To become a District of Columbia notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a resident of the District of Columbia or work solely in the District
- Be of good character
In order to receive a District of Columbia notary public commission, a person must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements
- Properly complete and submit a notary application form (issued by the Mayor) to the Secretary of the District of Columbia Notary Commission and Authentication Section along with a filing fee of $75 and a copy of the $2,000 bond. Click here to download the notary application form -
- Show that he or she has the required knowledge of the powers, duties, and liabilities of a notary public by means of an oral examination
- File an original signature and the impression of the official seal with the Secretary of the District of Columbia, Notary Commission and Authentication Section
- Claim the commission within 60 days from the date of issue by the Notary Commission and Authentication Section
Non-Resident District of Columbia Notary:
Permitted. Persons living in adjoining states and employed or doing business in the District of Columbia may apply. Such persons must meet the same qualifications as a District of Columbia resident.
District of Columbia Notary Bond:
Required. A notary bond in the amount of $2,000 is required for new and renewing notaries.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that District of Columbia notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
A $75 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
District of Columbia Notary Term:
District of Columbia
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may apply 45 days before the expiration of the current commission by completing the renewal application form.
The applicant must show that he or she has the required knowledge of the powers, duties, and liabilities of a notary public by means of an oral examination. Notaries seeking reappointment are not required to take the examination again, unless the commission has been expired for one year or more.
District of Columbia Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
Type – embosser
Required elements notary’s name, the words “Notary Public” in the center of the seal, the commission expiration date in the center, and “District of Columbia” on the outer perimeter. A notary public must file an impression of his or her seal with the District of Columbia. The notary seal must be safeguarded by the notary in order to prevent forgeries and other misuse by other individuals.
Note: Every District of Columbia notary public must display a NOTARY PUBLIC SIGN. Government notaries are exempted from this rule.
Required. Every notary public is required by law to keep a record of all official acts performed. The American Association of Notaries recommends that District of Columbia notaries public record every notarial act performed in a permanent bound notary record book to prevent the loss or substitution of pages. For District of Columbia notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge a minimum for each notarial act:
- Acknowledgments - $5.00
- Jurats - $5.00
- Oaths or affirmations - $5.00
- Protest instruments - $5.00
- All other notarial acts - $5.00
Note: A notary public who collects fees higher than the maximum authorized fees will have to pay $100 and will be removed from office by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
A District of Columbia notary has the authority to:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Protest instruments
- Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
- Witness or attest signatures
- Certify copies of pages from the notary record book
The District of Columbia has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations.
Required. If a notary public has any changes in address or employer during the term of his or her commission, the notary must notify the District of Columbia promptly. Notary services can be transferred to a new employer whose offices are physically located in the District of Columbia. To do so, the new employer is required to submit a letter explaining the need for the services of the notary public and where and during what hours the notary will be available to perform notarial duties.
Required. If a notary public changes name by any legal action, the notary must complete a new application with the change in name, present a document issued by the District or Federal court showing the change in name, and complete a signature card with an embossed seal impression that reflects the name change. The notary is responsible for notifying his or her bonding company of the change in name.
Notaries who no longer reside in the District or who cease to be employed in a business physically located in the District must resign their notary commissions. Upon the death, resignation, or removal from office of any notary public, his records, together with all of his official papers, must be deposited in the Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia.
A notary public may not:
- Prepare, draft, select, or give legal advice concerning legal documents
- Perform acts that constitute the practice of law
- Overcharge for notary services
- Notarize documents for members of his or her immediate family
- Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence at the time of the execution of the notarization
- Notarize his or her own signature
- Notarize a document if he or she has a financial or beneficial interest in the transaction
- Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than what is on the notary public commission
- Certify copies of documents recordable in the public records
Notaries public who commit official misconduct may be subject to criminal liability, which may include the revocation of their notary public commissions.
to view your state's notarial certificates.