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Laws and rules: Notaries public

Remote notarization authorized by the Governor

On March 24, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-27. This changes the effective date for SB 5641 (remote notarization) from October 1, 2020, to March 27, 2020. The Remote Online Notary authority is temporary and will only be good through November 21, 2020, unless extended. DOL also filed emergency rules to clarify requirements for the notary community.

The remote notarization legislation passed in the 2019 legislative session. This follows a national trend of states authorizing this practice. This legislation and rule changes will:

  • Authorize licensed notaries who have an electronic records endorsement to obtain a remote notary endorsement to practice remote notarization.
  • Clarify requirements for communication technology used to conduct remote notarization.
  • Establish standards for identity proofing when conducting remote notarization.
  • Outline authorized remote notarial acts such as taking an acknowledgment or verification on oath/affirmation, witnessing/attesting a signature, or certifying/attesting a copy.
  • Set standards for audio-visual recordings and repositories.

Read more about remote notarization.

2018 notary law changes

On July 1, 2018, the notary laws in Chapter 42.44 RCW were replaced by Chapter 42.45 RCW. You should be aware of the following changes:

  • The notary public appointment will now be called a notary public commission.
  • You'll be required to keep a journal describing each notarial act you perform.
  • You'll be able to apply for an Electronic Notary Public endorsement. With the proper software, this endorsement will allow you to notarize electronic documents.

You can participate in the rulemaking process. See the rulemaking activity for Chapter 308-30 WAC below.

Current laws and rules

Rulemaking activity
Rule and status Public hearings or comments
Chapter 308-30 WAC: Notaries Public See preproposal statement of inquiry for information on submitting comments.
Title 36 WAC: Licensing, Department of (Professional Athletics)
Title 98 WAC: Licensing, Department of (Cemetery Board)
Title 308 WAC: Licensing, Department of
See Preproposal Statement of Inquiry for information about submitting comments.
Title 308 WAC: Licensing, Department of Public hearing held January 7, 2020
Chapter 308-30 WAC: Notaries Public Public hearings held May 9, 2018 and May 10, 2018
WAC 308-30­155 Satisfactory evidence of identity Public hearing held March 10, 2015

*To request this information in an alternative format, please email RulesCoordinator@dol.wa.gov or call 360.902.3843. (TTY call 711)

Explanation of abbreviations

  • RCW—Revised Code of Washington (Washington State laws)
  • WAC—Washington Administrative Code (Washington State agency regulations)

Questions? Need help?

If you're interested in commenting on any of the above rules, or you'd like to sign up to receive information about them email our rules coordinator.

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