Becoming a notary public means taking on serious responsibilities and authorized duties. In West Virginia, you actually receive the appointment from the governor of the state, though it is the Secretary of State who regulates notaries and maintains all records relating to their commissions.
To begin the process of becoming a notary in West Virginia you need to start by visiting the Secretary of State's website. There you can begin to learn about the different requirements and West Virginia notary supplies you will need to do such an important job.
The Preliminary West Virginia Notary Supplies
If we are truly discussing everything you will need to become a notary in West Virginia, the first of the many different West Virginia notary supplies must then be meeting the qualifications. The state has a somewhat lengthy list of criteria you must meet even to apply. If you meet these qualifications, you can then put together an application.
Here too, though, you need additional West Virginia notary supplies before you can move forward in the approval process. As a notary or surety bond in the amount of $1k is required. This is certification that you have coverage (or an equivalent form of professional liability coverage) and you must count it among the West Virginia notary supplies you will need the entire time you wish to perform this service in the state.
When you have your notary bond and have submitted an application with all of the necessary fees, you will then be granted your commission. The Governor appoints notaries to five year terms of office, and you can renew as often as you like - but will have to update your West Virginia notary supplies to reflect each new term you accept.
The West Virginia Notary Supplies Essential to the Job
Realistically, among your West Virginia notary supplies that will need updating when you get a new term of office, you find only one item - the notary seal. This is something that you cannot legally obtain until you hold a Notary Certificate (a document that is sent to you when you receive a commission). The seal is what you must use to mark anything you notarize, and it must meet the state's specific design criteria. These include:
- It can be an embossing seal or ink stamp
- It must be rectangular in shape and sized no larger than 1" x 2.5"
- It must have a visible border that is either milled or serrated in design
- The state seal is to be positioned on the left side
- The text block with essential information is opposite the seal
- The text block must contain the following phrases in the following order (top to bottom): "Official Seal", "Notary Public", "State of West Virginia", the name of the notary as commissioned, the address of the notary, the expiration date of the current commission
This is the most important of all West Virginia notary supplies and should be purchased from a manufacturer familiar with the process of creating such seals and stamps. There are no mandated West Virginia notary supplies other than the seal, but the work of a notary is very serious and worthy of formal documentation. Though the state does not require notaries to keep journals among their West Virginia notary supplies, many long-time notaries do keep track of their work.
The authorized duties of notaries include:
- Noting protests
- Taking acknowledgements
- Certifying copies
- Administering oaths and affirmations
- Witnessing signatures
- Verifications on oath
These are all such serious matters, and it is best if your West Virginia notary supplies include a journal or record book. While the surety bond is part of the list of essential West Virginia notary supplies and offers liability protection, having a thorough record of all notarial acts is very helpful too. Look for the best vendors of West Virginia notary supplies even before you begin serving in this capacity. You will need new stamps every five years (when your terms expire) and so you will want to find a trustworthy manufacturer to help you do the best job possible.