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DC Administrative Rules (2023)


State: Washington DC

Effective: November 03, 2023

The District of Columbia adopts rules to implement notarial acts for remotely located individuals, but they will not take effect until a later date determined by the Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications.
Amends Sections 2300.1, 2400.2, 2400.5, 2400.6, 2400.8, 2401.1, 2401.3, 2402.3, 2403,1, 2408.2, 2408.3, 2408.4, 2411.1, 2412.1, 2412.2, 2413.1, 2414.4, 2422.1, 2423.1, 2424.1, 2424.2, 2425.1, 2425.4, and 2499.1; deletes Sections 2416 - 2427 and replaces them with Sections 2400.12, 2416.1, 2416.2, 2416.3, 2417.1, 2417.2, 2417.3, 2417.4, 2418.1, 2418.2, 2418.3, 2419.1, 2419.2, 2420.1, 2420.2, 2420.3, 2420.4, 2420.5, 2420.6, 2420.7, 2420.8, 2421.1, 2421.2, 2422, 2423.3, 2426.1, 2427.1, 2427.2, 2427.3, and adds Sections 2413.2, 2428.1, 2431.1, 2432.3.


  1. Defines “electronic notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “remote notarial act,” and “remote notary.”
  2. Clarifies that a “District of Columbia Government Notary” means a District government employee who is an individual applying for on holding an active Notary commission on behalf of an agency of the government of the District.

Notary Commission

  1. Clarifies that a surety or issuing entity must notify the Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications (ONCA) not later than 30 calendar days after making a payment to a claimant under the Notary’s assurance (surety bond).
  2. Clarifies that except as provided in DC Code 1-1231.09(a)(2) and (3), no individual may perform notarial acts with respect to a tangible or electronic record before receiving a Notary commission.

Status Changes

  1. Requires a Notary who changes his or her name or address to notify ONCA within 15 business days on forms prescribed by ONCA.
  2. Requires a name change notification to be accompanied by a bond rider from the bonding company amending the Notary bond and a duplicate Notary certificate showing the new name.
  3. Clarifies that ONCA will not issue a new Notary commission certificate and will not charge a fee for a name or an address change.
  4. Requires a Notary who submits a name change notification must order a new seal with the new name and provide ONC with an impression of the seal and requires an Electronic Notary to provide an exemplar of the electronic seal.

Electronic Notary Endorsement

  1. Requires a commissioned Notary to have the appropriate endorsement from ONCA before performing an electronic notarial act on a tangible or electronic record.
  2. Requires a Notary to notify ONCA in writing and identify the technologies the Notary intends to use before performing the Notary’s initial remote notarial act.
  3. Clarifies that a Notary is not required to apply for an Electronic Notary endorsement.
  4. Clarifies that an applicant for an Electronic Notary endorsement must perform certain duties, as specified by Title 17 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) 2400.5, within 30 calendar days of receiving the endorsement or forfeit the endorsement.

Remote Notarial Acts and Fees

  1. Requires a Notary, before performing the Notary’s first remote notarial act, to notify ONCA that the Notary will be performing notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals and identify the technologies, including for identity proofing and communication technology, that the Notary intends to use.
  2. Authorizes a Notary who has notified the Mayor of their intent to perform remote notarial acts to perform the following remote notarial acts: (a) taking an acknowledgment, (b) taking a verification on oath or affirmation, (c) witnessing or attesting a signature, (d) certifying or attesting a copy, and (e) noting a protest of a negotiable instrument if the Notary is licensed to practice law in DC, acting under the authority of a licensed attorney, or acting under the authority of a financial institution regulated by DC, another state, or the federal government.
  3. Requires a Notary performing remote notarial acts to comply with all requirements of the statute and rules for notarial and electronic notarial acts under the DC Code 1231.01-1231.31 and Chapter 24 of Title 17 of the DCMR.
  4. Authorizes a Notary to charge up to $25 for the performance of remote notarial acts.
  5. Clarifies that in addition to the fees listed in 17 DCMR 24251, a Notary or Electronic Notary may charge a travel fee if certain requirements, as specified, are satisfied.

Identification of Remotely Located Individuals

  1. Provides that a Notary may verify the identity of a remotely located individual if the Notary (a) has personal knowledge of the identity of the individual or (b) the individual is identified by oath or affirmation of a credible witness.
  2. Requires a credible witness to have personal knowledge of the remotely located individual.
  3. Requires a Notary to have personal knowledge of the credible witness or to verify the identity of the credible witness through a current passport, driver's license, or government-issued nondriver identification card.
  4. Provides that a credible witness may be outside the physical presence of the Notary or remotely located individual if the Notary, credible witness, and remotely located individual can communicate simultaneously by using communication technology.
  5. Requires a Notary who does not have personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of a remotely located individual to reasonably verify the individual’s identity through two different types of identity proofing consisting of a credential analysis procedure and a dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) assessment as provided in 17 DMCR 2417.2 and 2417.3.
  6. Requires credential analysis to utilize public or private data sources to confirm the validity of an identification credential and must at minimum (a) use automated software processes to aid the Notary in verifying the identity of each remotely located individual; (b) require the identification credential to pass an authenticity test consistent with sound commercial practices that uses appropriate technologies to confirm the integrity of visual, physical, or cryptographic security features and to confirm that the identification credential is not fraudulent or inappropriately modified; (c) use information held or published by the issuing source or an authoritative source, as available and consistent with sound commercial practices, to confirm the validity of personal details and identification credential details; and (d) enable the Notary to visually compare for consistency the information and photograph on the identification credential and the remotely located individual as viewed by the Notary in real time through communication technology.
  7. Requires a dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment to require each remotely located individual to answer a quiz consisting that complies with the following requirements: (a) at least 5 questions related to the individual’s personal history or identity formulated from public or private data sources must be on the quiz, (b) there must be a minimum of 5 possible answer choices per question, (c) at least 80% of the questions must be answered correctly, and (d) all questions must be answered within 5 minutes.
  8. Provides if the remotely located individual fails their first dynamic KBA assessment, they may retake the quiz 1 time within 24 hours, and during a retake of the assessment, a minimum of 40% of the prior questions must be replaced.
  9. Provides that if the remotely located individual fails the second dynamic KBA assessment, the individual is not allowed to retry with the same Remote Notary within 24 hours of the second failed attempt.
  10. Provides that a Notary must not be able to see or record the questions or answers in a dynamic KBA assessment.

