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Notary Rotary

Welcome to Notary Public 101

Here, you can learn how to become a notary, how to renew your notary commission, and where to find educational opportunities for notaries public.

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Notary Education
Become a Notary in Virginia
Find a Notary Class in Virginia
Begin Notary Public 101

In most states, becoming a notary public involves meeting a number of requirements. Generally, you must be 18 years of age, not have a serious criminal history, and successfully complete an application process. In some states, the notary application process will require notary education (ranging from a simple online course to a notary class and competency exam) and a background check, as well as the purchase of a surety bond. A more thorough explanation for your state is described below.


Become a traditional Virginia notary public with Notary Rotary, Inc.


To be appointed as a traditional (paper) notary public for the State of Virginia an individual must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Be able to read and write the English language
  • Be a legal resident of the United States
  • Live or work in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Have not been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States or Commonwealth, or laws of any other state, unless such person has had his/her rights restored

Non-residents of Virginia may be appointed as notaries if they are regularly employed in the state and perform notary services in connection with their employment. A non-resident notary who ceases to be regularly employed in Virginia must surrender his or her commission.

Virginia is a “self certifying state” and does not require classes or testing to qualify to become a notary public.

Length of appointment:

The term of office for a Virginia notary public is four (4) years unless resigned or revoked earlier.

Step 1: Download and complete the Virginia notary public application, or complete it online

Virginia Notary Public Application  Once you have downloaded the application you will need to complete it according to the instructions provided.

Another option is to complete the application online. (if you are unable to use the Notary Application Wizard, please click here)  Print the PDF application generated at the end of the Online Portal. You will be given the opportunity to pay by credit card at the end of the interview process. Be sure you are able to open and print the PDF application before paying online. The barcode number on your printed application must match the invoice number found on your receipt to ensure proper payment on your account. If you do not pay by credit card, you may pay the application fee by check or money order.

Step 2: Have your signature notarized

Have your signature, located on Part 3 of your printed application, properly notarized by a Virginia Notary. This must be done prior to mailing your application.  The Find a Notary feature from Notary Rotary, Inc., may be helpful in locating a notary in your area to help process your application.  Simply enter your ZIP code and search for a notary in your area.

Step 3: Submit your application

Mail the completed, notarized application along with application fee in the form of the payment receipt (if you completed your application online) or check/money order payment of $45 (payable to Treasurer of Virginia) to this address:

Notary Clerk, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
P.O. Box 1795
Richmond, VA 23218-1795

The application fee is not refundable, transferable, and cannot be applied to another application. The processing of an application will not begin until a completed, notarized paper application is received in the Notary Clerk's office.

Please note, if you are a notary whose commission expires in January, February, or March, please submit your application in January. Applications received prior to January will result in the commission expiring one year earlier than anticipated.

Step 4: Contact the Circuit Court to take your oath and be sworn in

The Office of the Secretary will send out a notification letter to the preferred mailing address (home, business, email) selected by you on your application to let you know your application has been approved. At that time, you will need to contact the Circuit Court to verify they have received your commission and to make arrangements to take the oath. There is a $10 fee paid at that time to the court.

General turnaround time for processing of a completed application is about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. If more than three weeks have passed and you have not yet received your notification, please be sure to contact the Secretary's office at (804) 692-2536 or by email

By law, you must claim your commission within 60 days after it is issued. If you fail to do so you must submit a new application and a new fee to become a notary. Failure to receive a notice will not permit you to receive a commission after the 60-day period has expired.

Step 5: Order your notary supplies from Notary Rotary, Inc.

Virginia law requires a notary to use an official seal on every document you notarize. The law specifies that when a seal is used it must be sharp, legible, permanent and photographically reproducible. The Virginia notary stamp from Notary Rotary will meet these requirements as will any other ink seal available in the online store.

There is no requirement regarding use of a journal or notarial record book. However, we always advise notaries to obtain one. A journal or record book is a good way to provide proof if one of your official acts is ever called into question. The Modern Journal of Notarial Events by Notary Rotary, Inc. makes an excellent Virginia notary journal, and was designed specifically for notaries public.

Please visit Virginia Notary Supplies to purchase your Virginia notary stamp, Virginia notary journal, and any other supplies you may need. To order, enter the required information, scroll down through the page to locate and select the desired products, and follow the instructions through checkout.

Your order will be processed as quickly as possible, usually shipping in 1-2 days.

Once you receive your supplies from Notary Rotary, Inc. you will be ready to begin acting in your official capacity as a notary public for the State of Virginia.

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