What does being a “Notary at Large” mean?

  • Virginia Notaries have always been “Notaries at Large”
    • 47.1-13, § 47.1-13.1) All Virginia notaries are notaries at-large and have authority to perform all traditional notarial acts anywhere within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Virginia notaries have limited powers in performing notarial acts outside the Commonwealth of Virginia. A traditional notary public may perform any notarial act outside the Commonwealth for any writing intended to be used in the Commonwealth of Virginia or by the United States government. (VA Notary Public Handbook 07/2016)

What is the difference between a paper Notary and an e-notary?

The changes to the Virginia Notary Act that relate to electronic notarizations went into effect July 1, 2012

47.1-13, § 47.1-13.1)

  • Only traditional notaries public who have also been registered as electronic notaries public may perform electronic notarial acts within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • All electronic notarial acts performed by Virginia electronic notaries are deemed to have been performed within the Commonwealth of Virginia and are governed by Virginia law. This reflects the reality that electronic documents may not be physically stored in Virginia. In fact, the network-based digital economy has no geographic boundaries and is, therefore, borderless. Thus, regardless of the physical location of the electronic document, Virginia law governs the electronic notarial act.
  • Virginia electronic notaries also have limited extraterritorial powers. An electronic notary public may perform any authorized notarial act outside of the Commonwealth for any writing intended to be used in the Commonwealth of Virginia or by the United States government.
  • Please note the remote notarial act is not extra-territorial because it is deemed to have been performed within the Commonwealth of Virginia at the place where the electronic notary is located.

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