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How to Become a Colorado Notary


The Colorado Notary Process:


Are you interested in becoming a Colorado notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Colorado notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Colorado appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Colorado is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Colorado notary. The America Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.

 

This guide will help you understand:

  1. Who can become a Colorado notary
  2. The process to become a Colorado notary
  3. Basic Colorado notarial duties

What are the qualifications to become a Colorado notary?


To become a Colorado notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:  

  1. Be at least eighteen years of age.
  2. Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States or otherwise lawfully present in the United States.
  3. Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in Colorado.
  4. Be able to read and write English.
  5. Not be disqualified to receive a commission under Section 24-21-523.
  6. Have passed the examination required under Section 24-21-522(1).

 

Note:  You will be disqualified from receiving a notary public commission under Section 24-21-523 if:

  1. You have ever been convicted of a felony.
  2. You have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving dishonesty in the past five years.
  3. You have had a notary public commission revoked.

What is the process to become a Colorado notary?


To become a Colorado notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:  

 

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  2. Take a notary training course.
  3. Pass a state notary exam.
  4. Apply online with the Secretary of State’s website. Pay the $10 filing fee online with a credit or debit card and attach scanned copies of the following:
  1. A signed and notarized Affirmation for Appointment and Commission as a Notary Public form.
  2. A photocopy of both sides of an acceptable identification document.
  3. A notary training certificate from a state-approved training course issued within the last ninety days.
  4. A notary exam certificate issued by the Secretary of State within the last ninety days.
  5. If not a U.S. citizen, a photocopy of both sides of the permanent resident card or visa.
  1. Once your application has been approved, print the commission certificate from the Secretary of State’s website.
  2. Present your commission certificate to obtain a notary seal.

Can a non-resident become a notary in Colorado?

Yes. A non-resident may apply to become a Colorado notary public if the non-resident meets the following requirements (CRS §24-21-521[3][c]). A non-resident must:   

 

  1. Have a place of employment or practice in Colorado.
  2. Satisfy the same qualifications as Colorado residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
  3. Take a notary training course.
  4. Pass a state notary exam.
  5. Apply online at the Secretary of State’s website. Pay the $10 filing fee online with a credit or debit card and attach scanned copies of the following:
    1. A signed and notarized Affirmation for Appointment and Commission as a Notary Public form.
    2. A photocopy of both sides of an acceptable identification document.
    3. A notary training certificate from a state-approved training course issued within the last ninety days.
    4. A notary exam certificate issued by the Secretary of State within the last ninety days.
    5. If not a U.S. citizen, a photocopy of both sides of your permanent resident card or visa.
  6. Continuously maintain a place of employment or practice in Colorado.
  7. Relinquish his or her notary public commission if the non-resident notary is terminated from a regular place of employment or practice in Colorado by returning the commission certificate and notary seal to the Colorado Secretary of State.

How much does it cost to become a notary in Colorado?

A Colorado notary applicant’s expenses may include the following:   

 

  1. A $10 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment as a notary public.
  2. Tuition for a notary training course.
  3. The cost of a notary stamp.
  4. The cost of a notary journal.
  5. The price of an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability.

How do I renew my Colorado notary commission?

Colorado notaries may renew their notary public commissions online up to ninety days before their commission expiration dates. The commission renewal process is the same as for the initial application for appointment as a notary public. To renew a commission, apply online with the Secretary of State’s website and attach scanned copies of the following:

 

  1. A signed and notarized Affirmation for Appointment and Commission as a Notary Public form.
  2. A photocopy of both sides of an acceptable identification document.
  3. A notary training certificate from a state-approved training course issued within the last ninety days.
  4. A notary exam certificate issued by the Secretary of State within the last ninety days.
  5. If not a U.S. citizen, a photocopy of both sides of your permanent resident card or visa.

 

You must also pay a $10 filing fee. Payment can be made online by credit or debit card.