Communication Technology Standards

  1. Requires communication technology for remote notarial acts to provide for synchronous (existing or occurring at the same time) audio-visual feeds of sufficient audio clarity and video resolution to enable the Notary and remotely located individual to see and speak with each other, and provide a means for the Notary reasonably to confirm that an electronic record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed a signature.
  2. Requires communication technology to provide reasonable security measures to prevent unauthorized access to (a) the live transmission of the audio-visual feeds, (b) the processes used to perform identity proofing, and (c) if applicable, the electronic record that is the subject of the remote notarial act.
  3. Provides that if a remotely located individual must exit the identification verification process, the individual must restart the identity verification process (credential analysis and dynamic KBA assessment) required under 17 DCMR 2417 from the beginning.

Certificate of Remote Notarial Act

  1. Clarifies that a Notary is required to complete a compliant electronic notarial certificate for every electronic notarial act and every remote notarial act the Notary performs.
  2. Provides that a short-form notarial certificate under DC Code 1-1231.15 is sufficient for a remote notarial act if it contains a statement substantially in the following form: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”
  3. Provides short-form notarial certificates for notarial acts involving remotely located individuals for (a) an acknowledgment in an individual capacity, (b) acknowledgment in a representative capacity, (c) verification on oath or affirmation, (d) witnessing or attesting a signature, and (e) certifying a copy of a record.
  4. Clarifies that the forms in DC Code 1-1231.15 are examples of certificates which are sufficient for a remote notarial act.
  5. Clarifies that in contexts where another District law requires a specific form, the specific form must be used.
  6. Requires a Remote Notary to sign each notarial certificate for a remote notarial act on a tangible record with a signature that complies with 17 DMCR 2401.1 and authenticate the remote notarial act with an official seal that complies with 17 DMCR 2404.1.

Records of Remote Notarial Acts

  1. Requires a Remote Notary to record each notarial act in a tangible or an electronic journal at the time of notarization in compliance with DC Code 1-1231.18 and the requirements of 17 DCMR 2422, just like a Notary or Electronic Notary. 
  2. Requires the tangible journal of a Notary to have the capacity to record a notation that the notarial act was performed via remote notarization.
  3. Clarifies that a Notary is not required to collect and maintain the signature of a remotely located signer, but instead must note in the journal that the notarization was performed remotely.
  4. Requires a Notary to retain any audio-visual recording of the performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual in a computer or other electronic storage device that protects the recording against unauthorized access by a password or other secure means of authentication.
  5. Requires a Notary to create such recordings in an industry-standard audio-visual file format.
  6. Requires a Notary to retain an audio-visual recording for at least 10 years.
  7. Requires a Notary to take reasonable steps to ensure that a backup of the audio-visual recording exists and is secure from unauthorized use.
  8. Clarifies that a Notary is not relieved of the duties required by the rules even if the Notary’s employer, contractor, or repository keeps or stores audio-visual recordings.
  9. Requires a Notary’s personal representative or guardian to retain the audio-visual recording or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording for at least 10 years upon the Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency, pursuant to DC Code 1-1231.13a(j).
  10. Requires a Notary, a Notary’s personal representative or a Notary’s guardian to provide access instructions to ONCA for any audio-visual recordings maintained or stored by the Notary, upon commission resignation, revocation, or expiration without renewal, or upon the Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency.
  11. Authorizes a Notary, or a Notary’s personal representative or guardian, to enter into a written contract with a third party to act as a repository to store audio-visual recordings and provides that the third party is deemed a repository under DC Code 1-1231.13a(j).
  12. Provides that any contract with a third party to provide repository services must (a) enable the Notary, or the Notary's personal representative or guardian, to comply with the retention requirements of the rules even if the contract is terminated, or (b) provide that the information will be transferred to the Notary or to the Notary's personal representative or guardian, if the contract is terminated.

Other Changes

  1. Provides that a Notary may elect not to apply for an electronic Notary endorsement.
  2. Makes pointer reference additions and corrections.
  3. Makes technical and non-substantive changes.

The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications (ONCA) of the District of Columbia’s Mayor’s office has adopted rules to implement remote notarization in the District. Law No. 24-178 (B24-457), enacting the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts provisions for notarial acts involving remotely located individuals. The rules are consistent with most other states that have enacted statutes and published administrative rules and regulations on remote notarization.

District Notaries may not begin to perform remote notarization under the new rules just yet. The ONCA has informed the NNA that it will be seeking a few statutory changes to its remote notarization statutes that must become law before it will authorize remote notarizations to begin. District Notaries may consult the NNA’s policy tracking map to know when a new bill has been introduced to the D.C. Council and may check back here to the NNA’s new Notary laws database once the bill has been enacted and become law.

Read the adopted administrative rules.