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.
How to Become a Notary Public
Applicants must be 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. 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. Money orders from American Express or Western Union may be accepted.
- 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 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 will be listed on the Notary Public Map unless the notary contacts the ONCA office at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.