 

The Secretary of States provides a free online notary training course and notary examination. See the Notary Public Training page. To renew a notary public commission online, visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website or click here: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/home.html.

Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Colorado notary public or to renew my Colorado notary public commission?

Yes. Both new notaries and notaries renewing their notary commissions in Colorado are required to successfully complete a state-approved notary training course and pass the online notary examination administered by the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary of State. The course must cover the laws, rules, procedures, and ethics relevant to notarial acts. The Secretary of State may enter into a contract with a private contractor or contractors to conduct notary training programs, and such contractors may charge a fee for the notary training course. The notary applicant will have ninety days to complete the course. After ninety days, the enrollment expires, and the applicant will need to re-enroll in the training course. The Secretary of State offers a free online notary training and notary exam through their eLearning notary training course. A new applicant seeking a notary public commission or a renewing notary must attach to his or her application a scanned photocopy of the certificate of completion for an approved notary training course and a certificate showing he or she has successfully passed the online notary examination. The Secretary of State will only accept training certificates from the approved vendors listed on its website. To access the Secretary of State’s free online notary training course, go to: eLearning notary training course.

Can I perform electronic notarization in Colorado?

Yes. Effective July 1, 2018, the State of Colorado enacted the “Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts,” which included provisions authorizing a notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic records in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization (CRS §24-21-520). In addition, the Colorado Secretary of State adopted and promulgated rules and regulations (“Rules Concerning Electronic Notarization”—8 CCR 1505-11) in the Code of Colorado Regulations to implement the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. Furthermore, Colorado enacted the “Uniform Electronic Transaction Act,” which includes the provision on notarization and acknowledgment (CRS 24-71.3-111): “If a law requires that a signature or record be notarized, acknowledged, verified or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included in a notarization by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record.”

What is the process to become a Colorado electronic notary public?

To register as an electronic notary public, a notary public must:

 

  1. Be a commissioned notary public in Colorado.
  2. Submit a notice of intent on the approved form and receive approval from the Secretary of State before electronically notarizing his or her first document. (A new applicant may file the intent at the time of application for appointment as a notary public.)
  3. Review the “Rules Concerning Electronic Notarization”—8 CCR 1505-11 before applying and being certified.
  4. Contract with a vendor that provides the technology that the notary public intends to use to perform electronic notarizations.
  5. Complete the registration application online with the Colorado Secretary of State to become an electronic notary and to notarize electronically.
  6. Provide the Secretary of State a description of the tamper-evident technology that the notary intends to use to perform electronic notarizations.
  7. Make sure the technology the notary intends to use conforms to the standards approved by the Secretary of State.
  8. Choose to either use a DAN as the notary’s electronic signature or adopt a different electronic signature, which the notary must always use in conjunction with a DAN.
  9. Make sure the notary’s electronic signature conforms to the standards promulgated by the Secretary of State.
  10. Notify the Secretary of State of all electronic signature changes.
  11. Verify that the document signer has adopted an electronic signature to function as his or her signature before electronically notarizing a document.

 

A person may not require an electronic notary to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record with a technology that the electronic notary public has not selected. All notary filings must be submitted via the Secretary of State’s online electronic filing system. To initiate the registration process to perform electronic notarial acts, visit the Secretary of State at https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/FAQ/eNotary.html.

Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Colorado?

Yes. The Colorado Legislature enacted Senate Bill 20-096 (2020), which includes the remote online notarization provisions. Senate Bill 20-096 was signed into law on June 26, 2020. This bill will codify the current temporary rules for remote notarization until December 31, 2020. SB 20-096 (PDF) will then take effect on December 31, 2020, along with permanent rules. Colorado notaries public, who are authorized to perform remote notarial acts for remotely located individual by means of audio-video communication technology, must perform their remote notarial acts in accordance with Rule 5 of the Notary Public Program Rules (8 CCR 1505-11). Rule 5 is a temporary emergency rule authorized by Governor Polis's Executive Order D 2020 019 dated March 27, 2020, which was last extended on May 29, 2020. The notaries performing remote notarial acts by means of audio-video communication technology must comply with the rules and standards adopted by the Colorado Secretary of State. SB 20-096 authorizes the Colorado Secretary of State to adopt permanent rules for remote notarization. The Secretary of State’s permanent remote notarization provisions will take effect on December 31, 2020, but in the interim, SB 20-096 provides that the remote notarization provisions in the Governor's COVID-19 executive orders will be effective until December 31, 2020.

