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Electronically-enabled Notary Public Instructions and Application

It is important that you are aware of the following information before submitting your application to become an electronically-enabled notary public

1. In order to be an electronic notary, you must first be a commissioned Virginia notary public. If you are not currently a commissioned notary in Virginia, please complete the application found on the Secretary of Commonwealth’s notary website Once you have received your commission certificate from the circuit court, you can apply to become an electronic notary. A $45.00 fee must accompany the eNotary application request, which can be submitted via check or money order and sent to: Notary Clerk, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, P.O. Box 1795, Richmond, VA 23218-1795. Your check must include the following; Name, Notary Registration Number, Mailing Address. Federal employees authorized to perform notarial acts pursuant to federal laws and who would like to perform electronic notarizations in accordance with Virginia law are not required to become commissioned electronic notaries in Virginia.

2. The electronic notary application requires that you provide your notary registration number, a valid email address and your name the way it reads on your current notary commission certificate. When applying for your digital signature, make sure that your new digital signature matches exactly the name on your current notary commission certificate. If you are unsure of how your current notary commission name reads, you may fax a request to (804) 371-0017. You must also ensure that your required notary seal information is securely linked to your digital signature. The seal and signature MUST be included with your application for verification. Your digital signature provider should be able to assist you on how to link your seal to your signature, or you may refer to the FAQ document via the application process.

3. A description of the technology or technologies you will need to create an electronic signature in performing official electronic notarial acts is listed below. This information is required in order to complete the electronic notary application. Your digital certificate/signature must comply with the requirements below. Your digital certificate/signature provider will be able to acknowledge whether the below requirements are met, if you are unsure.

PKI Infrastructure:
Public key infrastructure or PKI refers to a system that provides certificate management for digital certificates. Digital certificates contain public key pairs that can be used for encryption, digital signature and authentication security.

The goal of a PKI is to establish and maintain a trustworthy networking environment. This goal is achieved by providing key and certificate management services that enable encryption and digital signature capabilities across applications in a way that is transparent and easy to use.

Root Certificates:
In cryptography and computer security, a root certificate is an unsigned public key certificate, or a self-signed certificate, and is part of a public key infrastructure scheme. The most common commercial variety is based on the ISO X.509 standard. Normally an X.509 certificate includes a digital signature from a certificate authority (CA) which vouches for correctness of the data contained in a certificate.

The authenticity of the CA's signature, and whether the CA can be trusted, can be determined by examining its certificate in turn. This chain must however end somewhere, and it does so at the root certificate, so called as it is at the root of a tree. (A CA can issue multiple certificates, which can be used to issue multiple certificates in turn, thus creating a tree).

Root certificates are implicitly trusted. They are included with many software applications.

ITU-T X.509:
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) X.509 is a broadly accepted standard suitable for many environments, providing an economy of scale that allows e-commerce transactions and communications to be secured as rigorously as needed - from consumer transactions with limited risk, to mission critical business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

X.509 is viewed throughout the Information Technology (IT) industry as the definitive reference for designing applications related to Public Key Infrastructures (PKI). The elements defined within X.509 are widely utilized - from securing the connection between a browser and a server on the Web to providing digital signatures that enable electronic transactions to be conducted with the same confidence as in a traditional paper-based system.

Certificate Authority:
A certificate authority (CA) is an authority in a network that issues and manages security credentials and public keys for message encryption. As part of a public key infrastructure (PKI), a CA checks with a registration authority (RA) to verify information provided by the requestor of a digital certificate. If the RA verifies the requestor's information, the CA can then issue a certificate.

Depending on the public key infrastructure implementation, the certificate includes the owner's public key, the expiration date of the certificate, the owner's name, and other information about the public key owner.

4. In order to maintain your eNotary status, your digital signature must be current and it is your responsibility to keep your digital signature current for the term of your commission. Digital certificate/signatures are usually available to purchase for a one to two year term, which is why the dates will probably not match.

5. Once you have gathered the data necessary to complete the application, you will find the application by going to and access apply to be an eNotary section.

Application Review Process
i. The Application process is not complete and your application will not be reviewed for consideration until a copy of the registration form and check (w/name, notary registration number and mailing address indicated) have been received by the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office AND emailed as an attachment with the signature page including the electronic notary seal to the mailbox.
ii. If your Application is approved, you will receive an email confirmation.
iii. If your Application is not approved, you will receive an email notice (stating the reasons) and your application & check will be returned to, to the mailing address indicated on your check or our mailing address on record (if not on the check) via US Postal Service.

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Electronic Notary Instructions and Application
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Step-by-Step Individual Registration Process
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