and comparison of such transcription with the original paper so recorded, and thereupon the clerk shall attest such transcription by signing thereto the name of the clerk who received the original paper for record and his own name as follows:

"Teste ________, former clerk per

________, his successor."

C. For such service the clerk shall receive a fee of 25 cents ($0.25), to be paid by the person for whose benefit the service was performed, and the record, so certified and verified, shall have the same effect as if it had been properly certified and verified by the clerk who received the same and who should have so certified and verified the same.

D. This section shall have a retroactive effect.

1920, p. 566; Michie Code 1942, § 3407a; Code 1950, § 55-137.1; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2013, c. 263; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-648. Recordation certificate not signed by clerk; when clerk has died.

Any deed or other instrument or writing recorded before July 1, 1995, upon the proper deed book in the clerk's office of the circuit court of any county or any court of record of any city, when the clerk of such court failed to sign the certificate of recordation thereof and afterwards died, and any will or other instrument or writing recorded before July 1, 1995, upon the proper will book in any such clerk's office, when such clerk failed to sign the certificate of probate and recordation thereof and afterwards died, shall be as valid and of the same force and effect as if such certificate of recordation or certificate of probate and recordation had been signed by such clerk at the time such deed, will, or other instrument or writing was so recorded.

1942, p. 391; Michie Code 1942, § 3407a1; Code 1950, § 55-137.2; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

Article 6. United States Judgments; Bankruptcy.

§ 55.1-649. Recordation of judgments affecting title to land.

The clerk of the court of any county or city in which there is any partition of land under any order, or any recovery of land under judgment, shall transmit to the clerk of the court of each county or city in whose office deeds to such land or any part thereof are recorded a copy of such order or judgment, and of such partition or assignment, and of the order confirming the same, along with such description of the land as may appear in the papers of the cause. The clerk of the court of such county or city shall record the same in his deed book and index it in the name of the person who had the land before and also in the name of the person who became entitled under such partition, assignment, or recovery.

Code 1919, § 5216; 1924, p. 454; 1946, p. 190; Code 1950, § 55-138; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-650. Judgments of United States courts affecting realty.

A copy of any judgment or order of any United States court affecting the title to, boundary or possession of, or any interest in and to any real estate lying wholly or partly within the Commonwealth, when duly certified by the proper officer of any such court, may be filed with the clerk of the court in whose office deeds are recorded of the county or city in which the real estate so affected, or any part of such real estate, is situated, and when so filed shall be recorded by such clerk in the current deed book in his office and indexed in the names of the persons whose interests appear to be affected thereby, upon the payment of the same fee prescribed by law to be paid for the recordation of similar judgments or orders of state courts.

1934, p. 839; Michie Code 1942, § 5216b; Code 1950, § 55-140; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-651. Orders in bankruptcy.

Certified copies of orders of adjudication of bankruptcy made pursuant to the acts of Congress relating to bankruptcy, certified copies of orders of sale, orders confirming sales, and such other orders entered in bankruptcy proceedings as any party in interest may wish to have recorded in the appropriate clerk's office, or such orders as the referee or the judge having jurisdiction directs to be recorded, may be filed with the clerk of the court authorized to record deeds for the county or city in which any real estate owned by the bankrupt is situated. Such orders shall be recorded in the deed books and indexed in the name of the bankrupt. For each such recordation, the clerk shall be paid a fee as prescribed in subdivision A 2 of § 17.1-275.

1934, p. 839; Michie Code 1942, § 5216c; Code 1950, § 55-141; 1964, c. 337; 1994, c. 432; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-652. Certificates of commencement of case in bankruptcy.

Certificates of commencement of case signed by clerks of bankruptcy courts or clerks of United States district courts, issued pursuant to the acts of Congress relating to bankruptcy, may be filed with the clerk of the court authorized to record deeds for the county or city in which the property of the debtor, for which such certificate has been issued, is located. Such certificate shall be recorded in the deed books and properly indexed in the name of the trustee in bankruptcy in the grantee index and the debtor in the grantor index. For such recordation, the clerk shall receive a fee as prescribed in subdivision A 2 of § 17.1-275.