What is the process to become a Colorado remote online notary public?

Before performing his or her initial remote notarial act, a notary public must notify the Secretary of State that he or she will be performing remote online notarial acts using communication technology for remotely located individuals. Before submitting an application to register as a remote online notary public, a person must:

 

  1. Be currently commissioned as a notary public in the state of Colorado.
  2. Be located in the state of Colorado at the time the remote notarial act is performed.
  3. Use a remote notarization system to perform remote notarizations that is sufficient to:
    1. enable the notary public to verify the identity of the remotely located individual and any required witness by means of personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of identity;
    2. enable the notary public to verify that the notary public, the remotely located individual, and any required witness are viewing the same record and that all signatures, changes, and attachments to the record made by the remotely located individual and any required witness are made in real time; and
    3. record the interaction such that the verifications may be clearly viewed at a later date.
  4. Provide a notice to the Secretary of State that the notary public will be performing remote notarizations before performing the initial remote online notarial act.
  5. Include in the notice to the Secretary of State the description of the remote notarization system the notary intends to use.
  6. Include in the notice to the Secretary of State an affirmation that the notary has read and will comply with CRS 24-21-514.5 in performing remote notarial acts.
  7. Include in the notice to the Secretary of State proof that the notary public has successfully completed any remote notarization training and exam required by the Secretary of State.
  8. Make sure that the remote notarization system the notary identified to the Secretary of State conforms to the new act and the rules and standards adopted by the Secretary of State.
  9. Perform remote online notarial acts in accordance with Rule 5 of the Notary Public Program Rules (8 CCR 1505-11).

 

Remote online notaries public authorized to perform remote notarial acts are prohibited from using a remote notarization system to notarize: (a) a record relating to the electoral process; (b) a will, codicil, document purporting to be a will or codicil; or (c) any acknowledgment required under CRS 15-11-502 or 15-11-504. For additional information regarding the application process for the authorization to perform remote notarizations, visit the Colorado Secretary of State at https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/FAQ/remote.html.

How long is the term of a notary public commission in Colorado?

The commission term of a Colorado notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:   

 

  1. By resignation, death, or revocation.
  2. When a notary public is no longer a resident of Colorado during the notary’s commission term.
  3. When a non-resident notary no longer has a place of employment or practice in
    Colorado.
  4. When a notary no longer is a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
  5. When a notary loses his or her capability to read and write English.
  6. When a notary has been convicted of a felony offense and the notary’s civil rights have not been restored.

Is a Colorado notary bond required to become a notary in Colorado?

No. New applicants seeking appointments as notaries public and renewing notaries public are not required by state notary statute to obtain a notary bond to be appointed and commissioned as notaries  public in Colorado.

Do I need a Colorado notary errors and omission insurance?

No.  An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Colorado. It is not mandatory to have E&O insurance when applying for appointment as a notary public. However, the American Association of Notaries recommends that Colorado notaries obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other types of loss to the public and from any client who sues the notary public for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Colorado notary selects. For information regarding an E&O insurance policy, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Colorado?

A Colorado notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Colorado. Likewise, a notary public may not perform notarial acts outside of Colorado.

Who appoints Colorado notaries public?

The Colorado Secretary of State receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains an electronic database of active notaries. Contact information for the Colorado Secretary of State is as follows:

 

Colorado Secretary of State
Business and Licensing Division
Notary Program
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, Colorado 80290
Phone: 303-894-2200 & Press 4
Fax: 303-869-4871
Website: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/home.html

Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Colorado?

