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 Notary Public and Commissioner for West Virginia

Notary Public Commissioning

The Governor commissions every notary public, and a record of that appointment is entered into the Executive Journal.  In the early years of the State, each notary public appointment is a separate hand-written entry in the Journal.  Today, with nearly 4,500 notaries appointed each year, the entries are made once a month, with a computer generated list attached to the Executive Journal.

Detailed information about notary public commissioning is found in the Notary Public section of this site. 

Commissioner for West Virginia

While a notary public must have a business or residence address within West Virginia, and is authorized to acknowledge only documents signed within the state, the office of Commissioner for West Virginia was created to broaden that scope.

Commissioners need not be residents of West Virginia or have a business address here.  A Commissioner for West Virginia may acknowledge documents and take oaths either within or outside of the state for recording within the State.  This commission is used primarily by those representing businesses who conduct property or other legal transactions to be filed in West Virginia, and by court reporters who go outside the state to take depositions or affidavits to be filed in state courts.

The commission issued is for a period of ten years.  Commissioners must act in compliance with law relating to acknowledgments and oaths.  Information about these requirements is available in our Notary Public section.

Applying to Become a Commissioner for West Virginia

Eligibility:  A person residing in West Virginia or another state may become a Commissioner for West Virginia.  Although the eligibility requirements are not spelled out in West Virginia Code as they are for a notary public or other officer, the Governor's Office performs a background check prior to issuing the commission.

Application:  To apply for appointment, follow these steps:

Appointment:  When your completed application, bond and fee are received, your application is forwarded to the Governor.  Allow about three weeks for the review and issuance of the commission.  When the appointment is returned to the Secretary of State, the Certificate of Appointment will be mailed to you.

Seal:  As soon as you receive the certificate of appointment, order an impression (embossing) or rubber stamp seal from an office supply company.  The seal must contain your name, your residence city and state, and the words "Commissioner for West Virginia."  When you receive the seal, make an impression of it on a paper and mail to the Secretary of State.

Questions & Correspondence:  If you have questions, e-mail us or call (304) 558-6000 or (866) 767-8683.  Please direct mail to: Attn: Executive Records, Secretary of State, Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV  25305-0770.

Requesting Information and Copies of Appointment Letters

Copies and certified copies of commissioner appointments may be ordered.


To request information by e-mail about enrolled bills and joint resolutions, click the icon.  Requests which require an extensive search of older records may be subject to search fees.

 Click to request information by email about enrolled bills and joint resolutions

To order copies or certified copies on-line, click the icon.

 Click to order copies or certified copies online