Notary Application Information
The office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is responsible for the commissioning of Notaries Public in Virginia, pursuant to Section 47.1-8 of the Code of Virginia. At any given time, approximately 120,000 Virginians are commissioned as a Notary Public.
I would like:
- A copy of the Virginia Notary Handbook - PDF (424k)
- To request the registration number and/or expiration date for my commission - PDF (102kb)
- To request a change of contact information - PDF (112kb)
I would like to become a notary:
Anyone wishing to become a notary public for the Commonwealth of Virginia must submit a completed application for appointment as notary to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth along with a fee of $45.00 made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. Notary applications are available below. Your local circuit court does not have applications.
- Notary Application - Online Application Wizard (if you are unable to use the Online Application Wizard, please go here)
The applicant should receive notice that their application has been approved within 3 weeks of receipt. The notary then has sixty days to present themselves to the court of their choosing to take their oath of office and pick up their commission certificate. At that time, the clerk of court will require an additional fee of $10.00 which should be made payable to the court.
If a notary commission is not claimed within sixty days from its issuance, it becomes invalid. Failure to claim the commission within sixty days is not excused for ANY REASON, including non-receipt of the notice. Thereafter, if the applicant wishes to be a notary, a new application and a new fee must be submitted.
A commission as notary is good for four years. The process for renewing a commission is the same as applying for an original commission.
Please note, if you are a notary whose commission expires in first few months of the calendar year (January, February, March) submit your application in January. Applications received prior to January will result in the commission expiring one year earlier than anticipated.
I would like help in acquiring contact information for a notary who notarized documents for me in the past:
Anyone may request the address and telephone number of a notary by submitting a letter of request stating the name of the notary and the reason for request to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
I would like to acquire formal verification of a notary:
Our office will provide a formal letter stating both the notary's commission date and expiration date. Verification can be made on most active and expired commissions dating back to 2001.
I would like to file a complaint against a notary:
Anyone who wishes to make a formal complaint against a notary public for incorrectly performing a notorial act must submit in writing a brief description detailing the complaint and a copy of the notarized document in question. Once the complaint is received the notary department will determine if a violation has been committed. If the complaint is deemed valid, the notary will receive a letter of warning advising them of the improper notarization. The notary is also sent a letter of acknowledgement to sign and return to our office.
This office is not able to investigate any possible wrongdoings by a Virginia notary, nor are we able to determine a conflict of interest. Please contact an attorney or the Commonwealth's Attorney's office to obtain information for any possible Virginia Code violations or legal issues.
For more information contact:
Jennifer Crown, Notary Director
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
P.O. Box 1795
Richmond, VA 23218-1795, 804-692-2536
804-371-0017 - fax
or use our Inquiry Form