Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
10/19/2020

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.

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