The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications (ONCA) will open on August 9, 2021, for Authentications only. We remain closed for in-person notary services. However, we will continue to process all notary applications, provide Orientation by email and give temporary oaths of office by telephone. When ONCA reopens for in-person notary services, current notaries will be contacted by email about the process to provide us with your required documents (oath pages, surety bond form, and the receipt of payment for your surety bond). We will also ask to see your journal. Upon completion of the process, you will be given your Notary Certificate. In the interim, you may continue to perform your notarial duties.
- We are reviewing notary applications.
- We cannot conduct in-person Orientation during the COVID-19 health emergency, however, we have implemented a process to send information via email with a series of questions to be answered. There will be a link in the email that you must use to answer the questions. All the answers are provided in the Orientation Manual you will receive with the Orientation Notification. This notice will come from and be sure to respond to that account with any questions or it will delay processing. Be sure to check your spam or junk folders.
- During the COVID-19 health emergency, we cannot conduct in-person oaths of office, but we have initiated a process to provide a temporary oath of office.
The Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications now accepts applications to become a notary and to renew a commission online. See below for instructions and the link to the application.
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 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.
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 maybe 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 use the link provided on this website below.
- The new application may be filled out and submitted to the ONCA office online.
- 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; for example Martin Luther King.
- There is a dropdown for the name of the thoroughfare; for example Street, Road, Avenue.
- There is a dropdown for the quadrant; NW, NE, SW, SE. If your residential address does not have a quadrant, please use “NA” in the dropdown.
- You may not save the application, so be sure you have all the required information including the letter(s) of the request before you begin.
- You may not print the application and type it manually.
- Once the application has been received and deemed sufficient, you will be notified to pay the application fee online (except those commissioned on behalf of the DC or federal government) by credit card. If you choose to pay by check or money order through the mail, this may delay the process. If you use this option, the check is payable to DC Treasurer and should be sent to: Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications, 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 810S, Washington, DC 20001. Do not send in another application, but do include your name as it appears on your application. Your 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.
- If your application is not sufficient, you will receive an email notifying you of the errors with a link to the original application so you may make the corrections and re-submit the application.
- The entire process takes 45-60 days.
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:
- The person for whom you are performing notarial acts must personally appear to you.
- You may not notarize documents you or your spouse has signed or for which you or spouse have a beneficial interest.
- You must have personal knowledge of the individual appearing before you or a current government ID with a photo or a signature. The government may be the US or any country must it must be a current ID with a photo or a signature.
- If the person personally appearing before the notary does not have appropriate identification, you may accept a credible witness with verification of oath of the witness and the appropriate identification.
- 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/