1009 Notary Public

Policy Number 1009
Effective Date: February 1, 2019
Subject: Notary Public


To ensure that the capabilities, responsibilities and limitations of Chesapeake Public Library's Notary Public services are clear to staff and patrons.


The Chesapeake Public Library offers free Notary Public services for the benefit of Library patrons. The Library provides these services in accordance with the Virginia Notary Public Manual which can be accessed via the Commonwealth of Virginia website (PDF).

A Library Notary Public duties include:

  • taking acknowledgements,
  • administering oaths and affirmations,
  • certifying true copies of documents, except vital records and court-issued reports,
  • certifying affidavits or depositions of witnesses, and
  • performing other acts as permitted by law or CPL Notary Policy.

A Notary Public is an impartial witness, and is prohibited from notarizing a document that has already been signed.

Notary Publics are prohibited from giving advice or instruction regarding documents to be notarized.

Notary Publics may decline to provide Notary service at their discretion.

Documents that are declined by one Notary Public at the Library cannot be notarized by another Notary Public at the Library.

Documents must be original, unaltered and complete, minus signatures, before Notary service is requested.

Notary Publics are prohibited from pre-dating or post-dating.

Notary Publics are prohibited from completing or notarizing government Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification).

General descriptions of documents notarized are kept for reference purposes.

The Notary Public must be able to read and understand the language in which the document is written.

Notary Publics must read each document thoroughly to ensure it meets notary requirements.

Notary Publics and the customer seeking notarization must be able to communicate directly without using translators or intermediaries.

Reservations are preferred to ensure availability. Notary Public services may not be available during lunch or on weekends due to staffing. Patrons are encouraged to call the specific Library location prior to arrival.

Notary Publics are limited to notarizing three simple documents per person, per day.

A simple document is defined as:

  • A one to two page document with no more than two signers,
  • A document with no more than two pages which need the notarial statement, and
  • A document with clear indication as to where the signature should go

The Library will not provide witnesses. Witnesses are defined as persons with direct knowledge of the signer. Soliciting witnesses from patrons using the Library is prohibited.

Documents must be signed in the Notary Public's presence. All signers must be present and provide current, unexpired, government-issued identification.

Notary Publics are prohibited from preparing documents to be notarized.

Notary Publics at the Library will not notarize real estate transactions.

By law, Virginia Notary Publics are prohibited from certifying true copies of vital records such as birth, marriage, death and court-issued documents, regardless of country of origin. The Notary Public may notarize a written affidavit of a copy and witness the signature. The responsibility for the consent of the written affidavit belongs to the person requesting the notarization of the affidavit. The Library is prohibited from taking responsibility for notarized copies that are deemed unacceptable for their intended purpose.

Library staff may refer patrons to other Notary services.