DC Bulletin 15-IB-8-10/23


State: Washington DC

Effective: October 23, 2015


A new bulletin issued by the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking clarifies that Notary Signing Agents operating within the District may perform loan signings without having to be licensed as a title insurance producer.


Clarifies the activities that require title insurance licensure pursuant to D.C. Official Code Section 31-5041 et seq.

  1. Defines "signing services" as the coordination of a meeting at which closing documents to consummate the purchase, sale or financing of an interest in real property are signed; receipt, duplication, transportation to the parties for signatures, transmission by fax, and delivery to a shipping carrier, of the closing documents; care, custody, and control of the closing documents while in the possession of a Notary; presentation of closing documents to the parties for signatures; notarization of applicable closing documents; and supervision of the signing of documents by the parties.
  2. Clarifies the activities which do not require a title insurance producer license.
  3. Clarifies the activities which do require a title insurance producer license.
  4. Requires a title insurance producer to execute a written disclosure statement that acknowledges the limited role of a Notary in the closing transaction and that clearly states the Notary is acting on behalf of the title producer, if a Notary is involved in the transaction providing "signing services," and requires the title insurance producer or Notary to deliver this disclosure to the parties for signature prior to the Notary providing such services.
  5. Provides a written disclaimer to satisfy the disclosure requirement.

In 2010, the District of Columbia Council enacted reforms to its laws related to title insurance. The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking clarified that a title insurance producer had to be present whenever documents to effect the purchase, sale, or financing of an interest in real property were signed by the parties. This meant that Notary Signing Agents could not conduct loan signings unless there was a title insurance producer present or they became title insurance producers themselves. DC's policy followed Maryland in this regard. Over the past year, the Department had been in contact with the NNA about relaxing this requirement and the bulletin issued on October 23, 2015 clarifies the activities which require and do not require a license. In clarifying its new position, the Department used the Signing Professionals Workgroup's definition of "signing services" with minor changes to define those services which when performed by a Notary do not require a title insurance producer license. With the District changing course, this leaves Maryland and Indiana as the two states with a requirement that Notary Signing Agents must obtain an insurance license in order to provide loan signing services.

Read Bulletin Bulletin 15-ID-8-10/23 (download PDF below).