How to Become an Online Notary in The District of Columbia

How to Become an Online Notary in The District of Columbia

Let’s understand what it takes to become an online notary in the District of Columbia.

Is Online Notarization Legal in the District of Columbia?

Yes, online notarization has been legal in Washington, D.C., since October 1, 2020, and is supported by the Remote Online Notarization Amendment Act 2020. This means that you can get certificates notarized from the comfort of your home by a licensed notary in D.C., through a video call. 

How do online notarizations work?

You can get important documents notarized without leaving your house in the District of Columbia. This is possible because of RON services, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Actually, it will be anything but a regular video conferencing. You have to use a platform that is approved by the state so that all the stuff is secure.
  • You are required to confirm their identity before you can move on.
  • You will be able to sign the documents with an electronic signature.
  • The signature has to be witnessed electronically, and then the notarization will take place.
  • Apart from that, you will need to seal the document digitally to enhance security.
  • The online notarization session will be recorded for further reference.

What are the Requirements for Becoming an Online Notary in The District of Columbia?

If you’re an existing notary public in The District of Columbia, becoming an authorized online notary is somewhat simpler. Below is what you need to do:

  • A bonafide American citizen.
  • Proficient in English writing, speaking, and reading skills.
  • No criminal history (unless pardoned).
  • To obtain detailed information about RON, sign up for an online notary training course from a legit association such as the BlueNotary Academy.
  • Select a vendor approved by the state that offers the software required for being online notary public.
  • Attach an application to the Secretary of State’s office of DC and an application fee as well.

After you finish the procedure, you will be able to electronically notarize the documents providing an easy to access service for District of Columbia citizens.

How to Become an Online Notary in The District of Columbia

Is training required to become an Online Notary in the District of Columbia?

It depends on the state you reside in, some states require training while others do not. Becoming an online notary in the District of Columbia includes training from approved providers like the BlueNotary Academy. This consequently guarantees that the notaries are familiar with secure processes for online notarization.

Is there an exam for online notaries?

In Washington, D.C., there is no separate exam for online notaries. Instead, the state-approved training course is your assessment, ensuring you have the skills you require. It caters to the particular knowledge and competencies required to carry out safe and compliant virtual notarizations. This means that after undergoing the training, you will possess the skills to carry out online notarizations competently.

What technology and supplies do I need to perform online notarizations in The District of Columbia?

Being an online notary in The District of Columbia does not call for a lot of expensive equipment. Following is a list of the essentials:

  • Video Conferencing Ready Computer: You can use any desktop or laptop that has a webcam and mic. If not available, you can easily plug in external cameras and microphones.
  • Reliable Internet: A strong and reliable web connection is a must in order to avoid network issues that can occur during online notarizations.
  • Approved RON Service Provider: The state will offer a list of providers with qualified software platforms using which you will conduct online notarization. Consider it as your online office for processing these transactions.
  • Digital Toolkit: Your selected RON service provider will walk you through setting up your digital toolkit. This can comprise an electronic journal for recording purposes, an e-stamp for security, and a digital signature with your name to authenticate the document.

In essence, you will have a basic tech setup and use the security platform provided by your RON service vendor. They will arm you with these digital tools to make the whole process of online notarization easy and secure.

Do I need another surety bond or E&O insurance policy in The District of Columbia?

The DC territories made a choice that all notaries register for Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance regardless of whether they practice traditional notarizations or online notarizations. However, if you already have one as a traditional notary, you do not need to buy an additional one for online notarization. This type of insurance is for you in a situation when your performance is a source of economic loss (e.g., you err or commit a mistake while notarizing online or offline).

What notarial acts can be performed virtually in The District of Columbia?

The District of Columbia’s online notaries are capable of handling a range of documents, including acknowledgments, oaths, affirmations, and jurats. This meets an extensive list of demands, notably real estate and legal issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Notarization in The District of Columbia

How much does it cost to register as an Online Notary?

The cost to become an online notary varies by state (usually under $100 to a few hundred dollars). It covers things like the application fee, technology provider fees, and any equipment you might need. Check the District of Columbia Secretary of State’s website for their specific application fee.

How much can I charge as an Online Notary in The District of Columbia?

Generally, any notary (including online notaries) can’t charge more than $5 per document they notarize in the District of Columbia.

How long does it take to become an Online Notary in The District of Columbia?

Obtaining your traditional notary public commission can take up to 4 weeks. This is the lengthiest step as it involves processing by the Secretary of State’s office. Completing the additional steps for RON authorization, like training and application approval, is usually quicker:

RON training course A few hours
Obtaining surety bond and E&O insurance quotes 1-2 days
Getting application notarized 1 day

Essentially, becoming an online notary hinges on getting your traditional notary commission first. Once that’s done, the RON authorization process moves more swiftly.

Will other states recognize a document that I notarize in The District of Columbia?

In most cases, documents notarized online by a District of Columbia notary will be recognized by other states that also have RON laws. However, it’s important to remember that each state has its own legal framework for RON, so there might be slight variations in how they handle these notarizations.

How long will my online Notary commission last in The District of Columbia?

Your online notary authorization piggybacks on your traditional notary commission. As long as your traditional commission is active (renewed every five years), you can perform RONs. However, the Secretary of State can revoke your RON authorization for rule-breaking.

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