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Due to construction, the Office of Public Records will be closed to walk-in researchers during the week of December 5. The schedule for the following week has not been determined; please call (202) 671-1105 prior to coming to OPR during the week of December 12.

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Notary Commissions

As of July 1, 2016 the fee a notary public may charge has been increased from $2 to $5.

A District of Columbia notary public is a public officer whose function is to notarize documents by administering oaths and attestations and witnessing the signature of the person(s) personally appearing before him or her. Notaries public protect against fraud and forgery by acting as an official, unbiased witness to the identity of the person who signs a document.

A District notary public is appointed for a term of five years in accordance with Title 1 Section 1201 of the Code of the District of Columbia. Official acts of the notary public are recognized in the District and throughout the United States. As District public officers, notaries public are held to the same high standard of public trust in the exercise of their duties as other appointed and elected District officials.

Notaries Public protect against fraud and forgery by acting as an official, unbiased witness to the identity of the person who signs a document. Should you encounter a situation where you have a question or concern, you should seek the advice of legal counsel.

The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications (ONCA) approves and commissions individuals as DC notaries public. The office commissions both new applicants and reappointments. The process for renewing a commission is the same as applying for an original commission, except applicants for renewal do not have to attend an orientation session.

ONCA does not notarize documents in the office.

View Frequently Asked Questions.

How to Become a Notary Public

Applicants must be18 years of age, residents of the District of Columbia, or may be residents of other jurisdictions whose sole place of business or employment is located in the District of Columbia. DC Code § 1-1201.

Notary Public commissions are for five (5) years. The application fee for new and application renewals is $75. This is a non-refundable fee. ONCA accepts checks, money orders, VISA and Master Card. No cash is accepted. Checks or money orders must be in US dollars and drawn on a US Bank or from US Financial Institution. We cannot accept funds drawn on a foreign bank. Applications that are mailed to the office must be paid by check or money order payable to “DC Treasurer.”  Applications that are brought to the office may also be paid by VISA or Master Card. 

  • Applications may be picked up at 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 810 South or downloaded at Notary Public Application [PDF].
  • Applications may be mailed or delivered in person to:

Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications
441 4th Street, NW
Suite 810 South
Washington, DC 20001

  • The process to become a notary public takes about 30-45 days for renewals and about 45- 60 days for new applicants if the information provided on the application is accurate.
  • All applicants to become a notary public for the first time or those who have not renewed their commission in over 12 months must attend an orientation session.
  • For details on How to Become a Notary Public, please see the Notary Public Handbook[PDF].
  • All notaries public except for those who are only government notaries will be listed on the Notary Public Map unless the notary contacts the ONCA office at notary@dc.gov and requests to be removed. Be sure to include your name as it is on your commission and the expiration date of your commission.
  • For those applying to renew their commissions, please see this link for an approximate timetable to help you know when you need to have your application in to avoid a lapse in your commission.

For more information, call (202) 727-3117, or email at notary@dc.gov.


More Information:

Service Contact: 
Office of the Secretary
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 727-3117
Contact Fax: 
(202) 727-8457
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
Suite 810 South
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 9 am to 1 pm
Service Location: 

441 4th Street, NW

GIS Address: 
441 4th Street, NW