Welcome to the NEW Website for the Notary Commissions
We have two new exciting updates: Our office is now computerized and the code for notaries public has now been amended.
Our office will now be accepting notary applications online with payment by credit card. Be sure to read the instructions prior to filling out the application.
As of July 16, 2016, notaries do not need to submit annual reports with information on the last 3 months of notarial acts performed for that year.
The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications (ONCA) Does Not Notarize Documents. We commission individuals to become notaries public in the District of Columbia.
ONCA does not issue or renew passports. For information regarding passports go to: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html or you may search the Internet for other providers.
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.
If you are looking for notarial services and want to find a notary near you, go to our section Search for a Notary Public and use the drop down Search for a Notary by Address. You may put in any DC address and the locations with the contact information for notaries near that address will appear.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States, residents of the District of Columbia (if applying for a residential commission), or may be residents of other jurisdictions whose primary place of business or employment is located in the District of Columbia (if applying for a business or government commission). If applying for a dual commission, the applicant must both live in DC and have a primary place of business or employment in DC.
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.
Notary Commissions in the District of Columbia are for five (5) year terms, beginning on the 1 and 15 of each month (except January 2 ) and ending on the 14 and last day of each month (except January 1 ).
The non-refundable application fee for new and application renewals is $75. The process to become a notary public takes about 45 - 60 days once the application is deemed sufficient. Those applying for government commissions are exempt from the application fee.
- You must use the link provided on this website below. We will no longer accept the PDF version of the application; if you submit that form through the mail or in person it will be returned to you as denied.
- The new application may be filled out and submitted to the ONCA office online. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before completing the instructions.
- If you fill out the application in all CAPS in any field it will be returned for corrections. You may only capitalize the first letter of each word.
- Please do not use any abbreviations. You must spell out the name of the street; example Martin Luther King.
- There is a dropdown for the name of the thoroughfare; example Street, Road, Avenue.
- There is a dropdown for the quadrant; NW, NE, SW, SE.
- You may submit the application or save it and complete it at another time.
- You may also choose to print it and either mail it to our office with a check or money order or come to our office. This option may delay the process.
- If you submit the application online, do not then also send us the application with a check or money order; this will delay the process and the application fee is non-refundable.
- Once the application is received you will be notified by email we have received it and once it is deemed sufficient for those who have submitted online you will be asked to sign via DocuSign and then pay (except those commissioned on behalf of the DC or federal government) to pay by credit card. You application will not be approved until you have completed the entire process.
- It may take 2-3 days after you submit the application for the process to begin.
Use the Notary Application link to submit your application.
If you change your name or address during your commission or you change employment during your commission, you resign your commission or if your sealer/embosser was lost or stolen, please use the link to one of the forms below and then scan the document with the required appropriate supporting documents and email them to the ONCA office at [email protected].
Changes in the Law
While much of the new law codifies existing regulations and policies, some highlights include:
- You may not notarize documents you or your spouse has signed or for which you or spouse have a beneficial interest.
- If the person personally appearing before the notary does not have appropriate identification, you may accept a credible witness with a verification of oath of the witness and the appropriate identification.
- If an individual is physically unable to sign a record, the individual may direct an individual other than the notarial officer to sign the individual's name on the record. The notarial officer shall insert "Signature affixed by [name of other individual] at the direction of [name of individual]" or words of similar import.
- If you will be notarizing documents in a language other than English, you must submit a form stating you can read and write in the language you will be performing those notarial acts.
- The certificates/stamps used on the forms will change. For existing notaries you may use the ones you have, but when you renew and for new applicants, the supply companies will have a new format.
- For more details on becoming and the responsibilities of a notary public in the District of Columbia, please see the Notary Public Handbook [PDF], call (202-727-3117) or email at [email protected]
- Notary Public Handbook [PDF]
- To view Notary Public code, https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/titles/1/chapters/12A/