Monday, March 31, 2008

Your ID Please

Government issued with photo is the gold standard for notary publics in VA. The major exception to this is the person who is known to the notary. For me this term applies to people I have known for several years. Notaries were give wide discretion to refuse to notarize for any reason under the July 1, 2008 new rules. Government issued id with photo does not guarantee that the notary will notarize the document. Grounds for denial are client's disoriention, client's lack of understanding of document, and/or suspected dishonesty. Va notaries are barred from notarizing the signature of their spouses.

Presence of Client and Notary

The client must sign the document in the presence of the notary. It is illegal to notarize a document when the client is not present. Do not sign a document until the notary arrives. Furthermore, do not sign a document and leave. The notary will not notarize the document!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Signature

The signature is the signature of the client. No special penmanship is required when signing a document in front of a notary. The notary's signature needs to be the same as the signature recorded in the courthouse.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Notary Apostle - A European Term

Apostle is a European term which is equivalent to authentication in VA. I have copied certain information below directly from a web site. Call Us (UK): 44 (0) 207-637-3881 / 0800-081-1510

"Apostille: Certification

. An apostille, or postil, is properly a gloss on a scriptural text, particularly on a gospel text; however, it has come to mean an explanatory note on other writings. The word is also applied to a general commentary, and also to a homily or discourse on the gospel or epistle appointed for the day. Apostille is also a French word which means a certification. It is commonly used in English to refer to the legalisation of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. Documents which have been notarised by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

States which have not signed the Convention must specify how foreign legal documents can be certified for its use. Sometimes two countries will have a special treaty concerning the recognition of each others documents, but usually not. When the country issuing or receiving the document does not recognise an apostille, you must usually take the document to the consulate of the foreign country you need to certify it or to an honorary consular officer appointed by that country who is qualifed to certify it. It may need to be certified by the highest government official in the country where it originated, such as the Secretary of State or Minister of Foreign Affairs, before being accepted by the consular officer of the foreign country, this process is known as chain authentication as an unbroken chain of government officials each certifies the signature (and seal in some cases) of the prior official in the first country and the consular officer then certifies that the document should be recognized as authentic in the country of destination. Usually that consular officer's signature can be authenticated in the country of destination as well."
Apostle is a European term that means the same as authentication here in VA. I have copied some information from another web site.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jurat vs Acknowledgement

Jurat vs Acknowledgement

When a Virginia Notary Public swears in client and then has the person sign, this is a jurat. The person making the statements could be prosecuted for perjury if the person knew that they were false. The notary does not guarantee the truthfulness or accuracy of the document.

When the Notary Public has the client sign the document, this is called an acknowledgement. In both cases the Notary has checked the signor's government picture identification, recorded the signor's signature in the notary's book, signed the notarized document, stated the location and date of the notary act, written the notary's number, and written down whether the notary act was a jurat(sworn) or an acknowledgement. In neither of these cases does the notary guarantee that the document is truthful or accurate.

Friday, March 21, 2008


This information is copied from the web site of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of VA.


"The purpose of authentications is to verify for foreign governments that a Virginia official is in good standing. These officials include notary publics, clerks and deputy clerks of Virginia courts, registrars and deputy registrars of the Department of Health and the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission. Please note: Various states and embassies refer to the Authentication process differently; it can also be described as Legalization or Certification.

Authentication of a notarized document is required for conducting international business by individuals and corporations in Virginia. All documents for Authentication must be less than one year old. This means that the issue date on Vital Records must be less than one year from the day that we process it. On all documents signed by a notary, Deputy Clerk, or any other Virginia official, that signing must have taken place less than one year from the day that we process it.

The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth does not regulate what documents are required by the foreign country. To verify the required documents, contact the embassy of the country to which the documents will go.

International Authentication – Individual Use

For international acceptance, the official state registry of birth, death, marriage and divorce must be obtained from the Department of Vital Records. For information on obtaining a copy, call Vital Records at (804) 662-6200. These Vital Record documents should only be signed by a State Registrar or Deputy State Registrar, and not notarized.

Marriage certificates can also be obtained from the Circuit Court in the city where the marriage was recorded. These black and white certificates must be accompanied by a Triple Seal Page, also called an Authentication of Record. This is a separate sheet of paper from the Court with the signatures and seals of the Court Clerk and Judge. This additional page must be attached to your document prior to our office Authenticating it.

All other documents requiring authentication for foreign use should be notarized by a Virginia notary. These documents include Power of Attorney, school transcripts and diplomas, and copies of passports and immigration paperwork. Please follow the instructions below.

1. Enclose a cover letter with your name, address and phone number. Also include the country the you need the document authenticated for.
2. You may use our Authentications Request form as your cover letter (pdf, 17 k).
3. The fee for this service is $10.00 per document, payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
4. Please be sure to enclose a prepaid return mailer. This can be regular mail, Fed X, UPS, DHL, etc. We recommend using Fed Ex or UPS for both speed and reliability.

If you have vital records or other documents notarized from another state, you must send those documents to the Secretary of State for that state.

If you have marriage or birth certificates from another country, you must send those to the U.S. State Department, which can be contacted at 1-800-333-4636.

All documents besides Vital Records and Court Marriage Certificates must be notarized by a Virginia notary. Notaries must include ALL information required in the handbook. When there is no signature for a notary to notarize, such as passports, INS documents and academic records, notaries may notarize the documents as true and exact copies of originals. Specific information is found in the Acknowledgment Section of the Notary Handbook (pdf, 163 k).

International Authentication – Corporate Use

In order to conduct business in other countries, certain documents are required by foreign governments.

Documents may include Certificates of Good Standing, Articles of Incorporation and Corporate Amendments and Resolutions. They may be obtained through the State Corporation Commission. These documents will bear the signature of the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission and do not need notarization. To obtain these records, contact the Clerks Office in the State Corporation Commission at (804) 371-9733. All other documents pertaining to international business must be notarized following the handbook procedures.

For further information/mailing address:

Betsy Anderson
Director of Authentications
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
1111 East Broad Street, 4th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 786-2441

or use our Inquiry Form

Contact We "

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Changes in VA Notary Law effective July 1,2008

Effective July 1, 2008, all notaries are assigned a number which must be used every time the notary notarizes. A seal is not required in the Commonwealth of Virginia; however, a seal must be reproducible if used. This means if the notary uses a notary crimp, carbon paper must be used with the crimp or the resulting seal must be darkened with a pencil. I use an ink seal.
Requiring the notarization to be on the same page as the client signature is a significant change. I carry several stamps that bring documents into compliance with VA law if the document does not have the notarization on the same page as the client's signature. The notary also must specify what type of notary act was done. Location of the act must be clear. SS means location not social security number. Location means incorporated town or county or city and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia is a Commonwealth; not a state.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mobile vs Stationary Notary Public

A Mobile Notary travels whereas a Stationary Notary has an office where the notary works. A Notary charges $5 per notary act. A Mobile Notary negotiates with the customer to determine what the travel fee will be charged. Not all negotiations are successful. I screen all potential clients to determine whether the potential client needs a Mobile Notary or a Stationary Notary. If someone has a banking relationship, I encourage the person to visit the bank notary. However, I have been told some banks refuse to let their notaries notarize power of attorney.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Appointment of a Notary

All notaries are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia for a term.
Before the term is up, the notary needs to apply for a reappointment. The notary is sworn in and then is able to notarize documents after the notary acquires a reproducible notary atamp. Notaries are not required to keep a book; most do.