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I have an electronic image of my seal, isn't that all I need?

Isn’t an electronic seal enough?
Not in Virginia. The Secretary of the Commonwealth is concerned with the possibility of unauthorized use of a Virginia Notary Public seal on critical documents. After all – if a document is important enough to require notarization, it may very well be under review by a court system at some point. The validity of the notarization is crucial for the verification of the signers intent, state of mind and understanding of the purpose of the document.

For this reason, specific encryption is required. Once the image has been encrypted, the Notary Public must retain the encryption key in a secure location. Just like your traditional stamp, it should not be accessible by anyone but the notary public associated with it. Loss or corruption of the encrypted seal will require additional steps to be taken.

I have to retain a journal entry for FIVE years?

That seems like a really long time, and in today’s digital world, we may see many changes to how data is stored electronically. Currently the SoC requires that the journal entry be housed by the notary for a full five years – which is quite a change from not requiring a journal entry at all for traditional notarizations!

This requirement adds potential risk to the transaction and depending on the number of electronic transactions you perform, it could potentially be quite costly. After all, an external hard drive is easily picked up, moved, lost, stolen or worst case scenario – it becomes corrupt. Then what do you do?

Home computers are frequently changed out or upgraded and – if attached to the internet – accessible by hackers.

Due to the very nature of the Notary Public’s commission, our journal entries are to stay with us – not an employer. YOU are responsible for your notarial acts, and could be called on to appear in court if there is any question about the transaction. We are required to maintain a back-up copy of the recording and the journal entry. You would never entertain the idea of leaving a paper journal with your employer if you changed jobs – so you certainly don’t want to leave your e-notary journal on their servers.

And considering the number of data breaches that are in the news these days, you may wonder if there IS a safe way to store this information.

Yes, there is. At we have procured a strong on-line repository for your journal entries. This repository is made available to you after signing up, and can maintain up to 2.5gb of data for no additional fee for the first year. NO ONE other than you can access the space allocated to you, and you are free at any time to move it. Upon notification that the data has been moved, we will authorize a complete wipe of the repository and close the account.

Where do I get information about the VA SoC Assurance Standards?

The Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth (SoC) publishes all documents on the VA Notary Public site:

From this site you will be able to find the most current information from the Notary Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Does sell notarial supplies?

The only notarial supplies that has available are:

  • the e-seal
  • the encryption method
  • a subscription to a secure on-line document repository for your journal entries

We do not have ink seals, pressure seals or paper journals.

Where can I get training as a Virginia Notary Public?

While offers phone support when you are actually performing a signing, we do not (as yet) offer e-notary training.

Stepping into the role of Notary Public is not difficult, but there are some significant rules we must abide by – whether the transaction is a traditional paper notarial act or a new e-notarial act. It always helps to have the basics clarified by a seasoned and experienced notary.

We strongly recommend the following training from Mid-Atlantic Notary – Bryce Hall is highly experienced and has excellent training materials. We would be happy to honor a discount for our services if you submit a completion certificate from her Basic 101 class!

Still have questions? No problem – reach out and ask! We would be happy to answer as soon as possible – Just click the Contact Us button below.

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