D.C. Passes RON Bill; Awaits Mayor’s Signature

July 21, 2022

Washington, D.C. joined the ranks of jurisdictions passing legislation that authorizes the permanent use of remote online notarization (RON).

The bill, which was supported by the D.C. Land Title Association (DCLTA), adopts the Uniform Law Commission’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. The act goes into effect immediately once signed by the mayor (or in the event of a veto by the mayor, action by the council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

“DCLTA is thrilled that DC has passed Remote Online Notarization legislation,” said Amy Klein, president of DCLTA and agency counsel for FNF Family of Companies. “Having the ability to complete notarization online not only improves accessibility for the substantial subset of the D.C. population whose work requires frequent travel out of the jurisdiction or overseas, but also improves accessibility for D.C. residents who have challenges accessing a notary in-person and reduces the need for powers of attorney, which can be a source of fraud in our industry. The legislation’s identity proofing and audio-visual record keeping requirements make online notarization one of the most secure forms of notarization.”

According to the statute, a notary in D.C. may perform RON if the notary:

  • has personal knowledge of the remotely located individual
  • has satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing before the notary public, or
  • has obtained satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by using at least two different types of identity proofing

Notaries must notify the mayor that they will be preforming RON and also identify the technology that will be used. D.C.’s bill says the mayor may promulgate rules, but in doing so, consideration must be given to rules in other states.

D.C. joins 42 states that have authorized permanent RON laws. Delaware also has passed a RON bill, which is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].