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In-Person Paper Notarizations

Am I required by law to maintain a notary journal in D.C.?

Yes, "a notary public shall maintain a journal in which the notary public records all notarial acts that the notary public or electronic notary public performs" (CDC 1-1231.18[a])

Journal format

Paper/hardbound or electronic journal acceptable


"A journal may be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format" (CDC 1-1231.18[b])

Journal entry requirements

  • Date and time of the notarial act

  • A description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act

  • The full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed

  • If the identify of the individual was based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect

  • If the identity of the individual is based on satisfactory evidence, a brief description of the method of identification and the identification credentials presented, if any, including the date of issuance and expiration of an identification credential when such a credential is used

  • The fee, if any, charged by the notary public

  • The signature for each individual for whom the notarial act is performed

Journal retention

The notary public shall retain the journal until required to transmit the journal to the Mayor under subsections (e) and (f) of this section


(E) On resignation from, or the revocation or suspension of, a notary public's commission, the notary public shall transmit the journal to the Mayor


(F) On the death of adjudication of incompetence of a current or former notary public, the notary's personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the journal shall transmit it to the Mayor

Remote Online Notarizations

Is Remote Online Notarization (RON) approved in the District of Columbia?

"No. The District of Columbia does not allow remote online notarizations at this time. The DC Council passed legislation allowing the Mayor to implement remote notarizations during the health emergency, however, remote notarizations shall not be permitted until the required Mayor's Order and Guidance from ONCA have been issued. Once this is completed, it will be posted on our website"



Reference Links

Helpful resources for District of Columbia Notaries

  1. District of Columbia Notary Code

  2. District of Columbia Notary Handbook

  3. “A Notary’s Guide to Completing Journal Entries”


The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites.  Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser

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