The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications Does Not Notarize Documents; we commission individuals to become notaries public in the District of Columbia.
The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications does not issue or renew passports. In order to apply for a new or to renew a passport, you may go through the US Department of State: travel.state.gov, or search the Internet for other providers that will help you get or renew your passport. 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 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, DC Regulations 17-2400.3.
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, Master Card, Discover or American Express. 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, Master Card, Discover or American Express.
- 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 45 - 60 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 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.
- Please Note: All applicants will receive an Appointment Notice from our office approximately two weeks prior to their commission date. This is the formal notification that allows you to purchase your notary supplies and (when applicable) your surety bond. You may not purchase these until you have received your Appointment Notice. For new applicants, your commissioning date and date for the Appointment Notice will be stated during the orientation session; for renewal applicants please see the link above. If you have been working with an outside organization on your application and to receive supplies you may receive some non-date specific supplies in advance, but you may not receive any supplies with your commission dates or the surety bond form prior to receiving the Appointment Notice and surety bond form from our office. Our office will only accept the surety bond form supplied from our office.
- Once you receive your Appointment Notice you will have sixty (60) days from the effective date of your commission to come into the ONCA office and complete the oath of office. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of your commission and you will have to re-apply.
- For more details on becoming and the responsibilities of a notary public in the District of Columbia, 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 [email protected] 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 more information, call (202) 727-3117, or email at [email protected].