Laws and rules: Notaries public

Learn the current laws and rules about notaries public and view rulemaking activity.

Remote notarization is now allowed in Washington

On March 16, 2021, permanent rules allowing remote notarization went into effect in Washington.

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

  • Allow licensed notaries with an electronic records endorsement to get a remote notarization endorsement
  • Explain the requirements for communication technology used for remote notarization
  • Set standards for proving identity during remote notarization
  • Describe what remote notaries may do, such as:
    • Taking an acknowledgment or verification on an oath or affirmation
    • Witnessing or attesting a signature
    • Certifying or 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 is now called a notary public commission.
  • You must keep a journal describing each notarial act you perform.
  • You can apply for an electronic notary public endorsement. With the right software, this endorsement will allow you to notarize electronic documents.

List of rulemaking activity

Rulemaking is how we create or change rules. See the latest rulemaking for notaries public.

Current laws and rules

Explanation of abbreviations

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

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