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Washington DC Remote Online Notarization: Is It Allowed?

Stavvy Team

DC remote online notarization: Map of Washington DC with a red thumbtack

People living in, or owning property in, Washington DC have remote online notarization options for their real estate transactions. Remote online notarization (RON) became official in the District of Columbia in August 2022. 

RON laws in DC mandate that notaries must first notify the mayor’s office and provide the names of the technology providers they plan to use before completing their first transaction.  

DC remote online notarization: Everything you need to know

Utilizing remote online notarization in DC will mean more closing flexibility for title and settlement agents and everyone involved in closing and servicing transactions. Some of the benefits the new remote online notarization DC law include:

Anti-Fraud Protections

With a traditional, paper-based notarization, the signer only needs to provide their driver’s license. RON in Washington DC requires the signer to present a form of government-issued identification and complete knowledge-based authentication (KBA) by answering questions that provide evidence of their identity. 

Regulated Security Features

The DC Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications may issue regulations establishing standards for technology providers and identity-proofing providers. This helps ensure that industry standards for security and audit trails are met to safeguard the validity of the transaction, as well as ensure accessibility. 

Video Recordkeeping

The RON technology provider is required to video record the notarization and retain the video for at least 10 years. In contrast, a paper-based notarization does not require a video recording of the transaction.  

Audio-Visual Accommodations

The use of RON opens the door for greater access and flexibility for everyone involved. The remote online notarization DC bill specifically spells out that technology providers make accommodations for remotely-located individuals who have vision, hearing, or speech impairments.

Real estate closings from anywhere with remote online notarization in Washington DC

Perhaps the biggest benefit of remote online notarization in DC is the flexibility and accessibility it provides to all users, including the signers. RON transactions can take place anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection; signers do not need to even be in DC at the time of the transaction, and the same is true for lenders, real estate agents, and title and settlement agents.

With the new remote online notarization law in DC, consumers possess more choices in how they sign their mortgage documents. For example, a DC homebuyer that is traveling overseas can close on a mortgage by signing their documents using RON. This also means that men and women serving in the US military outside the country now possess the option of utilizing RON to buy or sell a house. The ability to meet these needs, and accommodate so many others, is a clear advantage to RON transactions.

To learn more about Stavvy's RON solution, book a demo with a member of our sales team. 

Editor's note: This post has been updated to incorporate recent developments since the blog post was originally published.

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