Becoming a Qualified Newspaper Authorized to Accept Legal Advertisements
State, county and municipal governing bodies are required to publish legal advertisements in properly qualified newspapers. Also, state law requires publication of legal ads in many cases where citizens will be affected by the result of an action. In order to assure those legal advertisements are published in a newspaper which can be expected to reach a reasonable audience, West Virginia law establishes the criteria for eligibility to publish these ads as a qualified newspaper. The criteria include circulation and frequency of publication.
West Virginia Code
West Virginia Code Chapter 59, Article 3 establishes both the requirements for qualified newspapers and the classifications of legal advertisements.
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List of Qualified Newspapers in WV
For a complete list of qualified newspapers click here.
Requirements for Qualification
A newspaper which is qualified to publish legal advertisements required under West Virginia Code §59-3-1 must:
- Be published in the State of West Virginia (unless otherwise specifically provided in law).
- Bear a title or name and consist of not less than four pages without a cover.
- Be a newspaper to which the general public resorts for passing events of a political, religious, commercial and social nature, and for current happenings, announcements, miscellaneous reading matters, advertisements and other notices.
- Be issued regularly, that is, as frequently as once a week, for at least 50 weeks during the calendar year as prescribed by its mailing permit.
- Have been published regularly for at least one year immediately prior to the date on which a legal advertisement is delivered for publication.
- Be generally circulated at a definite price in the "publication area," the area or areas for which a legal advertisement is required by law or a court to be made. "General circulation" means the "actual circulation throughout the publication area is large enough to give basis for a reasonable belief that publication of a legal advertisement therein will give effective notice to the residents of the publication area." [W. Va. Code §59-3-1].
Filing an Affidavit
A newspaper which meets the other requirements of a qualified newspaper must file an affidavit of circulation no later than November 1 annually.
Download the Qualified Newspaper Affidavit Form NW-1 in Adobe Acrobat Reader format, complete it on screen, and print the form ready for signing. If you have not used the Reader before, see Acrobat Reader Help.
Sign the form and have it notarized, attach the printed affidavit of circulation, and mail to the Secretary of State.
For assistance, call (304) 558-6000 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.