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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 fit 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 notary duties

Qualifications to become a notary in Colorado:


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 commission under Section 24-21-523 if you:

 

  • Have ever been convicted of a felony.
  • Have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving dishonesty in the past five years.
  • Have had a notary public commission revoked.

The process to become a notary in Colorado:


In order to become a Colorado notary and receive a Colorado notary commission, a notary applicant must:   

 

  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 credit or debit card and attach scanned copies of the following:

    (a)   A signed and notarized affirmation form.

    (b)   A photocopy of both sides of an acceptable identification document.

    (c)   A notary training certificate from a state-approved training course issued within the last 90 days.

    (d)   A notary exam certificate issued within the last 90 days.

    (e)   If not a U.S. citizen, a photocopy of both sides of your permanent resident card or visa.

  5. Once your application has been approved, print your commission certificate from the Secretary of State’s website.

  6. Present your commission certificate to obtain a notary seal.

Can a non-resident become a notary in Colorado?

Yes. Non-residents of Colorado who have a place of employment or practice in Colorado may apply for a Colorado notary public commission (CRS §24-21-521[3][c]). Non-residents must:

 

  1. Satisfy the same qualifications as Colorado residents.
  2. Follow the same application for appointment process and procedures as Colorado residents.

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

No. The Colorado notary law does not require a new applicant seeking an appointment as a notary public or a renewing notary to be bonded in order to be commissioned as a Colorado notary public.  

Do I need a Colorado notary errors & omission insurance?

An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Colorado. The American Association of Notaries strongly 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 from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other type of loss to the public or a client for which a notary public is sued for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Colorado notary selects. To obtain information regarding an E&O policy, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.

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

In the process of becoming a notary public in Colorado, a notary applicant will have to pay for the following expenses:  (1) a $10 fee to process an application for appointment as notary public or to renew a commission; (2) a notary training course; (3) a notary stamp; (4) a journal; and (5) an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to obtain one for his or her own personal protection against liability.

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

The term of office of a Colorado notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. There  are many reasons a notary’s commission may be suspended, revoked, or cancelled, such as: (1) the notary resignes; (2) the notary dies; (3) the notary is no longer a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States or otherwise present in the United States; (5) the notary is convicted of a felony; (6) the notary is no longer a resident of or has a place of employment or practice in Colorado.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Colorado?

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

Who appoints Colorado notaries public?

The Colorado Secretary of State appoints notaries public, processes all applications for appointment and reappointment, issues notary public commissions, and maintains the records on notaries. To contact the Secretary of State, use the following information:

 

Secretary of State
Business and Licensing Division
Notary Program
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, Colorado 80290
303-894-2200 & Press 4

303-869-4871 (Fax)

https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/home.html

How do I renew my Colorado notary commission?

Colorado notaries may renew their commissions online no more than ninety days before the expiration of their notary commissions. The commission renewing process is the same as for the initial application for appointment as a notary public, which includes applying online, attending a state-approved notary training course, passing an online notary examination administered by the Secretary of State, and paying the fee of $10 (8 CCR 1505-11 Rule 2.1.3).  To renew a commission online, visit the Secretary of State’s website.  

Are there any exams or notary course requirements?

Yes. All new applicants seeking a commission as a notary public or renewing a notary commission 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. The contractor or contractors may charge a fee for any such training program (CRS §24-21-522). The Secretary of State offers a free online notary training and notary exam through their eLearning notary training course. As stated hereinabove, notaries renewing their commissions must pass the examination administered by the Secretary of State. The new applicants and renewing notaries must attach a scanned photocopy of the certificate of completion of their notary training course and a certificate showing successfully passing the online notary examination with their notary application. To access the Secretary of State’s free online notary training course, go to: eLearning notary training course.

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 their notarial acts. Section 24-21-517 provides that the official seal must include the following information printed within the outline of the seal:

 

  • The notary public’s name, as it appears on the notary’s certificate of commission;
  • The notary’s identification number;
  • The notary’s commission expiration date;
  • The words “State of Colorado”; and
  • The words “Notary Public”.

 

The official seal 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]).

Is a notary journal required in Colorado?

Yes. Colorado notary statute requires a notary public to maintain a journal in a tangible medium or in an electronic format to chronicle all notarial acts, whether those notarial acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records. 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. 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). 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?

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

 

  • Taking an acknowledgment - $5
  • Administering an oath or affirmation - $5
  • Taking a deposition or other sworn testimony - $5
  • Taking a verification on oath or affirmation - $5
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature - $5
  • Certifying a copy - $5
  • Electronic signatures - $10

What notarial acts can a Colorado notary public perform?

A Colorado notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (CRS §24-21-502[6]): 

 

  • Taking an acknowledgment
  • Administering an oath or affirmation
  • Taking a deposition or other sworn testimony
  • Taking a verification on oath or affirmation
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature
  • Certifying a copy
  • Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument

Can I perform electronic notarization in Colorado

Yes. Effective July 1, 2018, the Colorado Legislature enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, and regulations were adopted by the Secretary of State to implement the act. The act and the regulations include provisions allowing notaries to obtain an electronic signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic records in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization (CRS §24-21-520). Before a notary public performs the notary’s initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, a notary must notify the Secretary of State that the notary will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records. A notary public must:

 

  • Be a commissioned notary in Colorado.
  • Be familiar with the law and rules regulating electronic notarization before being certified.
  • Log in to our online system and look for the eNotary application link on the left side bar or under “Actions” on your Summary page.
  • Complete the application to become an eNotary to be certified to notarize electronically before performing an electronic notarization.
  • Select a tamper-evident technology and notify the Secretary of State and identify the technology the notary public intends to use.
  • Make sure the technology the notary intends to use conforms to the standards approved by the Secretary of State.
  • Make sure the notary’s electronic signature conforms to the standards promulgated by the Secretary of State.

 

Most importantly, the Colorado state statute requires that that the document signer must physically appear before the eNotary at the time of the electronic notarization. This means the signer(s) and the eNotary are physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials to each other without reliance on an electronic device such as a telephone, computer, video camera, or facsimile machine at the time of the performance of the electronic notarization. A person may not require an eNotary to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record with a technology that the e-Notary has not selected.

Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Colorado?

No. The Colorado notary statute requires that a document signer physically appear before the eNotary and be close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials without reliance on an electronic device such as a telephone, computer, video camera, or facsimile machine at the time of the execution of the electronic notarization. Moreover, physical proximity is not a statutory requirement for a document to be electronically notarized in a remote online notarization. Therefore, the state of Colorado strictly prohibits notaries and eNotaries from performing remote online notarizations.

How do I change my address?

Within thirty days of a change in residential address or business address, a Colorado notary must provide a written notification to the Secretary of State of such change (CRS §24-21-530). To file a change of address via the Secretary of State’s website, 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 Secretary of State’s website.

How do I change my name on my Colorado notary commission?

Within thirty days of a change in name, a Colorado notary must notify the Secretary of State of such 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. 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. To update a notary’s information, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

Colorado notarial certificates:

Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

 

Revised: October 2019

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.