1988, c. 100, § 55-142.01; 1994, c. 432; 1996, c. 344; 2019, c. 712.

Article 7. Uniform Federal Lien Registration Act.

§ 55.1-653. Where notices and certificates affecting liens to be filed.

A. Notices of liens, certificates, and other notices affecting federal tax liens or other federal liens shall be filed in accordance with this article.

B. Notices of liens upon real property for obligations payable to the United States and certificates and notices affecting the liens, including certificates of redemption, shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the real property subject to the lien is situated.

C. Notices of liens upon personal property, whether tangible or intangible, for obligations payable to the United States and certificates and notices affecting the liens shall be filed as follows:

1. If the person against whose interest the lien applies is a corporation or a partnership whose principal executive office is in the Commonwealth, as these entities are defined in the internal revenue laws of the United States, in the office of the clerk of the State Corporation Commission.

2. In all other cases, in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city (i) where the person against whose interest the lien applies resides or (ii) in the case of a trust or a decedent's estate, having jurisdiction over the qualification of the trustee or probate of the will, at the time of filing of the notice of lien.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.1; 1986, c. 299; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-654. Certification of notices and certificates.

Certification of notices of tax liens, certificates, or other notices affecting federal liens by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States or his delegate or by any official or entity of the United States responsible for filing or certifying notice of any lien other than a tax lien entitles them to be filed, and no other attestation, certification, or acknowledgment is necessary.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.2; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-655. Duties of filing officers.

A. If a notice of federal lien, a refiling of a notice of federal lien, or a notice of revocation of any certificate described in subsection B is presented to the filing officer and:

1. He is the clerk of the State Corporation Commission, he shall cause the notice to be marked, held, and indexed in accordance with the provisions of § 8.9A-519 as if the notice were a financing statement as defined in § 8.9A-102; or

2. He is any other officer described in § 55.1-653, he shall endorse thereon his identification and the date and time of receipt and file it alphabetically or enter it in an alphabetical index showing the name and address of the person named in the notice, the date and time of receipt, the serial number of the district director in the case of tax liens, and the total amount appearing on the notice of lien, and he shall index and record the same where judgments are indexed and recorded.

B. If a certificate of release, nonattachment, discharge, or subordination of any lien is presented to the clerk of the State Corporation Commission for filing, he shall:

1. Cause a certificate of release or nonattachment to be marked, held, and indexed as if the certificate were a termination statement within the meaning of § 8.9A-513, except that the notice of lien to which the certificate relates shall not be removed from the files; and

2. Cause a certificate of discharge or subordination to be held, marked, and indexed as if the certificate were a release of collateral within the meaning of § 8.9A-512.

C. If a refiled notice of federal lien referred to in subsection A or any of the certificates or notices referred to in subsection B is presented for filing to any other filing officer specified in § 55.1-653, he shall permanently attach the refiled notice or the certificate to the original notice of lien and shall enter the refiled notice or the certificate with the date of filing in any alphabetical lien index on the line where the original notice of lien is entered.

D. Upon request of any person, the filing officer shall issue his certificate showing whether there is on file, on the date and hour stated therein, any notice of lien or certificate or notice affecting any lien filed under this article, naming a particular person, and if a notice or certificate is on file, giving the date and hour of filing of each notice or certificate. The fee for a certificate is $1. Upon request, the filing officer shall furnish a copy of any notice of federal tax lien or notice or certificate affecting a federal lien for a fee of 50 cents ($0.50) per page.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.3; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 2014, c. 291; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-656. Fees of filing officers other than clerk of State Corporation Commission.

The fee to be paid to any officer other than the clerk of the State Corporation Commission for filing and indexing each notice of lien or certificate or notice affecting the lien or providing a copy of such notice or certificate of such notice is $5.