Yes. The Colorado notary statute requires all notaries public to use a rectangular inked stamp to authenticate all their notarial acts (CRS §24-21-517). Section 24-21-517 provides the legal specifications regarding the layout and the information required on all official stamps.

 

Dimensions: The Colorado notary statute does not provide the legal dimensions for an official stamp.

 

Required Elements: The official ink stamp of a Colorado notary public must contain only the outline of the seal and the following information printed within the outline of the seal (CRS  §24-21-517[1]a):

 

  1. The notary public’s name as it appears on the notary’s certificate of commission.
  2. The notary’s identification number.
  3. The notary’s commission expiration date.
  4. The words “State of Colorado”.
  5. The words “Notary Public”.

 

The official stamp must be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated. A Colorado notary public must not provide, keep, or use a seal embosser to perform notarial acts (CRS §24-21-517[2]). For Colorado notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.

Is a notary journal required in Colorado?

Yes. The Colorado notary statute requires a notary public to maintain a journal in which the notary public chronicles all notarial acts that he or she performs (CRS §24-21-519)[1]. A journal may be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. If a journal is maintained in a tangible medium, it must be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. If a journal is maintained in an electronic format, it must be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with the rules adopted by the Secretary of State. The state notary statute prescribes the notarial specifics required for each entry in a notary’s journal for each notarial act performed. A notary public shall furnish, when requested, a certified copy of any public record in the notary's journal. Colorado notaries must retain their journals for ten years after the performance of the last notarial act chronicled in their journals (CRS §24-21-519[1]). For Colorado notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.

How much can a Colorado notary charge for performing notarial acts?

The Colorado notary fees are set by state notary statute (CRS §24-21-529). The maximum allowable fees that a Colorado notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:

 

  1. Taking an acknowledgment - $5
  2. Administering an oath or affirmation - $5
  3. Taking a deposition or other sworn testimony - $5
  4. Taking a verification on oath or affirmation - $5
  5. Witnessing or attesting a signature - $5
  6. Certifying a copy - $5
  7. Electronic signatures - $10

What notarial acts can a Colorado notary public perform?

A Colorado notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts whether performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record (CRS §24-21-502[6]): 

 

  1. Taking an acknowledgment
  2. Administering an oath or affirmation
  3. Taking a deposition or other sworn testimony
  4. Taking a verification on oath or affirmation
  5. Witnessing or attesting a signature
  6. Certifying a copy
  7. Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument

How do I update my address for my Colorado notary commission?

A Colorado notary public must notify the Secretary of State within thirty days after changing his or her business address or residential address (CRS §24-21-530). The notification can be filed electronically with the Secretary of State using the notary’s secure online access portal. To file a change of address, log in using your notary ID and password and select “Edit my profile” under Actions on your Summary page. In the case of a home address change, a notary public can print a Notary Commission Certificate with the new residential address. A notary’s business address does not appear on the commission certificate. To update a notary’s information, visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.

Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Colorado?

A Colorado notary public must notify the Secretary of State within thirty days of a name change (CRS §24-21-530). The written notification to the Secretary of State must include a scanned copy of (1) a sample of the notary’s handwritten official signature and (2) an acceptable ID that shows the notary’s new name. The notification can be filed electronically with the Secretary of State using a notary’s secure online access portal. The online access portal will provide a signature page to print, scan, and file online to the Secretary of State with a copy of an ID in the new name. To file a name change, log in using your notary ID and password and select “Change my name” under Actions on your Summary page.  In the case of a name change, a notary public can print a Notary Commission Certificate with the new name. Notaries may register online with the Colorado Secretary of State at http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/home.html for online access to their personal profiles and to provide updates to their information.

Colorado notarial certificates:

Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

 

 

 

Revised: September 2020

Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.