Your Cookies are Disabled! NationalNotary.org sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

DC B24-457

Legislation

State: Washington DC
Signed: July 27, 2022

Effective: September 21, 2022
Chapter: Act No. 24-529 (Law 24-178)

Summary
The District of Columbia enacts amendments to its Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Act to authorize Notaries to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals (remote notarization).
Affects
Amends Sections 1-1231.02, 1-1231.03, 1-1231.05, 42-401, 42-403, and 42-404 of and adds Section 1-1231.13a to the District of Columbia Code.
Changes

Notarial Acts

  1. Authorizes Notaries to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual using paper or electronic records.
  2. Authorizes a notarial officer to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record.
  3. Authorizes a Notary to use communication technology to administer an oath to a remotely located individual, if the Notary (a) identifies the individual by personal knowledge, the oath or affirmation of a credible witness, or two forms of identity proofing, (b) creates or causes the creation of an audio-visual recording of the individual taking the oath; and (c) retains the recording for at least 10 years personally or in a repository.

Remote Notarial Acts

  1. Requires a Notary to identify the remotely located individual through (a) personal knowledge, (b) a credible witness who is personally known to the Notary, presents a current passport, driver’s license, or government-issued nondriver identification card, or is identified by two forms of identity proofing, or (c) two forms of identity proofing.
  2. With respect to a remotely located individual located outside a state, provides that the record must (a) be filed with or relate to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of a state or (b) involve property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involve a transaction substantially connected with a state.
  3. With respect to a remotely located individual located outside a state, provides that the act of making the statement or signing the record must not be prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.
  4. Requires the Notary to be able to reasonably to confirm that a record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature.
  5. Requires a Notary or a person acting on behalf of the Notary to create an audio-visual recording of the notarial act involving a remotely located individual.
  6. Provides that to confirm that a paper record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature, the remotely located individual can sign a declaration under penalty of perjury during the audio-visual recording of the notarial act that is part of or securely attached to the paper record.
  7. Provides that the wording for the declaration regarding a paper record must be substantially in the following form: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the record of which this declaration is a part or to which it is attached is the same record on which (name of notary public), a notary public, performed a notarial act and before whom I appeared by means of communication technology on (date)” followed by the signature and printed name of the remotely located individual.
  8. Requires the remotely located individual who is having a paper document notarized to send the signed record and declaration to the Notary by first-class U.S. mail or delivery by common-carrier or commercial delivery service not later than 3 days after the notarial act was performed.
  9. Requires a Notary, in notarizing a paper record for a remotely located individual, to sign a notarial certificate in compliance with DC Code 1-1231.15 that contains the statement, “I (name of notary public) witnessed, by means of communication technology, (name of remotely located individual) sign the attached record and declaration on (date)."
  10. Clarifies that the declaration of the remotely located individual is effective on the date the remotely located individual signed the declaration.
  11. Clarifies that a notarial act on a paper record that contains the declaration of the remotely located individual and the statement of the Notary on the notarial certificate regarding the declaration satisfies the requirement that the certificate of notarial act must be completed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act.
  12. Clarifies that the remotely located individual signing the prescribed declaration for a notarial act on a paper record is not the only way by which a Notary can satisfy the requirement of reasonably confirming that a record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature.
  13. Clarifies that the short-form notarial certificates are sufficient to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual provided they (a) comply with rules issue by the Mayor; or (b) are in the form under DCC 1231.15 and contain a statement in substantially the following form: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”.
  14. Requires a Notary, a guardian, conservator, or agent of a Notary, or a personal representative of a deceased Notary 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.
  15. Provides that unless a different period is required by rule adopted regarding the retention of audio-visual recordings, the recording must be retained for at least 10 years.
  16. Requires a Notary to notify the Mayor that the Notary will be performing notarial acts for remotely located individuals before performing the Notary's first such notarization.
  17. Provides that if the Mayor has established standards for approval of communication technology or identity proofing, the communication technology and identity proofing must conform to the standards.
  18. Authorizes the Mayor to adopt rules regarding performance of notarial acts for remotely located individuals and clarifies the matters, as specified, that the rules may address.

Other Provisions

  1. Defines “communication technology,” “identity proofing,” and “remotely located individual.”
  2. Adds validity and curative amendments to the District’s real property statutes.
Analysis

The District of Columbia adds the 2021 Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts amendments to its statutes to become the latest — and one of only a handful of remaining — states to enact remote notarization. The amendments enacted by the District authorize a Notary to perform remote notarization on both paper and electronic records, the former which is explicitly addressed in the 2021 RULONA amendments. One of the noteworthy amendments is the safe harbor it creates for a Notary to determine that the Notary is notarizing the paper record that was signed by the remotely located individual during the audio-visual communication of the notarial act. Since the document must be mailed or delivered to the Notary after the audio-visual conference, there is some concern over the Notary receiving the same record the remotely located individual signed. The declaration is a written statement that must be signed under penalty of perjury by the remotely located individual and included on or attached to the signed record. The presence of this declaration covers the Notary, but it does not ensure that the signed record was not modified after the remotely located individual signed it and put it in the mail. This is one reason the NNA supports remote notarizations on electronic records only. The platforms used to sign the electronic record allow all parties to see the signatures, the Notary’s signature and official electronic seal, and any other changes made to the electronic record in real time during the audio-visual conference of the notarial act. This is not possible when notarizing paper records at a distance.

Read the text of B24-457.

Close