Note: The General Assembly has established changes regarding the laws pertaining to notaries public, of which take place on July 1, 2007 and some which take place on July 1, 2008. See the bottom of the article for more details.
A notary public in Virginia
is authorized to acknowledge signatures, take oaths, and certify copies of non-government documents which are not otherwise available, e.g. a notary cannot certify a copy of a birth or death certificate since a certified copy of the document can be obtained from the issuing agency. A notary may only authenticate a person based upon that person's documentation of their identity (such as a driver's license
or identification card
), or by the notary's own personal knowledge of the person appearing before them, use of witnesses to identify an individual is not permitted. A notary may not authenticate their own signature or that of their spouse, nor may a notary authenticate any document to which they or their spouse are a party. An example given is that a notary could authenticate a will, even if they are an executor, but could not do so if they are a beneficiary of that will.
An individual who is a resident of Virginia (or a resident of another state who normally works in Virginia) may become a notary public. They must be at least 18 years of age, have no unpardoned felony convictions, be able to read and write, and fill out an application (which itself must be notarized) which is sent... Read More