Law WV Senate Bill 582 Notary Law Update: WV Senate Bill 582State: West VirginiaSummary: A number of states still have an office referred to as “commissioner of deeds,” which here permits the commissioner who resides within or outside of West Virginia to take acknowledgments, affidavits and depositions inside or outside the state if they will be filed or recorded in West Virginia. SB 582 clarifies the elements required to be included in the inking-stamp seal of a West Virginia Commissioner of Deeds. Signed: May 01, 2014Effective: May 01, 2014Chapter: 27Affects:Amends Section 29-4-15 of the Code of West Virginia Changes: Clarifies that an official seal of a West Virginia Commissioner of Deeds must be a rubber stamp and include: (a) the words “Official Seal”; (b) the words “Commissioner for West Virginia”; (c) the commissioner’s name exactly as it is written as an official signature; (d) the city and state of residence of the commissioner; and (e) the words “My Commission Expires” and the date of expiration of the commission. Clarifies that a commissioner of deeds holding a commission prior to July 1, 2011, is not required to obtain or use a rubber stamp seal with the new specifications prior to the expiration of the current commission. If the commissioner is currently using an embosser seal, that will be allowed until expiration of the current commission. Analysis:West Virginia is one of a number of states that still appoints persons to serve as “commissioners of deeds.” A person who resides in or outside of the state of West Virginia may be appointed a commissioner of deeds for a period of ten years to take acknowledgments of deeds, leases and other writings pertaining to West Virginia property that will subsequently recorded in West Virginia. A commissioner of deeds also may administer an oath and take an affidavit or deposition. The chief differences between a commissioner of deeds and Notary Public are that a commissioner of deeds may perform the act outside of the state and only take acknowledgments and affidavits outside of the state if the document will be filed for record within the state. A Notary, on the other hand, may perform notarial acts only within the state but may take an acknowledgment or affidavit on a document that will be filed in or outside of the state. SB 582 prescribes additional elements that must be included within the seal of a commissioner of deeds appointed after the effective date of the act (July 1, 2011). It specifies that the seal must be an inking rubber stamp – an embosser had formerly been allowed. A commissioner appointed prior to July 1, 2011, may wait until the current commission expires to obtain a seal which complies with the new rules. Read the bill text.