Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
7/14/2020

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.

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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