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Law

DC B 23-0758

Notary Law Update: DC B 23-0758

State: Washington DC

Summary:

The District of Columbia has enacted a second temporary authorization for Notaries to perform remote notarial acts.

Signed:  July 07, 2020

Effective:  October 09, 2020

Chapter: Act No. 23-0324

Affects:

Temporarily amends DC Code Sections 1-1231.01, 1-1231.05, 1-1213.09.

Changes:
  1. Provides that during a period of time for which the Mayor has declared a public health emergency pursuant to D.C. Law 14-194; D.C. Official Code § 7-2304.01, the Mayor may authorize, without the personal appearance of the individual making the statement or executing the signature, notarial acts required or permitted under District law if certain requirements, as specified below, are followed.
  2. Defines audio-video communication as an electronic device or process that enables a Notary Public to view, in real-time, an individual and to compare for consistency the information and photos on that individual’s government-issued identification; and is specifically designed to facilitate remote notarizations.
  3. Requires the Notary and the individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound using audio-video communication.
  4. Requires the Notary to have notified the Mayor of the intention to perform notarial acts using audio-video communication and the identity of the audio-video communication the Notary intends to use.
  5. Requires the Notary to have as satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual by personal knowledge, by the individual’s presentation of a current government-issued identification that contains the signature and photograph of the individual to the Notary during the video conference, or by a verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the officer and known to the officer or whom the officer can identify based on a current passport, driver’s license, or government-issued nondriver identification card.
  6. Requires the Notary to confirm that the individual made a statement or executed a signature on a document.
  7. Requires the Notary to receive by electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly from the individual immediately after it was signed.
  8. Requires the Notary to, upon receiving the signed document, immediately complete the notarization.
  9. Requires the Notary to, upon completing the notarization, immediately transmit by electronic means the notarized document to the individual.
  10. Requires the Notary to create, or direct another person to create, and retain an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act.
  11. Requires the Notary to indicate on a certificate of the notarial act and in a journal that the individual was not in the physical presence of the Notary and that the notarial act was performed using audio-visual communication.
  12. Clarifies that during a period of time for which the Mayor has declared a public health emergency pursuant to D.C. Law 14-194; D.C. Official Code § 7-2304.01), a notarial act shall be deemed to be performed in the District.
Analysis:

Earlier this year, the Mayor of the District of Columbia signed B23-0750, which authorized the Mayor to temporarily authorize remote notarizations in the District. Under that bill, the Mayor had to explicitly authorize the performance of remote notarizations before Notaries could start performing them. To the NNA’s knowledge, the Mayor did not do that. So, B23-0750 eventually expired on August 11, 2020. This new law, B23-0758 (Act No. A23-0324), was passed by the Council, signed by the Mayor and went through the required 60-day Congressional review period. The bill was approved by Congress and took effect on October 9, 2020. It is now effective for 225 days, or to May 22, 2021. The Mayor still must authorize the performance of remote notarizations before District Notaries may perform temporary remote notarizations.

Read the bill text. (See page 75).

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