Notary Agent’s Duties
West Virginia Mobile Notaries
The powers of a notary public in West Virginia are three-fold:
- The notary takes acknowledgments (verifies signatures)
- This individual also administers oaths and affirmations
- And, finally, the notary is responsible for certifying that a copy of a document is true and accurate
Under these three broad umbrellas come a host of minutiae and responsibilities, as well as a variety of documentation that a notary must preside over.
To make things truly official, a notary public in West Virginia must use a rubber stamp seal that includes the following information:
- The words “Official Seal, Notary Public,” and “State of West Virginia”
- The name of the notary
- The address of the business or the notary’s affiliation (if employed, for example, by a financial firm)
- The commission expiration date (five years from the date of the signing)
Every notarial act in West Virginia needs to, at base, follow these requirements:
- First, the person whose signature is being notarized needs to be physically present
- If the person is unknown, they must bring ID
- The notary will need to use the proper acknowledgement form (based on the documentation)
- And, finally, they’ll end the proceedings by affixing the rubber stamp seal
Every notarial act in West Virginia has its own certificate of notarial act, which is a form that must be attached to the document. These forms or certificates must have the words “acknowledged before me” or something worded similarly on them.
There are definitely limitations to a notary public’s powers, however. They need to follow certain guidelines in order to make sure that the notarial act has been properly carried out.
For example, they cannot notarize a document in which their spouse is a party or in which they have a direct beneficial interest. In West Virginia, notary publics also cannot notarize papers if the individual doesn’t actually appear before them.
There are, of course, states that have brought into effect the ability to use online electronic notarizations. However, the notary public in West Virginia cannot yet accept Skype calls or other video/audio conferencing technology as an acceptable presence for notarizations.
And, while not an explicit limitation, notaries can refuse to notarize an act if:
- The individual signing the record is not competent or does not have the capacity to sign the record.
- If their signature is not knowingly and voluntarily made
In West Virginia, the notary public also doesn’t have to perform the act and should report instances of abuse or even financial exploitation.
What about record-keeping? In West Virginia, the Notary Public is not obligated to use a journal to keep a record of their acts.
However, keeping one does keep concerns about liability or tracking at bay. In other words, it’s a personal choice and keeping a journal listing with information about date, person’s name and type of document notarized may help in some future dispute.