Code of the District of Columbia

§ 6–910. Service of notice.

(a)(1) Any notice required by this chapter to be served shall be deemed served when:

(A) Forwarded to the last known address of the owner, as recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, by registered or certified mail, with return receipt if the:

(i) Receipt is signed either by the owner or by a person of suitable age and discretion located at the address; or

(ii) Owner refused the notice and the notice was not delivered for that reason;

(B) Delivered to the person to be notified;

(C) Left at the usual residence or place of business of the person to be served with a resident or employee, whichever is applicable, of suitable age and discretion;

(D) If no residence or place of business can be found in the District of Columbia by a reasonable search, left with a person of suitable age and discretion employed at the office of an agent of the person to be served who has any authority or duty with reference to the building or premises to which the notice relates;

(E) If a notice is forwarded by registered or certified mail and returned for reasons other than refusal, if personal service of the notice cannot be effected, or if no address is known or can be ascertained by reasonable diligence, published on 3 consecutive days in a daily newspaper published in the District of Columbia or a copy of the notice is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the building or premises to which the notice relates; or

(F) If by reason of an outstanding unrecorded transfer of title, the name of the owner cannot be ascertained beyond a reasonable doubt, served on the owner of record in a manner provided for in this subsection.

(2) For the purposes of this chapter:

(A) Notice to a corporation shall be deemed to have been served on the corporation if the notice is served on the president, secretary, treasurer, general manager, or any principal officer of the corporation in a manner provided for by this section for the service of notice on natural persons holding property in their own right; and

(B) Notice to a foreign corporation shall be deemed to have been served if the notice is served personally on any agent of the corporation or if left with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at the usual residence or employed at the usual place of business of the agent in the District of Columbia.

(b) In case such notice is served by any method other than personal service, notice shall also be sent to the owner by ordinary mail.

(c)(1) For purposes of receiving notice required by this chapter, a person who is a nonresident owner of vacant property in the District of Columbia shall appoint and continuously maintain a registered agent for the service of process. The appointment shall be made by filing a statement with the Mayor. The registered agent shall be an individual who is a resident of the District of Columbia or an organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. If the nonresident owner changes the registered agent or if the name and address or any other information about the registered agent changes after the statement is filed with the Mayor, the nonresident owner shall file a statement notifying the Mayor of the change. A nonresident owner of vacant property in the District of Columbia who violates this section shall be subject to a penalty of $300.

(2) The Mayor shall serve as the registered agent for a nonresident owner of vacant property if a registered agent is not appointed by the nonresident owner or if the individual or organization named as registered agent ceases to serve in that capacity or cannot be located after reasonable diligence.


(May 1, 1906, 34 Stat. 159, ch. 2073, § 10; Aug. 28, 1954, 68 Stat. 887, ch. 1032; Nov. 7, 1965, 79 Stat. 1216, Pub. L. 89-326, § 3; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 2072(c), 51 DCR 8441; May 18, 2016, D.C. Law 21-118, § 4(c), 63 DCR 4645.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-710.

1973 Ed., § 5-625.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-205 added subsec. (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2072(c) of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-486, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8236).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2072(c) of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).