Over 45,000 eligible residents or employees in West Virginia currently hold notary public commissions. The Secretary of State administers the application process, and the Governor issues notary public commissions for a term of ten years.
The authority of a notary public is generally limited to acknowledging the signature of a person to a document or to an oath signed within the state. The role of the notary is to assure that the signature on a document is the true signature of the person he or she claims to be. A notary can be held financially responsible if fraud occurs because of the notary's improper notarization.
A person whose work requires that acknowledgments or oaths be notarized outside West Virginia for recording in the state, or a person who has no residence or business address in the state but must notarize documents here may apply to become a Commissioner for West Virginia.
If you are a notary or a person trying to obtain a proper notarization on a document, we urge you to review the practice handbook and the FAQs to help avoid future problems with your documents.
Please visit these links for complete notary information: