How to Become a Notary Public in West Virginia How to Become a Notary Public in West Virginia

How to Become a Notary Public in West Virginia

How to Become a Notary Public in West Virginia

To become a West Virginia Notary Public, you need to do the following steps:

  • Ensure you meet all eligibility requirements set by West Virginia.
  • Review the Notary Public Law on the Secretary of State’s website.
  • Complete and submit the online Notary Public application.
  • Include a letter requesting an appointment from your supervisor.
  • Submit your application along with the $52 commission fee to the WV Secretary of State’s Notary Division.
  • Upon processing, you’ll receive your commission letter and Notary seal information. Double-check for accuracy.
  • Purchase an official Notary Public seal.
  • Receive your commission certificate and Notary Handbook.
  • Consider purchasing a journal to record your notarizations.
  • Explore optional Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance for more protection.

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What are the Requirements to Become a Notary in West Virginia?

To be eligible for a West Virginia Notary Public Commission, you’ll need to meet a few basic requirements:

  • You must be 18 or older.
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English fluently.
  • A resident of West Virginia or an employee of a West Virginia-based company.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a green card holder (permanent resident).
  • The individual must have no history of felonies or crimes involving fraud, dishonesty, and deceit.
  • Be a high school graduate or have an equivalent.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Notary Public in West Virginia?

The state filing fee is $52 unless you are exempt as a government employee. Furthermore, you will have to buy a notary seal and a notary journal (record book), and their prices can vary depending on the vendor.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Notary in West Virginia?

It takes The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office about two weeks to complete its Notary Public application processing.

What Supplies Do West Virginia Notaries Need?

All West Virginia Notaries must use a rubber stamp ink seal for official notarizations on paper documents. An embosser is usable, but never instead of, your inked seal. 

The seal dimension is a rectangular shape that is 1 inch wide by 2.5 inches tall. The seal needs to display the following information:

  • “Official Seal”
  • “Notary Public”
  • “State of West Virginia”
  • Your legal name (exactly as on your commission)
  • Your address (residence or business)
  • Commission expiration date
  • Image of the West Virginia State Seal

Choose an ink that won’t bleed and cause document rejection by county officials.

If you choose to use an embosser with your ink seal, it must include:

  • “Notary Seal”
  • Your legal name (as on your commission)
  • “Notary Public”
  • “State of West Virginia”

How long does a Notary commission last in West Virginia?

Your West Virginia Notary Public Commission has a duration of five years.

What About Bonds or Insurance for West Virginia Notaries?

Unlike some other states, a notary in West Virginia does not need to purchase a surety bond. Nevertheless, think of getting Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance as well. While not compulsory, E&O insurance is the choice of many professionals who require added protection. It can help pay for your legal fees if you are ever sued because you made a mistake when notarizing something. Here’s a quick comparison between the two: 


Feature Surety Bond Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance
Required by West Virginia? No Notary’s legal fees and damages from lawsuits
Protects whom? Public Notary
Covers what? Financial losses to the public if a Notary makes a mistake Notary’s legal fees and damages from lawsuits

West Virginia Notary Public FAQs

Who Oversees Notaries in West Virginia?

Although the governor appoints the notaries, the Notary Division of the Secretary of State, West Virginia Office, located in Charleston, WV, oversees the state’s regulation of public notaries.

Do I need Training to Become a Notary in West Virginia?

Training isn’t mandatory to become a Notary Public in the state. This means you can apply right away if you feel prepared. Yet, the Secretary of State of West Virginia is well aware of the importance of notaries in education. This is the reason why signing an oath form is a prerequisite, and you are obliged to go through Chapter 39, article 4 in the West Virginia Code, which talks about the notary public regulations. Picture that assignment as a means to guarantee you understand the main obligations, or else you will commit any errors.

The BlueNotary Academy can be a great resource to gain confidence and in-depth knowledge about notary procedures.

Where will I be able to notarize?

As a commissioned West Virginia Notary Public, you’re authorized to perform notarizations anywhere within West Virginia.

Who can I notarize for?

With a few important caveats to avoid conflicts of interest, a notary helps nearly anyone who comes for notarization:

  • You cannot notarize your own documents or those of your spouse.
  • Documents where you or a close relative would financially benefit are off-limits.
  • Always ensure the notarization request meets all legal requirements.

How much can I charge for my notary services?

As a West Virginia Notary Public, you can set your fee, but below the maximum of $10 per notarization act.

Is Online Notary Legal in West Virginia?

Definitely, RON was legalized in West Virginia on June 17, 2021; thus, West Virginia Notaries are allowed to take part in that. This lets you be able to authenticate the signing of a document for a member in their location provided certain exemptions are met.

What happens if I move or change my name after becoming a Notary?

You need to inform The Secretary of State Office within 30 days of any name or address changes. There is no fee, but you have to complete the “Notary Public Name and/or Address Change” form fully. When you relocate to a new county or even change your name, consider acquiring a new Notary public seal with the new details.

How do I renew my West Virginia Notary Public Commission?

Just like applying for the first time, renewing your West Virginia Notary Public Commission is a straightforward process. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

You can submit the renewal application anytime after two months before the expiration date of your current commission.

You need to submit forms at least two weeks before your commission expires. If you want to keep the same expiration month and day, mark out those details in the application and submit it.

The Renewal Process:

  • The Secretary of State’s Office will send you a reminder but don’t rely on it.
  • Locate your previous application materials for reference.
  • Fill out a new Notary Public Commission Renewal application form.
  • Pay the renewal fee ( the amount is subject to change; check with the Secretary of State’s Office for the most recent charge).
  • Allow processing time for your renewal application.
  • You may receive a renewal kit with your renewed commission certificate or be instructed to download it from the Secretary of State’s website.

How do I become an Online Notary in West Virginia?

We have already explained how to do this in our how to become an Online Notary in West Virginia guide. It is an in-depth guide that gives all you need to become a notary in West Virginia for online purposes.

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