July 20, 2019

Notary Program Rules Amended by Secretary of State

On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, the Colorado Secretary of State gave notice of the permanent adoption of changes to the notary rules. The changes are extensive, including new requirements for exam-taking for new notaries and those subject to claims of misconduct; new guidelines for electronic notarization; requirements for notary trainers; and more. A redline of the changes is available here.


Secretary of State Lowers Notary Fees to $1 Starting November 1, 2012

Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced on October 30, 2012, that he would drop online filing fees for notaries public from $10 to $1 starting November 1 and continuing through the end of the fiscal year. The fee reduction is for notaries who file for the first time or renew online; it is meant as an acknowledgment of the efficiency and convenience of online filing.

The fee reduction is expected to reduce revenue to the Secretary of State’s office by $200,000. The fee reduction will continue until the end of the fiscal year, and will be re-evaluated quarterly from that point on.

The full press release is available here.

Changes to Colorado Notary Law Effective in August

On August 8, 2012, changes to the notary law become effective. Colorado notaries are responsible for complying with these new standards. Important changes include:

  • JOURNAL REQUIREMENTS – A journal book will be required to contain the type and date of the notarial act, the title or type of document being notarized, the name, address and signature of the person signing, and the name, address, and signature of each witness to the notarization.
  • SEAL STANDARDS– The notary seal standards have changed. Renewing notaries will be required to obtain and use a seal that conforms to new standards.  The new seal standards require:
    • A rectangle rubber ink stamp.
    • The stamp must contain within the outline the notary’s printed legal name, the words ‘Notary Public,’ the words ‘State of Colorado,’ the notary’s 11-digit ID number, and the notary’s commission expiration date.
  • Currently commissioned notaries may continue using seals obtained before August 8, 2012 until renewal of their commission. 

HB 12-1274 outlines the changes to the notary law and can be reviewed in its entirety here.

Contact the Colorado Secretary of State’s office if you have questions or need additional information about the standards.  More information is on their website. Questions can be directed to them at notary@sos.state.co.us or call (303) 894-2200 ext. 9500.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Signing a Petition as an Elector Does Not Make a Person “Named, Individually, as a Party to the Transaction” to Necessitate Rejection of Notarization

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Griff v. City of Grand Junction on December 23, 2010.

Notary—Zoning Ordinance—Petition.

Appellants Harry Griff and Candi Clark appealed the district court’s order affirming the invalidation of signatures on a petition to suspend implementation of a zoning ordinance and denying an opportunity to cure those signatures. The order was reversed and the case was remanded with directions.

Appellee SLB Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Brady Trucking, purchased property in Mesa County in 2006 and entered into an agreement with the City of Grand Junction (city) to annex the property to the city. In September 2008, the city council voted to zone a portion of the property as “light industrial” and a portion as “industrial/office.” Appellants prepared a petition to suspend the implementation of the zoning ordinance. Candi Clark helped draft the petition, signed the petition as an elector, and notarized other signatures on the petition. The city clerk found that the petition was defective due to Candi Clark’s personal involvement and did not give appellants an opportunity to cure it.

On appeal, appellants claimed that the city clerk abused her discretion by rejecting Candi Clark’s notarization and invalidating the section of the petition that she signed as an elector and notarized. CRS § 12-55-110(2)(b) disqualifies those notaries who are “named, individually, as a party to the transaction.” However, signing a petition as an elector does not make a person “named, individually, as a party to the transaction” under the statute. The city clerk therefore abused her discretion by ruling that Candi Clark had a disqualifying interest and by invalidating the section of the petition that she notarized.

This summary is published here courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer. Other summaries by the Colorado Court of Appeals on December 23, 2010, can be found here.

Secretary of State Consolidates Divisions, Changes Notary Fees, and Provides Instructions for Renewing True Names

Consolidation of Divisions

On November 4, 2010, Secretary of State Bernie Buescher consolidated the Business and Licensing Divisions into a single Business and Licensing Division.  The merger was implemented to facilitate more coordinated, efficient, and accurate service.

Notary Fee Changes

Effective January 1, 2011, processing fees for notary applications, authentications, apostilles, and magistracies will change. For specific fee amounts, please visit the Secretary of State’s website and select “Fee Schedule.”

The correct fee is automatically applied when a notary filing is submitted online. The Secretary of State’s online services are often offered at a reduced fee. Access to these online services is available nearly 24 hours a day.

Please note that if a paper document is submitted with an insufficient fee, the document will be rejected. The office recommends that filers use the most current forms and verify the fee prior to filing.

True Name Renewals

On December 31, 2010, registrations of true names of foreign entities will expire unless they are renewed.  True names may only be renewed online.  Paper filings will not be accepted.

A foreign entity is an entity that is formed outside of Colorado.  A true name is a foreign entity’s name in the jurisdiction where the entity is formed. A foreign entity that does not obtain authority to transact business in Colorado may file a Statement of Registration of True Name in order to record its name in Colorado.  The registration is effective through December 31 of the year it is filed and can be renewed for another year by filing a Statement of Renewal of Registration of True Name online on or before December 31.

The Statement of Renewal of Registration of True Name may be filed by following these instructions:

  1. Go to the Secretary of State website.
  2. Select “…file a business document” in the “Let us help you…” section.
  3. Click on “Search” in red in the middle of the File a Document page.
  4. Search for the true name.
      If you search by ID number, you will be taken to the Record Confirmation page.
      If you search by the true name, you will receive a Record Identification Results page. On that page, select the ID number for the true name.
  5. At the Record Confirmation page, click on “Confirm” to indicate you have found the correct record.
  6. The next page will be a list of Documents Available for Filing.  Select “Renew True Name”.
  7. Complete the document and click on “Submit”.
  8. The next page will be the Transaction Preview. This page allows you to double-check the information you are submitting. Click on “Accept” to move on to the payment page.
  9. On the payment page, enter your credit or debit card or prepaid account information, and click on “Pay Now”.
  10. You will then receive a Transaction Confirmation page. This indicates the renewal has been filed, and the payment has been received.