The officer shall bill the district directors of internal revenue or other appropriate federal officials on a monthly basis for fees for documents filed by them.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.4; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 1993, c. 43; 1994, c. 432; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-657. Fees of clerk of State Corporation Commission.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, the fees for filing, indexing, searching, or amending or for certificates of discharge or subordination or any other fee that may be chargeable by the clerk of the State Corporation Commission shall be the same as those permitted to be charged according to the schedule of fees maintained by the clerk of the State Corporation Commission.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-658. Construction of article.

This article shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states that enact it.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.6; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-659. Certificates and notices affecting liens filed on or before July 1, 1970.

If a notice of lien was filed on or before July 1, 1970, any certificate or notice affecting the lien shall be filed in the same office.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.8; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-660. No action to be brought against the State Corporation Commission or its staff.

No action shall be brought against the State Corporation Commission or any member of the staff of the State Corporation Commission claiming damage for alleged errors or omissions in the performance of the duties imposed by this article on the State Corporation Commission.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.9; 2019, c. 712.

Article 8. Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.

§ 55.1-661. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Clerk" means a clerk of the circuit court.

"Document" means information that is:

1. Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form; and

2. Eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the clerk.

"Electronic," as defined in Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.), means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

"Electronic document" means a document received by the clerk in electronic form.

"Electronic notarization" means an official act by a notary public in accordance with the Virginia Notary Act (§ 47.1-1 et seq.) and § 55.1-618 with respect to an electronic document.

"Electronic signature," as defined in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.), means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.

"eRecording System" is the automated electronic recording system implemented by the clerk for the recordation of electronic documents among the land records maintained by the clerk.

"Filer" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public body, public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity that files an electronic document among the land records maintained by the clerk.

"Land records document" means any writing authorized by law to be recorded, whether made on paper or in electronic format, that the clerk records affecting title to real property.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.10; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-662. Validity of electronically filed and recorded land records.

A. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a land records document be an original, be on paper or another tangible medium, or be in writing, an electronic land records document satisfying this article satisfies the law.

B. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a land records document be signed, an electronic signature satisfies the law.

C. A requirement that a land records document or a signature associated with a land records document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic notarization of the person authorized to perform that act, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the land records document or signature. A physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal of the notary is not required to accompany an electronic signature.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.11; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-663. Recording of electronic documents among the land records.

A. A clerk of a circuit court who implements an eRecording System shall do so in compliance with standards established by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

B. A clerk of a circuit court may receive, index, store, archive, and transmit electronic land records.

C. A clerk of a circuit court may provide for access to, and for search and retrieval of, land records by electronic means.

D. A clerk of a circuit court who accepts electronic documents for recording among the land records shall continue to accept paper land records and shall place entries for both types of land records in the same indices.

E. A clerk of a circuit court may convert paper records accepted for recording into electronic form. The clerk of circuit court may convert into electronic form land records documents recorded before the clerk of circuit court began to record electronic records.

F. Any fee or tax that a clerk of circuit court is authorized to collect may be collected electronically.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.12; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-664. Uniform standards.

In consultation with the circuit court clerks, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, and interested citizens and businesses, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency shall develop standards to implement electronic recording of real property documents. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency shall consider standards and practices of other jurisdictions, the most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Real Property Records Industry Association, the views of interested persons and other governmental entities, and the needs of localities of varying sizes, population, and resources.

2005, c. 744, § 55-142.13; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-665. Uniformity of application and construction.

In applying and construing this article, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.14; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-666. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

To the extent allowed by law, this article modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. § 7001, et seq.) but does not modify, limit, or supersede § 101(c) of that Act (15 U.S.C. § 7001(c)) or § 104 of that Act (15 U.S.C. § 7004), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in § 103(b) of that Act (15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)).

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.15; 2019, c. 712.